The Man Who Could Never Finish | Flash Fiction

Coffee cup illustration - "The Man Who Never Finished" flash fiction

The groom pours stale coffee into a cup, leaving a half an inch of the black liquid in the bottom of the percolator. He brings the cup to his dry lips and takes a long swig to relieve the cotton wool sensation that plagues his tongue.

He needs distraction. He retrieves his phone from his trouser pocket and taps at the screen to access his documents. He skims over the latest draft of an article he’s been battling with for weeks. It’s good. It’s almost perfect. He just can’t seem to find the right words to conclude it.

And he probably won’t be able to find them now as the nerves swirl in his stomach. He takes another sip of coffee and reaches into the inside pocket of his suit, pulling out a cigarette and a lighter.

She’ll turn up her nose when she catches the whiff of stale fag on his breath. He told her he’d quit. She doesn’t know that he never managed to kick that first and only smoke of the day.

When the nicotine has delivered a surge of faux confidence, he tosses the cigarette — only two-thirds smoked — onto the ground and grinds it beneath his shoe. He can probably go through with it, he thinks. It won’t kill him. He’s managed three years already; a lifetime won’t be all that bad…

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Author: Ellie Scott

Ellie Scott is a freelance content writer from Sheffield, UK. She writes speculative and silly short stories and flash fiction, and book reviews for short attention spans. Her most common pastimes include procrastinating on Twitter (@itsemscott) and Instagram (@tinysillystories), and hibernating on her sofa with a book and a (very large) glass of gin.

2 thoughts on “The Man Who Could Never Finish | Flash Fiction”

  1. I read the full version, i had goosebumps by the end. I love a good plot twist, and this one was beyond satisfying. The title summarises it all very well. Ended it with a heavy heart, but damn, you’re good at what you do.

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