Flash Fiction: Talk


I stand under their bedroom window at night and hear them talking:
‘I don’t think she’s ever had a boyfriend,’ she says.
‘No?’ he says.
‘Still a virgin; at her age. Can you imagine?’
‘Not like you then, is she?’ he says, and she shrieks and laughs as if he’s goosed her. They are both silent for a minute or two, and I try not to imagine.
‘Do you think she misses it?’ she says.
‘You can’t miss what you’ve never known,’ he says.
‘But having someone?’
‘No,’ he says. ‘Not her.’
And I turn away, both stronger and sadder.

Listen to me reading it:


This is a Friday Fictioneers story, hosted by the lovely Rochelle, and inspired by the photo above. This week provided by Janet Webb. Click here to join in and read more.


A few weeks ago my short story, A Quiet Tidy Man won the Royal Academy & Pin Drop short story award. At the award ceremony the winner was announced by actress, Juliet Stevenson. The recording of the event and her reading my story aloud is now available to listen to. Visit this page, and click through to listen.

55 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: Talk

  1. Intriguing piece, Claire, as expertly crafted as ever.
    But who are they, and why is she listening under their bedroom window?
    All a bit creepy.
    I meant to say last week, I enjoyed your reading, although I was surprised at how jolly English you sound!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is great, and so sad. Good for her that she’ll be stronger through it, comments like that can easily wear a person out. Congrats on your success. 🙂


  3. Very powerful story and so nice to hear you read it. I was pleased to recommend your book to my Book Club and we all had fun discussing it a few weeks ago. It was well liked but that didn’t surprise me. No, not at all! Congrats on the prize.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, has quite a heavy impact but the phrase: ‘as if he’s goosed her … I try not to imagine’ provides the perfect counterbalance so therefore profound but not overtly maudling… using both stronger & sadder offer much widercscope too. Nice job!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like how you’ve used the viewpoint of an eavesdropper – most unusual. And as you say above, perhaps the conversation wasn’t even about her – but it obviously applies to her. Ending it as you do gives depth to the character, and gives much food for thought. Terrific. Congratulations on your short story success, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good story and writing as always, Claire. Congratulations on the award and having your story read by an actress. I recognize her from TV. How exciting. It’s too bad it fell on the night it did, but that didn’t take away from the award. I’m getting to this comment late in the evening here, so will listen to the reading earlier tomorrow. Well done. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

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