Nice Pair | Microfiction

“Nice pair,” said the checkout boy.

The customer gasped. “How dare you? That’s completely inappropriate. I came here to shop; I don’t expect to be drooled over by an employee who is at least half my age. Disgusting. I want to speak to your manager immediately. What a rude young man.”

The checkout boy pointed to the produce in her basket. “I meant your fruit. The pear? Looks good. They’ve just come into season, right?”

CONTINUE READING ON MEDIUM >

When the Shoe is on the Other Hoof | Microfiction

The horses neigh and whinny furiously, wielding their betting slips between their teeth as they stare at the television screen.

“Go on, you can do it!”

“That’s it, you beauty! Faster. Go faster!”

“Kick. Kick, dammit. Buck like your life depends on it!” Continue reading “When the Shoe is on the Other Hoof | Microfiction”

She’s Nine, She’s Not an Idiot | Short Story

“There’ll be hell to pay.”

“Looks like it.”

“She had it last when we were at the supermarket. You’ll have to go out and look for it.”

Dad groans. “Have you seen the time?”

“She won’t sleep without it. Which means we won’t sleep without it.”

“She’s far too old for a blankie, anyway. Maybe it’s an opportunity for her to give it up. We could tell her that now she’s nine years old, her blankie knows she’s far too grown up to need it anymore. And that it’s gone out into the world to find a new little baby to comfort instead.”

Mum snorts. “She’s nine, she’s not an idiot. Look, she can give up the blanket in her own time, but I will not be having a tantrum on a Saturday night just because you were too lazy to go out and find it.”

“Why can’t you go out and find it?”

“Because there’s a bottle of wine in the fridge with my name on it.”

“Have you got blankie yet?” comes a forlorn call from the bedroom upstairs.

Dad sighs. “I think it’s in the car, sweetie,” he shouts back. “I’ll go out and get it. Hold tight.”

CONTINUE READING ON MEDIUM >

Get Your Money’s Worth | Flash Fiction

“I won’t take them off. I refuse to.” She folds her arms and glares at her husband. “And anyway, it was you who told me I should wear them all the time. ‘If you’re going to spend hundreds of pounds on shoes, you better wear them every single day and get your money’s worth,’ you said. So I did. And now you’re blaming me for this mess.”

“I didn’t mean literally every day.”

“But that’s what you said!” Continue reading “Get Your Money’s Worth | Flash Fiction”

Blame the Parents | Microfiction

It was with sheer desperation that Ally called the Life Coach.

“I can’t make friends,” she blurted down the phone as soon as her call was answered.

“You can’t make friends?”

“No matter how hard I try, no matter how many times I strike up conversation, no matter how kind or funny or interesting I try to be, I simply can’t make friends. People can’t get away from me quick enough.”

CONTINUE READING ON MEDIUM >

Green | Flash Fiction

The green tinge started in her toes. She was convinced it was a fungal infection, but her Google searches insisted that a fungal infection couldn’t spread all the way up her foot and to her ankles, and certainly not within 24 hours. Continue reading “Green | Flash Fiction”

Wild Things My Grandma Told Me | Short Story

Grandparents have secrets. And trust me — you don’t want to know what they are.

My Grandma was 87 years old when she revealed her secrets, but nobody would have pegged her anything beyond 75. She had a few lines and wrinkles here and there, sure, but you’d never guess she was pushing 90. And if you spoke to her without seeing her, you’d think her in her 30s. She could talk a mile a minute and she swore like a trooper. She knew her stuff when it came to modern music and the latest blockbusters. She had an iPhone and a Snapchat account and thousands of followers on Instagram.

So when pneumonia took her down we were all surprised. None more than her, mind.

“I’m too young for pneumonia.”

“You’re 87,” my Mum told her.

“People like me shouldn’t get pneumonia. Haven’t had so much as a cold in decades. Only time I get sick is when I overdo the whiskey sours and that doesn’t count — that’s self-inflicted. Are they sure it’s pneumonia? I don’t believe it.”

