Nailpolish Stories

For anyone who isn’t aware of this place, please check out Nailpolish Stories here on WordPress. (There is a little story of mine in this January issue too if you scroll down far enough to find it!)

I really enjoyed the challenge of writing a story in only 25 words and love the concept of using the name of a nail polish as inspiration. There are some great pieces here- enjoy.

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A New Hat

I am delighted to let you all know that  a story of mine A New Hat  has been published  today over at Spelk. Hope this cheers up a wet and cold Wednesday for many!

The Man on the Platform

Yesterday I was reading this interview with Rose McDonagh who won the October 2017 Bath Flash Fiction award with her excellent story Pony.

In the interview she says that the story came from a writing exercise which involved writing some dialogue between two characters where one has a secret. I decided to have a go at using this prompt myself and came up with this story. Let me know what you think, or why not have a go yourself?

The Man on the Platform

“Is that man waving at you?”

“Huh? Which man?” We were waiting for the London train. It was your birthday and we’d both taken the day off work to go to the National gallery together. You wanted to see the Francis Bacon exhibition.

“That man over there, with the green checked shirt. I’m sure he was waving at you.” You were pulling on my sleeve. I was trying to shake you off like you were a small dog who’d clamped its jaws onto an appendage, whilst trying to appear disinterested.

“I can’t see anyone.” I wasn’t looking. I’d already clocked him there ten minutes ago. How dare he wave, the stupid bastard.

“There! By the wall. He’s wearing one of those gilet things over his shirt. I hate those things. So pointless. Why would you want your body warm and your arms cold?”

“Hmmm. I’ve never seen him before. He can’t have been waving at me.” Lies. But I wasn’t prepared for this. Lying came so naturally, I was almost convincing myself.

“Yes, he is, look! He’s waving again!” He was as well. He could see I was with someone. What on earth did he think he was playing at? The platform was beginning to fill up. I hoped he would keep his distance. I couldn’t face the introductions.

“The train will be here in a minute, come on let’s go. He must have got me confused with someone else. People are always getting me confused with other women who have curly hair. Even women who look nothing like me, like that woman with the whippet who lives on Lark Close. It’s like they think we all look the same or something. I think it’s discrimination actually”. Just keep talking, distraction, diversion. This will be over soon.

“Are you sure you don’t know him? He’s smiling at you. I think he’s trying to say something.”

Would you just let it drop already? “I don’t know him, okay? Look, the train’s here. Let’s find our seats. I’ve never gone first class before, have you?”

“No. Thank you. It was sweet of you. I hope they have champagne.”

“Don’t get too excited. I’m not made of money.” You held my hand and I didn’t look back. I knew he wouldn’t find us. Fifteen years since he’d left Mum for his other woman. He was no father to me.

Wake-up Call

Claire was lost. There was a fire bell ringing somewhere, but she couldn’t find her way out. Each direction she chose led to another bare corridor filled with rows of closed doors, just like the last. There were no exit signs, no windows, no other people. The lighting was dim and the walls pale grey, like wet concrete. In a blind panic, she carried on running. There must be a staircase around here somewhere, she thought. I have to get out of here. But where am I?

Claire woke with the sudden realisation that her doorbell was ringing, and must have been so for some time. The insistence of its tone told her the caller was not going away. Confused, she dragged herself from her bed, swiping away damp hair stuck to the side of her face. She tripped on an empty wine bottle and lumbered through the doorway. A policeman broke down the front door at that moment.

The arrest was a relief. It was time to stop running.

How Not to End a Relationship

Further A-Z adventures of Candice, the serial dater.

For those who missed her previous adventures, they can be found here:

A Date to Remember

A Trip to the Zoo

After two years of life with Toby, Candice had had enough. But how could she break it off with him? Candice was sure he would be distraught- inconsolable perhaps. Dumping him was going to be difficult, but that would be the easy part. Extricating him from her flat would be the tougher challenge. ‘Flash Toby’ as he had come to be nicknamed by her friends, had well and truly got his feet under the table.

Granted, in the beginning his generosity and taste for the finer things in life had been attractive and exciting. Hotel weekends in stunning locations, meals in the best restaurants, lavish gifts and a taste for fast cars. It wasn’t long before he had moved in, and Candice dared to hope he could be ‘the one’ she had been looking for all this time. Just thinking back to those hedonistic early days of the relationship however, Candice cringed at how easily she had got swept up with it all, ignoring all the warning signs and her own better judgement.

Keeping their finances separate would clearly have been the more sensible choice, but Toby had insisted they open a joint bank account as a step towards their future together. Love had blinded Candice to Toby’s inability to live within their means at first, but spending £800 of their money on a robotic hoover had been a tipping point from which she could see no return. Men like Toby would never change. No, she was certain that today must be the day to tell him the party was finally over.

Once the decision she had been agonising over all day was made, Candice mixed herself an extra large gin and tonic and settled herself on the sofa to await his return from work. Perhaps he would cry and promise to change she thought with a twinge of sadness, wondering what was taking him so long.

Quickly downing her drink, Candice stood up as she heard a car pull up outside. Releasing a breath she hadn’t realised she had been holding as he opened the door, she steeled herself for ‘the talk’. Sooner rather than later would be best all round.

“Toby, there’s something we need to talk about,” she began as he took off his coat.

“Unless it’s how you plan to thank me for the gift I’ve got for us, it can wait,” he said grinning like a child with a new toy.

“Very thoughtful as ever I’m sure. What is it?”

“X6, convertible, the latest BMW,” he said dangling a set of keys in front of her nose.

“Yeah, I guess it can wait, let’s go for a spin!”

Zooming along with the wind in her hair, Candice decided there would be plenty of time to talk, another day.

Header image courtesy of Pixabay.com. And I am aware the picture is probably not a BMW X6, but I liked the cute dog 🙂

Two Thrilling Adventures

Here are two more flashes I had hanging about… enjoy!

Afternoon Delight

When Geoff goes on his golfing weekends, I leave the front door on the latch for Roger from number sixteen.

I take a long bath with scented oils and candles, shave my legs, and massage my skin with cocoa butter. The cat is shut out, carpets vacuumed and bedding changed. The sport biographies and loose change are tidied away from Geoff’s side of the bed. When everything is ready, I put the vase of plastic tulips in the front window. That’s the signal he’ll be looking out for; our secret code. I lie in bed and wait.

I remember being so anxious that Roger must lock the door. Not any more. The idea that Geoff could return early, his trip curtailed by an attack of golfer’s elbow, makes the whole thing that much more of a thrill. You have to take them where you can get them at my age.

 

The Thrill of the Chase

Frank lingered near to the bus stop, carefully assessing each person who waited there. It was the usual set of bored commuters. None paid Frank any attention as he skulked by a litter bin, except for the man in the blue puffer jacket who gave him a suspicious sideways glance, before turning back to his mobile phone. There was one woman with a smell of bacon sandwiches about her who carried a cloth bag, but Frank could tell there was nothing in there that would interest him.

Shivering in the chill January air, Frank wished again that he had his new red coat. In his haste to leave the house, he had paid no heed to the weather. Just then, a gritter lorry passed by, coating the icy pavement in a layer of salt. Frank barked and ran after it. He could never resist a good chase.