‘Make jam,’ they said. ‘It’ll be fun,’ they said. ‘You’ll be so relaxed!’
They were wrong.
It was nice at first, I’ll admit. Handing in my notice was liberating. Telling people I was starting my own business was thrilling. And there was something soothing about knowing that, every morning without fail, I would wake up with the sole purpose of making and selling jam out of my own kitchen. No ghastly 7 a.m. commute. No soulless office block and squint-inducing computer screen glare. No staff room politics or having to eat dried-up sandwiches out of a Tupperware. Instead, it was just me and the jam and the radio.
Me and the jam and the radio. Me and the radio and the jam. The jam and the radio and me. That’s it.
That, and a house that smells like stewed fruit 24 hours a day. And throbbing little burns all over my hands and arms where my skin has been bitten by bubbling fruit and sugar. A garage packed to the rafters with empty jars because it was cheaper to buy them in bulk and I was oh-so enthusiastic when this whole shit show kicked off. And all the measuring and the pouring and the stirring and the sterilising and the jarring and the labelling, day after day after day until my mind is so deadened that I could happily jump into a scorching hot vat of summer fruits and sugar and end it all…
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A husky rattle creaked from his voicebox every time he took a breath, and each time she heard it, she thought it would be his last.
“I’ve been lying to you,” he wheezed. “For years.”
She shook her head. “That doesn’t matter now.” And she meant it.
“It does. You have to know.” Continue reading “One Final Confession | Microfiction”
‘I went over this on the phone.’
‘I just want to confirm the details.’
Mark pinches the bridge of his nose. ‘Olive skin. Dark brown hair. She’s… I don’t know, average build, I suppose. Just over four foot tall. She’s tall for her age.’
‘What was she wearing the last time you saw her?’ Continue reading “Bluebells | Short Story”
“Listen up, soldiers! We’ll have to abseil down. But that’s the easy part. Getting across the canyon with so many obstacles won’t be simple. You’ll need to keep your wits about you. Threats are everywhere. Death could –”
“Watch out!” Continue reading “The Mission | Microfiction”
Freya bought the mirror at the flea market, having been assured by the vendor that it would reflect her future.
A first, it showed her a battered and beaten old shed. But as her life progressed and she made smart choice after smart choice, the mirror’s reflection changed. The roof was patched up. The door was painted. Pretty curtains were installed in its windows.
Continue reading “Future | Microfiction”
“Congratulations on your new home!”
“Thanks, Lindsey. Come on in, I’ll introduce you to everyone.”
Lindsey gazes around her as she enters Julie’s house, taking everything in. “May you create countless memories in your beautiful new abode,” she says with a smile.
Julie laughs, “I’m sure I will. Follow me!” Continue reading “Introductions | Flash Fiction”
Mama Wolf watches her pups as they roll around in the grass, nipping at one another’s ears and paws in giddy play. All but the runt, at least, who sits quietly away from his siblings.
“See?” whispers Mama Wolf. “He always separates himself. Wants to be closer to me. He’s too weak to keep up with the rest.” Continue reading “The Runt | Microfiction”
Don wakes up with a taste in his mouth that is reminiscent of the arse end of a badger. His head throbs and his stomach feels raw and empty. He’s slumped against the locked door of his local pub, and all around him is chaos.
People are running up and down the street, some carrying baseball bats, others lugging cardboard boxes, more still swigging from beer cans and bottles of liquor. Most of them have hoods pulled low over their faces and they’re shouting and screaming, whooping and laughing. Continue reading “If You Can’t Beat ‘Em | Flash Fiction”
“Just through here, mate,” I say, gesturing to the bedroom. “Good job I live in a bungalow – you’d have had a hard time getting it upstairs.”
The delivery guy nods as he wheels the bulky package down the corridor. “Aye, my back’s done in. I had to get a washing machine up to a third floor flat this morning. No lift, either. Would have been no problem for me ten years ago but my age is catching up with me.” Continue reading “Delivery | Microfiction”
Emily swings the metal detector from side to side, ignoring her brother’s pleading tones behind her.
“Come on, Em, please! I need to pee so bad. And I’m bored and my legs are tired and we haven’t found anything all day.”
“Shut up, Isaac! It’s beeping. There’s something here.” She drops to the ground and begins to scrabble at the soil with her hands. Continue reading “Loot | Flash Fiction”