“It’s true. So you’ve to keep quiet, be on your best behaviour and cooperate with the doctors.”

“Yes, dear. I will. Best behaviour.” And then she saw me clock her crossed fingers and threw me a sly smirk.

I visited her as often as I could. I got the bus from the hospital straight after college every weekday, and I went in the morning and again in the afternoon on Saturdays and Sundays. She’d always have a tale to tell about the time that passed during my absence. How she initiated a group singalong of Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic throughout the ward. How she invited the charming 28-year-old hospital porter out for drinks. How she’d given one of the specialist doctors a lesson on achieving the ultimate orgasm. How she’d sneaked into the hospital kitchen to add chilli powder to the meatloaf mixture. On and on it went — miniature adventures which transformed a drab old stay in the hospital into a thriving chapter of her life.

But after the second week on the ward, the adventures became less frequent, less exciting. Her retelling of the few escapades she did manage — having a cheeky squeeze of a handsome nurse’s bum, for example — became less animated. Her cheeks grew paler. Her voice grew weaker. The wheezing and rattling in her chest grew stronger. Her skin was almost translucent.

“Not long for this mortal coil,” she croaked at me one day.

“Don’t say that, Grandma. You’ll be alright. Keep your chin up.”

“It is up, it is. But we’ve all got to go someday. My time’s coming up and that’s alright. Just promise me one thing.”

“What?”

“Invite Michael Bublé to my funeral. His number’s saved in my phone. He might not come, but I’d like for him to have the opportunity to say his goodbyes. He only knew me briefly but… well, he knew me rather intimately.”

I didn’t ask for details. “I’ll invite him,” I said, though at that stage I didn’t mean it. I didn’t believe she’d ever even met him.

“Thank you, dear.” She sighed, shook her head slightly. “There’s a lot you don’t know, young lady. A lot that nobody knows.”

“What do you mean?”

“My life. I don’t want to blow my own trumpet, but it was bloody colourful.”

“So tell me about it.” That was my first big mistake.

CONTINUE READING ON MEDIUM >

No Such Thing as Can’t | Flash Fiction

‘I can’t do this,’ she whispers.

She retrieves a pair of smart black trousers from the wardrobe and lays them out on the bed. Shirt next. She has one in mind. It’s newish. Plainish. Smartish. First day material. It will help her blend in. But it isn’t where it’s supposed to be.

Hangers screech as she slides them left to right and right to left on their rail. It has to be there. It has to be hiding. It has to be.

She lunges for the wash basket, flips back the lid, and rifles through stale garments. It’s there, right at the bottom, crumpled into a ball.

Tears want to spill but she breathes and assesses the damage. She shakes the shirt out and examines it, front and back. Lots of creases. No stains, at least. A tentative sniff decides it; quick iron, spritz of Febreze, splash of perfume, and it’ll do the job.

She stubs her toe on the bed frame as she gathers up her outfit.

She traps a finger in the stiff hinge of the ironing board as she erects it.

She scatters bottles of cleaning products across the kitchen floor as she retrieves the iron from under the sink.

The iron is dead. The little light won’t turn on. It doesn’t get hot. Something inside it rattles when she shakes it.

She clenches her jaw. ‘I can’t do this.’

CONTINUE READING ON MEDIUM >

Get Out | Microfiction

“Go.”

“I’m going.”

“Right now.”

“I said I’m going!”

She scowls. “Go faster.”

“Why should I?”

“Because I told you, you arsehole. Get away with you!” Continue reading “Get Out | Microfiction”

Bullet | Flash Fiction

All aboard! Please have your tickets ready to show the inspector. Failure to produce a valid ticket could result in fine. Enjoy your journey with us today.

The shot knocked him straight to the floor and for a split second he thought he was dead. But he wasn’t. He touched his fingers to the back of his head. Wet. Blood. And when he realised there was blood, the pain kicked in – searing, burning, debilitating pain. The pain was so bad that he almost wished he had died. And then he passed out. Continue reading “Bullet | Flash Fiction”