Not Imaginary like Jack’s – short fiction by MorgEn Bailey

The following piece of flash fiction is from Morgen’s larger short story collection (250 stories), Fifty 5pm Fictions 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…

Not Imaginary like Jack’s

Hitting his spoon on the edge of the eggcup made Jack wince. He’d only meant to get Sarah’s attention but not realised how loud it was going to be.

She burst into tears.

“Sorry, darling!” he said, grabbing her favourite toy, Errol the elephant, to try to placate her, but failing miserably.

He squeezed its trunk which made it trumpet, but that only made Sarah scream. She’d been like this since her mother had left, since the cream envelope on the kitchen table, taken her possessions with her, except her most valuable, their daughter. She’d even taken her art equipment, the huge easel that had barely fitted in their car when they’d bought it.

He’d known then it was for good, and that she’d had help; a man with a van, Jack suspected.

Jack knew he wasn’t the easiest of people to live with, shut away for hours on end while she ‘worked’ for a living.

She’d thought writing books exciting when they first met, went to all his signings, followed him overseas, until she’d landed her job, complete with power suit, and it had gone to her head, in charge of hundreds of people… real ones, not imaginary like Jack’s.

That’s what he’d do, he decided; tell Sarah stories. She wouldn’t understand of course but he could try out new plots and they could be as grim as he liked but tell them in a cheery voice, pretend they were fairy tales. She’d be his first reader… or rather, listener.

So he started with his current work-in-progress, a crime story set in Edinburgh, along the lines of Rebus but even more graphic.

“Sarah,” he said softly, then smiled, hoping she’d follow suit. She didn’t. “Would you like a story?”

She gurgled hesitant approval.

“OK. The nasty man is climbing up the hill…”

Sarah widened her large green eyes.

“There’s a lady at the top. Her name is…” In his story he hadn’t even got that far. He usually named his victims first but had only got the name of the detective, Detective Sergeant Fraser (this was his eighth outing) and the antagonist, ‘Butch’ Davis. He struggled to think of a woman’s name but then found the perfect one. “Her name is Abigail.”

Sarah smiled.

“That’s good isn’t? Shall we have the nasty man find a woman called the same as mummy?”

Sarah squealed and squeezed Errol’s trunk who trumpeted in agreement.


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