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.

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #90

For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #90:

“I’m sorry, sir, I can’t let you through. We have orders not to let anybody on or off the bridge.”

It was John’s first experience of kettling – many protestors being concentrated (kettled) into a small area, but after a day at work, he was tired and simply wanted to catch his train home.

“Okay, how do I get to Waterloo Station? What routes are open?”

“You can get there over Waterloo Bridge or Lambeth Bridge [the next bridges, east and west], sir, but I’m sorry, I can’t let you onto Westminster Bridge.”

“Okay, thanks for nothing”, muttered John, already turning and beginning to fight his way through the crowd. “Fucking Extinction Rebellion”, he muttered, under his breath.

It only occurred to John later that evening, what right did the policeman have to stop him crossing the bridge? Wasn’t it always touted that the UK was a free country? So, why was he not free to cross the bridge? Why were the protestors not free just to clear the fuck out of his way?

He spent the next three hours on Google, and, by the end of the evening, another protestor had been born.

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge

for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #89, which asks us to conjure up a story based upon the following image:

It was coming up to Melissa’s fortieth anniversary. Her doting husband, the efficient Mark, had it all planned. Given Melissa’s recent all-clear following cancer surgery, it seemed appropriate to combine this celebration with her milestone event, and arrange a surprise party, with friends she had not seen for years. One former bridesmaid was even jetting in from her new home in Spain.

Confident that everything was under control, Mark’s one last task was to leave work early the day before the party, and collect the specially-made, extravagant, chocolate cake from the confectioners close to his office. Mark was elated – the cake stood three feet high, topped with an exquisite sculpture of Eros, where Mark and Melissa had first met. The cake safely collected, this was it. Remembering that they had once thought they would not see this day, Mark now thought that nothing was left to go wrong, and that this would be a party to remember, as he walked out of the shop and turned toward the Tube. The enormous cake obscuring his view, Mark did not see the uneven slab on the pavement and, catching it with his foot, the cake was sent flying as he lost his balance. What seemed like a lifetime later, Mark landed on the pavement, squarely on top of the now-ruined cake.

Seeing the incident right outside her café, the barista rushed outside to see if she could help. Many of her customers, who had seen the incident, just sniggered.

Desperately sad today, I’m sorry.