The Uninvited Guest

Prompt image for the Fandango's Flash Fiction prompt

For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #131, where we write about the image below, from Leonid Afremov at DeviantArt.

A picture containing grass, outdoor, nature, smoke

Description automatically generated

Brad heard the front door close. “Honey? Is that you?”

A beautiful, perfectly made-up doll of a woman appeared in the doorframe, her expertly-coiffeured mane of chestnut blonde sitting casually on her shoulders. She carried a Shi Tzu, who was wearing a tartan overcoat. “Hi honey, I’m back. Missy-Wissy and I walked all the way to Fifth today. Then, lifting the dog to her face, she rubbed noses. She addressed the dog. “Didn’t we, my precious poochy-woochy”. The dog strained away from her.

Breaking the moment, Brad came and ruffled the dog’s head, then kissed the cheek offered by his wife. “Oh, we also passed by the stand on the way home. I picked up this week’s Time, and a Journal for you.”

“Thanks, darling. You go seat yourself in the lounge and start reading, I’m just fixing us some coffee here. I’ll be through in a moment.”

A short while later, Brad entered the lounge carrying a pot of steaming coffee, plus two bone china coffee cups. Now divested of her garment, Missy had settled straight into her basket, and Melody had installed herself onto one of the sofas, flicking through the Hello Magazine she had also bought for herself. A perfectly folded Wall St Journal awaited Brad on the other sofa.

First selecting each a coaster, Brad set the cups down onto the overpolished mahogany coffee table.admiring his own perfectly chiselled face as he did so.

Lifting the newspaper, he immediately exclaimed, “He’s gone! I knew it! I always knew Tyler MacKenzie was a crook! Say’s here they want him for embezzlement. Says they think he got over to the Bahamas.”

“Tyler MacKenzie? Don’t I know that name?” As she spoke, she kicked off her designer Jimmy Choo heels, which she had picked up on their shopping trip to London the previous fall. She relaxed, folding her legs under herself.

“We had him over, darling, just last month. Don’t you remember? You mistook his wife for his daughter?”

Melody blushed, still slightly embarrassed, and resumed her magazine. A short while later:

“Oh, it looks like Madonna is getting divorced.” The slightest grunt from Brad, who, by now, was engrossed in page seven.

They settled into silence, reading their respective news, until the peace was broken by Brad.

“Darling?”

“Yuh-huh”, murmured Melody, her attention not leaving the latest Whitney Houston scandal.

“Do you smell something?” Brad sniffed the air, ostentaciously, then padded around the room, inhaling periodically. Melody was attentive now, detecting the odour just as Brad questioned, “did you bring something in on your shoes?”

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed large IT systems, interrupted by a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Now mix development of health-related software with voluntary work and writing. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

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