Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #93

For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #93:


Delphine left La Sorbonne with a History degree, and it had taken almost a year to find a job, even then unrelated, at a bookstore in her hometown of Tours.

It had been convenient to live with her parents at first, but as soon as possible she had found an apartment to rent, away from their prying eyes. She settled into life between work and the apartment, with the odd Friday night at the local bar thrown in.

And there, she had met René. Well, she’d met him occasionally before, a friend of a friend, but this night they clicked, and spent most of the evening flirting. In a bold move, Delphine had invited him back to her apartment, one thing had led to another, and René had spent the night.

Eyes blurry, Delphine looked at her alarm clock. 7:30AM. Shit, she was late. She looked at the body snoring gently beside her, and realised that she had a decision to make. Do I rouse him, or leave him to continue sleeping? He did look so peaceful, lying there.

In a second, the decision was made. Potential? Yes, but she hardly knew him, after all. With a vigourous nudge, she hissed “come on, you have to leave, I have to go to work”.

Twenty minutes later, she kissed René goodbye, outside the bar where they’d spent last night, and without even worrying whether he would call, hurried to the bus stop, all the while wearing a satisfied smile. Looking at her watch, she might just make it on time.

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #92

For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #92:

It was the party to end all parties. To celebrate Diwali, the whole village had come together in one vast festival spirit. Nisha had danced and danced until she felt she would drop. The celebration was tinged in sadness, however, because fourteen-year-old Nisha would also be leaving for Mumbai the next day. It was time for Nisha to begin contributing to the family, Nisha’s mother had arranged for her to keep house for a distant cousin in the city, and Nisha had said tearful goodbyes to parents and siblings for who knows how long?

At 3AM the next morning, Nisha woke, dressed, and without waking a soul, picked up a small case of vital belongings. Her destination? The town of Chatghar, a three-mile walk from her village, where she would catch the 6AM train into Mumbai, and her new job.

Nisha opened the door to leave, when her mother’s figure appeared through the darkness. They embraced tearfully, silently. As a parting gift, Mum untied some left-over balloons and handed them to Nisha as a memento of the night before.

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #91

For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #91:

“I could get used to this”, thought Grace, as she padded around her apartment in just her panties. During the pandemic, she had been instructed by her employer, Mathis and Reid, to work from home, and dressing down every day was one of the perks.

She checked her watch. Fifteen minutes. She quickly pulled on a conservative, white blouse, her standard office attire, but dismissed the need for any other clothing. Adeptly brushing her short hair and applying minimal make-up, she poured herself a large glass of whiskey – must make sure that stays out of shot – and settled back to wait for her Zoom meeting.

There you go. Something to ponder, next time you see that important politician being interviewed on the news.

Come Uppance

A couple of comments from last time made me think I should continue this story, and whilst I had the ending in my head, I didn’t really feel I had done it justice on paper, so I wanted to put another nail into this bastard’s coffin. I hope you all share my repugnance of this character.

The story became a tiny bit erotic as I thought it through, something I have never tried before. I am prudish, and feel quite uncomfortable both reading and writing this kind of stuff, and although it is not explicit, please be gentle with me.

Hello, this is Heike once again. I thought I would post a short update to my anniversary tale for you.

Last Sunday, I was enjoying my lie-in. Work seems to be getting harder for me, I work at a garment factory in the town. My eyes often feel tired, they are not so good any more and it is sometimes difficult to maintain the necessary quality. So, I appreciate time away from the factory, especially time when my eyesight is not crucial.

Mark had gone downstairs to brew some coffee, and I could smell the delicious aroma infiltrating the house. Five minutes later, he returned, complete with coffee, some strawberry jam, and a couple of croissants he had just heated for us to share.

While I tucked in, Mark turned on the TV. My croissant finished, I put the plate on my bedside cabinet and muttered to Mark, “turn that down please, I think I will go back to sleep”. With that, I turned over and settled down to continue my nap.

But Mark was not finished. As I was dozing, I felt his hands on my body. Was this real, or was I dreaming? They were so soft, yet firm. Rousing myself slightly, I began to respond. Mark was clearly in the mood – this promised to be a pleasurable start to the day, as I twisted to find more comfortable access.  

Turning over, my eye caught sight of the now-muted TV, where I caught a glimpse of a face I recognised. Suddenly alert, I cried, “hey, there’s your friend, that guy Jaeger. What’s he been doing?” Mark had now twisted so that he, too, could see the TV. “Put the sound on”, I commanded, as Mark reached for the remote.

