flash fiction, flashfiction, short story, Uncategorized

‘Almost Thursday’ flash fiction

formerly at Train Lit Mag


Right there, in the middle of the field.  In the plough furrows.  Lying on the crumbly soil.  At one point, I covered Bert’s eyes with my woolly gloves, and he shouted ‘Gerroff, woman!” which made some model-trainset-little ramblers up on the hill look over.  We pulled our corduroys back up and continued with our walk.

Back in the garden.  Snail trails on the path, vapour trails on the sky.  Inching along.

Bert’s digging the cabbage patch and he’s rolled his sleeves up and undone his shirt so his vest pokes out.  I offer to bring him a nice cold bottle of beer but he says he’d rather have a cup of tea.  “You don’t really.”  “I do.”  I go and fetch us both a beer.

Blue moonlight.  Bert yawning from both ends.  Even with his teeth out, he’s a bit of a bobby dazzler, like a young Bernard Cribbins, grown old. Sometimes I’ll wake up in the night and find him, head on his pillow, looking at me.  He’ll come up with some story, “Sodding foxes are at it again” or else he’ll snap his eyes shut and do the worst impression you ever heard of someone sleeping.  I spread my fingers through the gaps in his pyjama top, keep them there ‘til his chest’s at rest.

The pills he’s laid out for me for the morning bead my bedside table.  I count them like sheep.

A cold sunny morning, so I suggest a stroll on the cliff tops.  He looks wary.  “No funny business!” he states.  Arm in his, the wind in our hair, I’ve got a skip in my step today.  Not many people about yet.  Green grass blowing. Frothy white horses, out on the sea.  I look at my Bert and smile.  There’ll be funny business.

flash fiction, flashfiction, microfiction, short story, shortstories, shortstory

‘Toe Of Toe Hall’

The InfoVisual.info site uses images to explain objects.


If someone handed you a matchbox with their phalanx bones inside, and referred to it with a shy smile on handing it over as ‘Toe of Toe Hall’, you’d be charmed, wouldn’t you?  You wouldn’t yell out to a cafeteria full of teenagers “He’s giving me his boner!”  You wouldn’t join in the laughter pouring down like pig’s blood.

I had my first body parts removed at the age of six.  Airborne Foot versus Metal Bed Railing.  Several bones in the second toe on my right foot didn’t make it.  The doctor at the hospital took one look and said “amputation”, right in front of me.  I got to take the removed sections home, as a bribe to stop me screaming.

For years, I kept them in an empty matchbox, which I dubbed Toe Hall.  Push open the drawer: Toe of Toe Hall.  My parents laughed at that every time.

And they bought me a new bed.

Sixteen-year-old girls apparently don’t like receiving body parts.  Personally, I thought it a sweet idea, that I was offering something of myself.   I wasn’t good at small talk.

Daphne was in my tutor group.  We were in the same room for roll call every morning, five days a week.  It wasn’t as though I were a total stranger.  It’s not as though I necessarily expected her to display my toe bones against her own skin, in the warm, scented hollow of her suprasternal notch, say.   She could have kept the box on her bedside table.  I didn’t include instructions.

I tossed the box in the trash as I ran out of the building.