Don’t Trust the Toilets | Microfiction

The toilet stall read “Vacant” and yet the damn thing wouldn’t open. She hammered on the door desperately, wincing as her full bladder threatened to revolt if it wasn’t relieved soon.

“Anyone in there?” she called.

No reply. Continue reading “Don’t Trust the Toilets | Microfiction”

The Tat Shop That Scammed Me | Flash Fiction

The shop across the road looks like it sells a load of old tat, but it sure looks more appealing than trying and failing to put pen to paper. I down the last frothy dregs of my cappuccino, tuck my notebook and pen in my bag, and head out to kill some time.

The door jangles to announce my presence, and in seconds the shop owner appears before me with a wide grin stretched across his face.

“Looking for anything in particular?”

I shake my head. “Just browsing.”

I look at the shelves and take in the junk. Twee wooden figurines. Cheap plastic flowers arranged in even cheaper plastic vases. Cutesy signs with naff statements like God Bless This Mess and Dust is a Country Accent. Dachshund draught excluders with blue plaid bellies and cartoonish eyes. Floral aprons and floral tea towels and floral oven mitts and floral cushion covers and…

“Perhaps I can point you in the right direction,” the shop owner says, his megawatt grin not faltering for even a moment.

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You’re Right | Flash Fiction

He rolls over in bed to find her side empty and cold. There’s an envelope on the pillow with his name penned in her hand. Already he knows she’s gone.

He checks every room of the house, just to be sure. And then he pulls back the curtains in the living room and peers out at the creatures outside. They’re still there, dependable as ever. But she’s gone. Continue reading “You’re Right | Flash Fiction”

The Mug | Flash Fiction

The mug sits unwashed on the kitchen table, a layer of white fuzz growing on the surface of the dregs of tea inside it. A smudge of lipstick is on the rim, and there’s a fingerprint made in chocolate on the handle.

The rest of the kitchen is pristine. Every single other mug, cup, glass, plate and bowl is dutifully washed, dried and put away immediately after use. But the mouldy mug remains on the table, as it has for three weeks now.

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Singing for Satan | Microfiction

The pentagram was laid out on the floor, the candles were lit, and the sacrificial frog was ribbiting his last in his cage.

All that was left to do was sing.

She took a deep breath and began to croon, eyes closed in concentration.

The devil appeared in a cloud of red smoke. Continue reading “Singing for Satan | Microfiction”

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”

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.”

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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.

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