What was that? An exposé by one of the Sunday newspapers? Kurt Jaeger spotted visiting a prostitute. “Pah, something and nothing”, sighed Mark. “That might have meant something forty years ago, but not now”. But as Mark lost interest, I kept watching. And that’s when the story became interesting. A year underage continued the report, and the coup de grace, that she was of North African origin. There was talk of legal action, but the exposé showed photographs and claimed to have a name, too. Mark was alert once again. This changed things, it could be career-ending, especially for somebody with such public beliefs. This girl was one of the very people Jaeger wished to push back across the sea!

Now watching the programme, the next story came on, and I had just decided that my lie-in would be more attractive, when I felt Mark’s hands again. The day was about to get even better!

Anniversary Present

No reason. Just felt like writing and this is what came out.

My name is Heike Fiedler. I live with my husband, Mark, in a small town in Bavaria. On its outskirts, our town boasts a boutique hotel, set in the old castle. Far from being a medieval fortress, the castle was built in the nineteenth century. It is not authentic, but it looks the part. My best friend’s daughter, Sylvie, works there and she is forever telling us which famous name dropped by since last time, to enjoy the privacy of this luxury hideaway.

My husband is a good man, somebody I have grown to love more over the years. In front of me, I see a kind and thoughtful man, even if he has lost some of his athleticism over the years. The only people in the world that I might love more, if that were possible, are our two wonderful children. To underline his thoughtfulness, we celebrated our thirtieth wedding anniversary earlier this year, when Mark presented me with a weekend at this luxury retreat. “With the help of Sylvie”, he had muttered – I well knew that a night in this place cost most of my month’s salary.

On the appointed day, I had taken time off work and waited impatiently to leave our house. The hotel had said that check-in was at 2pm, and we arrived there shortly afterwards. We were able to drive the few miles to the hotel in no time at all. Our ten-year-old car looked distinctly out of place in the car park, as I saw a bright red sports car in there, already lounging about. I’m no good with cars, but this one had a horse emblem on its bonnet. There was another- the colour was striking, a real banana yellow. And, oh so big, for what looked like just two seats. “Come on”, I hurried Mark, who would happily have stayed to admire these cars, “let’s check into the room and we can find the spa”.

Sylvie had again done us proud. Though Mark had sworn that he had paid only for an “ordinary” room, we were presented with the key to the Honeymoon Suite. We left our things there – Mark would have happily watched what looked like a hundred-inch cinema-tv, but I wanted to try the spa. Sylvie was not finished yet, as when we arrived at the spa, we were told that a sea-mineral therapy had also been booked for us. As I looked at him quizzically, Mark just winked at me.

Three hours later, I looked at my watch. Almost 6 o’clock. “We’d better head back soon”, urged Mark, “we need to make ourselves presentable in time for dinner”. Reluctantly, I dragged myself away from my sunbed. “Can we go back via the car? I need to pick something up from there.”

In the car park, Mark was just locking up as we watched a limousine enter. Gleaming black, brand new, like it had just been driven from the showroom, we hung back to see whether anybody famous would emerge from behind that tinted glass. A figure emerged which I recognised as Karl Jaeger. Jaeger was famous, not in Germany, but in our next-door neighbour. In fact, as a popular, far-right career politician, he had almost become Premier in their last elections. Repeatedly, he had used the phrase, “the wolves are gathering for the feast”, a direct reference to his country’s influx of refugees, so much so that the two had become synonymous. “Come on, let’s go get ready”, I ushered Mark, Jaeger was not a man to my taste.

Two hours later, and we are ushered into the restaurant. The waiters could not be any more polite, and I was left to marvel how money could buy such lovely surroundings. As we are shown to our table, Jaeger is seated at the next table, in a party of four men. As I settle into my antique chair, the place is a who’s who of faces I recognise. Nearby I see a famous German football star, presumably out with his wife or girlfriend. Her figure does not look at all natural.

A waiter comes, serves an hors d’oeuvre. We thank him, and he responds with an accent which clearly is not German.

I cannot remember a better meal – this really is an occasion to remember – when suddenly I hear a disturbance from Jaeger’s table. The men, who had been raucous all evening seemed to have focussed their attention on our waiter. My normally quiet husband spoke up: “do you mind? We’re trying to enjoy our anniversary here.” “Relax, old man. It is only this useless waiter. Don’t you realise that he’s another one? That the wolves are gathering for the feast?” His famous catchphrase.

“Yes, I saw them gathering outside, next to your new Audi.” I have never been so proud of my husband.