Flash Fiction: Water-stain

crook-roof

Fully dressed, Peter lay next to Malorie and looked up.

‘I’m leaving you,’ she said.

He might have laughed, except it wasn’t funny. Above him, on the ceiling, he saw a water-stain shaped like an arrow firing into a heart.

‘I’m hiring a nanny to look after the children,’ Malorie said. ‘No divorce; we have to keep up appearances.’

Actually, thought Peter, it was a sword.

A nurse came into the room. ‘Time to be turned, Mrs Gibbs.’

Peter stood, and as the nurse rotated Malorie’s body from her back onto her side, he looked up again and saw the heart, cleaved in two.

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I said on Twitter that today I was too sick to write, too sick to do anything. But I am a writer. So, a sad story for a sad day. Picture by Sandra Crook. Join in or read others.

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If anyone is thinking of buying a copy of Our Endless Numbered Days for a Christmas present (or for themselves), let me know and I’ll post you a personalised card to go with it. Offer is worldwide.

Flash Fiction: Rice would be Nice

emmylgant

‘We’re out of potatoes,’ my mother said, in a voice I wanted to mend.

I dragged my father’s garden spade (he’d taken the fork) to the vegetable patch. It hadn’t rained for months; his brassicas had gone to seed and his onions were flowering.

I jabbed at the ground, remembering the pale, earthy potatoes my father had let me find, like golden treasure hidden in the dark. I knelt and scrabbled, stuck my hands in the soil, my fingers discovering only a wet, rotten mess.

‘Rice,’ I said to my mother. ‘Rice would be nice.’

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This is a 100-word story inspired by the picture above. This week, my mind decided to go in the opposite direction to the picture: gardens and heat, despite my best intentions. Thanks to Emmy L Gant for the picture, and to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for leading the Friday Fictioneers. Click here to join in, or here to read other people’s stories.

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It’s been a little over a year since my debut novel, Our Endless Numbered Days was published by Penguin. I wrote a blog post about the good and the not so good things that have happened since then.