'She had the most beautiful eyes,' he begins as he and a friend sip their pints. 'She also had the biggest pair of ..'
'...arms,' she tells her friends as they dine al fresco.' Really big, strong arms. I imagined them circling me. Holding me tightly. Keeping me...'
'...horny. I mean she was at least an' 8' mate. A looker. I knew straight away that one way or another, I'd be taking her home. But I played it cool, made her think I was...'
'...a real gentleman. So considerate and attentive. I couldn't believe he was so interested in yoga! I mean...'
'...bloody yoga! I had to try really hard to concentrate! I almost glazed over, but she went on and on! I was wondering just how flexible yoga made her, because, you know, that could lead to some interesting...'
'...positions. I talked about every one we'd learned in class. He didn't talk much but I could tell he was really engaged. It's important that your boyfriend shares your interests, don't you think? I felt so at ease with him, and he...'
'...knew she'd be up for it! Had her hooked. She was eating out of my hands. But then it got weird. Because I found myself genuinely interested. I know! But she has such a lovely way of speaking and I just found myself...'
'...captivated. If I'm honest my first impressions hadn't been favourable. I thought maybe he was only interested in a one-night stand. But he was deeper than that. I was disarmed. I even considered going home with him afterwards, but...'
'...I couldn't do it mate. Couldn't use her like that. She was such a great person. So selfless and open. So at the end of the night we got a cab, I saw her to the door and...'
'...gave me a peck on the cheek! Said what a nice night he'd had and would love to do it again. Do you know something? I was disappointed! I wanted him to come in. It had been a while since, well, you know... and I fancied him. But I'm glad he didn't because...'
'...I could hardly wait for the second date. And that went really well. We had a fantastic meal and then walked in the park. It was dark but the moon was out...'
'...and, although I can't remember when, he put his coat on my shoulders and wrapped his arm around me. We walked and hugged and just talked...'
'...about anything and everything. She was so intelligent and so well travelled but seemed genuinely interested in me. I even told her things I haven't told you mate. It felt so...'
'...natural. That's the only way to describe it. Like we'd known each other forever...'
'...so that's how it happened. I know you're going to get on great with her..'
'...you're going to like him as much as I do. In fact, if I'm honest, I don't just like him...'
Yes, it's that time again. We're back and we're getting ready to flood the internet with flash-fictions to celebrate National Flash-Fiction Day on Saturday 16th June 2018.
The rules are the same as ever, we are open for submissions for just one week. Stories should be no more than 500 words (not including the title) and should be on whatever theme you fancy. You can submit up to three entries, and there is no cost.
7 editors (one each day) will read your work, and make their decisions, and then the deluge begins at midnight on the 16th.
I’m going to ask her tonight, definitely. Dad said, you’re not even twelve son, what’s next – extra pocket money for johnnies? Mum told him not to be vulgar, then smiled at me; that smile that makes me want to yank her to the knees by the hair: shout, I’m not a baby, Mum.
It’s in the sports hall like always, but this year they’ve got a proper DJ, not just one of the dads. There she is, all curled hair and sprayed-on glitter. I go to tap her shoulder, but James and Jeremy, in the opposite corner, look at me all, why are you going up to a girl? So, before she turns around, I jump on her back: mime a lasso at them one-handed. Dig my knees into her skinny hips and breathe in marshmallows. Then I’m falling forwards. I put out my hands but my landing is broken. I roll off. And her blood’s on my knees. More of it trapped in the grooves of my trainers.
What happened? says Mr Miller, with a face like a father’s instead of a Head’s.
And she looks at me through the bloodied fingers at her nose. …
Marina’s lover delivers a mug of milky tea before his shift starts. She snakes her arm out from under the bedspread and grabs his wrist. He is ready for her: he clenches his fist around the sturdy clay handle and sets the mug down on a ring-marked, unopened paperback.
“Don’t go today.” She says that every day.
“I have to.” Always the same.
The top sheet is stretched across Marina’s lower face like a surgical mask. Her lover kisses the bridge of her nose. She holds her morning breath. He will leave. They all do, when days like this become weeks and months. God knows, she’d leave her miserable self, too, if she could.
“I’ll see you tonight.” They say stuff like that, when they’re just about to vanish. He smiles like a patient GP. Marina’s bowels twist.
Marina’s lover leaves the bedroom door ajar. She calls him her lover because he reckons he loves her to the moon and back. Plus, she’s too old for a boyfriend. He has created an unsettling draught. A vicious stripe of light interrupts t…