Anton checked the paint was dry, inexpertly knocked in a nail and placed the photograph in the middle of the wall, visible from the window and all sides of the room.
He spent two hours rearranging furniture, before sitting on the new sofa and looking directly at the studio portrait. He was as smart as ever in his tight-fitting two-button blue jacket with the narrow lapels and drainpipe trousers. On his left a woman of similar height with dark brown hair in a particularly precise bob. On his right a girl of six or seven with the same hair and the same sky blue in her dress. Three identical open-mouthed smiles straight at the lens.
Anton went to his new and very expensive record player and began to ruin the stylus by playing his old copy of Minnie Ripperton’s Loving You.
He went back to the sofa and cried.
After five minutes of this he went through to the kitchen, recently painted in a shade calling itself sunflower yellow, and microwaved something he was reluctant to call supper.
He turned the radio on, feeling the need for noise in every room, and ate with a child’s fork.
He did not hear the knocking on the door or the rapping on the living room window, but sensed movement.
He got up, saw dark brown hair outside and went to the front door.
She said nothing, gave a shadow of a smile and handed him two dresses in dry-cleaner’s cellophane.
He took them, nodded, and said, “Thank you. It means everything to me.”
FlashFlood is brought to you by National Flash-Fiction Day UK, happening this year on 27th June 2015.
In the build up to the day we have now launched our Micro-Fiction Competition (stories up to 100 words) and also our annual Anthology (stories up to 500 words). So if you have enjoyed FlashFlood, why not send us your stories?More information about these and the Day itself available at nationalflashfictionday.co.uk.