Short story: The Dinner Date

2319497253_ba55124d1f (2)Clarissa was even thinner than when I had last since seen her, which must have only been a month or so previously.
“Six weeks, Audrey,” she corrected, making me feel guilty, although she hadn’t telephoned either. She stopped whisking, dipped her little finger into mayonnaise the colour of soft butter, and held it up to my mouth. “Open,” she instructed. It was delicious. “Ok, we’re ready,” she said, taking off her apron and hanging it on the back of the kitchen door.
“You look amazing,” I told her and meant it. “Orange has always suited you.”
“This rusty old thing?” Clarissa brushed her hands over her dress, which looped around the back of her neck, showing off her bare shoulders. On anyone else it would have looked like a giant hanky. “Get the wine out would you, everyone will be here soon and you might want a drink first because there’s someone I want you to meet.” Clarissa’s eyes lit up.
“Oh no,” I said, backing away. “Please don’t say you’ve invited another sad fuck-up for me to sit next to. Clarissa I’m just not ready.” I meant it. I wanted to eat nice food with my oldest friends, drink slightly too much and stumble up to their spare room at the end of the night.
“It’s not like that. It’s someone Tom went to school with, he’s moved back down here and they bumped into each other. Ok, he happens to be single…Audrey, please don’t roll your eyes.” Clarissa went to the fridge because I had pinned myself against the granite topped island. “I think you’ll like him, you’re very similar.”
“I’m sorry Clarissa, but I really don’t want to do this. I really can’t do this.” I picked up my bag. We both heard the doorbell ring and Tom go to answer it.
“Audrey,” hissed Clarissa, “please!”
I was shrugging on my coat when Tom came into the kitchen.
“Audrey,” he said, “this is Kit. Kit, Audrey.”

***

This story is from a prompt given by Trifecta – an online writing group. Each Monday writers are challenged to write a story between 33 and 333 words using a specified word and its meaning. This week the word is rusty with the meaning the colour of rust. Click here to read some other responses or to join in.

Image is courtesy of ChefMattRock

I’d love to hear what you think about this piece – good or bad. Let me know in the comment box below.

Short story: The Kiss

2253636547_7049aee83dPressed against a wall by heaving crowds and noise, I caught glimpses of Topper out on the dance floor. Every so often one of the spinning lights which hung from the industrial ceiling joists highlighted his face and his body, pulsing in time to the thudding beat which pounded up through my feet. I hadn’t expected him to be a good dancer, but he was loose limbed and fluid. He had infiltrated his way into a hen party – at least a dozen girls wearing bunny ears and pink bow ties, and one with an ‘L’ plate hiding her fluffy tail. I watched, my lips pressed tightly together, as they pushed their breasts against him and touched his face with their painted fingernails.

I knocked back my gin and forced my way through to the bar. It took me three goes to shout my order for another double to the bar-tender, and when I turned back Topper was beside me, a pink and white girl tucked under each arm.
“Audrey,” he shouted, and with just that word I knew he was drunk, whereas I, with my three double gins, was still desperately sober. “Audrey, I’d like you to meet Becky,” he nodded to the girl on the right, who laughed. “And this is…”
“Ness,” shouted the girl.
“That’s right, Nessie. A little monster,” shouted Topper and gave her a squeeze and she squeaked as if she was a child’s toy. “This is my sister, Audrey.” Ness waggled her fingers at me. “I don’t think Audrey likes the club, do you Audrey?” I said nothing. “She wanted me to find a girlfriend, but I’ve found two.” He pulled both girls into him and they giggled. He kissed Becky, taking his time over it, his tongue in her mouth and hers in his while Ness fidgeted. When they had finished Topper wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
“I’m going home,” I shouted, before he bent to kiss Ness.

***

This story is from a prompt given by Trifecta – an online writing group. Each Monday writers are challenged to write a story between 33 and 333 words using a specified word and its meaning. This week the word is club. Click here to read some other responses or to join in.

Image is courtesy of Raelene Gutierrez

I’d love to hear what you think about this piece – good or bad. Let me know in the comment box below.

Micro story: Summer

This week the online writing group, Trifecta has asked us to describe summer in exactly 33 words. Here’s my contribution:

The only breeze is the rug’s undulation as I lay it over the roof’s baking surface. Kit unpacks the picnic while I lean back, watching a lazy aeroplane trail divide a perfect sky. 

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To read other people’s or to join in click here.

Simple plain trail on blue sky

Short story: Alice’s bedroom

Picture courtesy of www.flickr.com/photos/foovay/

Alice woke disorientated with the early morning light seeping around the edges of the curtains. The murky outlines of spitfires painted across the sloping ceiling a reminder that she was in her brother Thomas’ childhood bedroom, tucked away in the attic. The bedroom where he had played and slept, and grown up without her.

Alice got out of bed, and still confused with the layout of the room, she missed the way through to the hall entirely, and instead opened a small door tucked under the eaves beside the fireplace.  She ducked and went through to another room, dark and thick with stale air. Alice fumbled her way along the walls, bending her head low to avoid their inward slope. After she had negotiated a corner, her fingers found a switch – old fashioned, with a ball on the end of a stick. She flicked on the light and the bare overhead bulb illuminated a four poster bed draped in dusty velvet. Covering these walls was another mural, not fighting planes this time, but a dark land of trees entwined with vines and ivy. The sun shone in rays through this exotic jungle, and in every shaft of light golden fairies hovered, their filigree wings blurred with movement. It was a girl’s room.

“Mum had it decorated for when you came to live with us.” Thomas stood in the doorway of the secret opening through to his bedroom.
“I never came,” said Alice.
“No, you never came home,” said Thomas.

***

This story is from a prompt given by Trifecta – an online writing group. Each Monday writers are challenged to write a story between 33 and 333 words using a specified word and its meaning. This week the word is light and the meaning is a source of light (celestial body, candle or electric light). Click here to read some other responses or to join in.

I’d love to hear what you think about this piece – good or bad. Let me know in the comment box below.

Short story: The taste of Dairylea

325677100_5847d03090He said he would bring a picnic. I imagined smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches, which we would open up to sharpen with lemon quarters and fresh black pepper. I imagined chilled wine in real glasses. He brought Dairylea cheese triangles, a litre bottle of diluted blackcurrant squash and his son.
“You didn’t tell me you were a father,” I said. We watched the boy, aged about five, jump to grab a spindly branch from one of the specimen trees. He caught it and pulled hard until the branch started to tear away from the trunk.
“Don’t do that Sam,” Thomas called half-heartedly from beside me on the lawn. “Didn’t I?” he said to me.
“It doesn’t appear to be coming very naturally,” I said, wiping the top of the plastic bottle. I took a swig; it tasted of cream cheese.
“I’m still getting used to the idea. Give me another couple of months and I’ll have got the hang of it.” I passed him the squash.
“A slow learner?”
“Not exactly,” he said without looking at me. “I only found out about Sam’s existence three months ago.”

***

This story is from a new writing group for me – Trifecta. Each Monday writers are challenged to write a story between 33 and 333 words long using a specified word and its meaning. This week (seventy-nine) the word is appear and the meaning is to have an outward aspect: seem. Click here to read some other responses or to join in.

I’d love to hear what you think about this piece – good or bad. Let me know in the comment box below.

The photograph belongs to http://www.flickr.com/photos/y_ordan/