You Are A Lovely Lot – short fiction by MorgEn Bailey

The following piece of flash fiction is from Morgen’s smaller short story collection (just 93 stories instead of 250!), The Story A Day May Collection, available in eBook and paperback from Amazon  and Morgen’s online store where you can not only instantly download the collection but also purchase the paperback dedicated to you or as a present! We hope you enjoy this story…

You Are A Lovely Lot

No child likes being told off and adults even less so. Being told off for saying you have a bad memory isn’t the worst thing in the world but it stuck, and every time Laura goes to say she has a bad memory she remembers her history teacher, Mrs Davis, shaking her head and tutting.

“Tell yourself something bad and you’ll believe it,” she’d say, but it was true, Laura had a terrible memory… for dates especially, history therefore being her worst subject, which made Mrs Davis warm to her even less.

The teachers at Fordham High had their ‘pets’; no apples were involved but the star pupils sat at the front so their hands would be the only ones the teachers saw. On the rare occasion their eyes did wander backwards, it would inevitably be Laura they picked on. ‘Not remembering’ wasn’t an acceptable excuse and many a time she’d be sent to the Head for a caning on the hand.

She’s sure that if she ever had her palms read, the fortune teller would frown, confused by the dominance of lines, unable to tell how long Laura’s life would be or how in love she could get.

Given the events of autumn 2001 it wouldn’t matter. Mid-August she’d said “goodbye” to her father, the last time they’d spoken, then just days later she’d heard the news on the radio driving back from the recycling tip. The first plane… the second… the pictures on TV when she got back to her mother’s.

Laura’s father had died just three days before, in a comfortable hospital bed, unconscious for days, dementia swallowing his brain for the last time. She’d had her farewell and as she saw the drama unfold and repeat, she thought of the daughters of the men in the buildings – businessmen, just like her father – unaware of what they were losing, no chance to say “goodbye”.

She imagined one man, grey, sitting at his desk, calm despite the panic around him. He was looking at a photograph; his wife, son, daughter, and he was smiling, saying just five words as the floor beneath him crumpled… “You are a lovely lot”.

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