Sunday short short story: Hand-Painted £2.50 by MorgEn Bailey

Posted every Sunday, the following piece of flash fiction is from FLASHES ~ SHORTER SHORT STORIES. This collection comprises 249 stories all under 500 words, formerly published in Morgen’s Fifty 5pm Fictions Collection. FLASHES is available in e-book from Amazon and will soon also be available in Morgen’s online store! We hope you enjoy this story…

Hand-Painted £2.50

Is it seriously only nine o’clock? Suppose it’s a good thing, still early, could pick up.

Float… bags… plastic sheeting in case it rains… what have I forgotten? Feels like I’ve forgotten something. I should have written a list.

Ooh, that looks nice. Bit big though. No, Suzie, resist. Supposed to be getting rid of things, not…

Hello. Certainly. £2.50. Hand-painted.

No, I won’t take a pound.

Some people. If I wanted a pound… cheek.

Sandwiches, that’s what I’ve… now, where…? Kitchen table. No doubt Felix will find it before…

I’m starving. I wonder if there’s a food… ice cream van, that’ll do I suppose. Bit cold for an ice…

Pick it up, go on…

Hand-painted. £2.50.

Be like that then. Miserable…

50p for that. Thank you. Do you need a bag or… no problem, bought loads. Thanks again.

Three for a fiver those, used once and… yes, a fiver. £5. No, I can’t split them, they’re a set.

£12.74? Where did the 4p come from? Bet it should have been…

Yes, very pretty isn’t it. It’s hand-painted. Two-fifty. I know, but it’s hand…

There’s no need to be like that.

At least it’s not raining.

No, I’m sorry, the sheeting’s not for sale. Oh, plastic bag. Certainly, I’ve got plenty. What was it you wanted to buy? You don’t? I know I said I had plenty but… alright then, you do look rather laden. While you’re here I’ve got a lovely hand-painted… Just the bag, OK. Seeing as you asked so nicely.

50p each or three for a… just the one. Thank you. A twenty-pound note? You’ve got nothing smaller? It’s going to wipe me out but…

That’s £2.50. It’s… Those? £5 for the set… of three, yes.

It’s gone quiet again. Ten thirty. Is that it?

Excuse me, do you think this is it? Sorry? That there’ll be more people only… two o’clock? Really? I thought we could go when we liked. But what if no one else… Oh, I didn’t know that. No, not this one. This is my first actually. Been to a few but just to buy. People can be quite ru- Here? £2.50. Yes, I thought so too but I’ve only had one offer and that was for a pound. I know! You can’t buy an ice cream for that. Mars bars are seventy-something. I remember when they were 10p, although they were smaller. Four chews for a penny too. And it used to be 5p to get in the cinema. Not much change from £10 these days. I know. That’s why I can’t understand why people are quibbling so much.

Looks like you have a customer. Nice chatting with…

The three for five… great! Thank you. I’ll wrap… That one’s two-fifty. I could, I suppose, come down a little seeing as you’re having… it’s hand-painted though.

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Sunday short short story: Like A Newborn by MorgEn Bailey

Posted every Sunday, 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…

Like A Newborn

He rested his fingers on her curves, slowly brushing her soft, smooth neck.

Bending down, he breathed in, the smell of wood as still alive now as it would have been all those decades ago, when another master, a craftsman, had made her form… lovingly, patiently, as reverently as Andreas felt now.

She still gave him the same thrill holding her as he had when he had first seen her, touched her, held her in his arms like a newborn. Of course she wasn’t a newborn, she’d had several owners before Andreas but he knew he’d want for no one else; inanimate or animate. Real women held no interest for him. He had tried once or twice to please his mother but now she couldn’t remember who he was, he was free. Free to play, free to love, free to be who he’d always wanted to be; alone with ‘her’. She’d not been his first of course. She was too exquisite for him to have practiced on, but his mother had seen his talent from the first time bow struck string.

‘Strike’, a word his mother would have used. A hard word, like her, only now their roles had reversed; she’d become the child – round the clock care to his round the world touring.

She’d told him his father had been musical. She’d tried to play, with the first violin, but had no patience, no talent. Andreas’ sister Sophia, the second child, second at everything, which wasn’t how their mother had worked and she’d hardly noticed when Sophia grew ill. “Weak”, their mother had called her, even when she wasn’t. The doctor was finally called in to “sort her out”, only there was no sorting to be done. Their mother, for the first time in her life, had left it too late – the schedule overlooked for anyone but him. So he’d done everything for her, Sophia, lead his life for both of them and now, as he looked at the priceless Stradivarius, at the side of the stage, he smiled, stroked her neck and put on his smile.

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Sunday short short story: Something Borrowed by MorgEn Bailey

Posted every Sunday, 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…

Something Borrowed

It was the ‘something borrowed’ that meant so much to Laura. She’d had a pocket especially sewn into the wedding dress to keep it safe. Her grandfather’s pocket watch. Nothing special you might think and it wasn’t at the time he’d given it to her, just sentimentality but when her mother died it took on a whole new meaning.

It had been sitting on her mother’s kitchen table when Laura had collected the dress and taken it to her for safekeeping. Except now it was her mother she wanted to keep safe; buy her a new heart, steal one, borrow one.

The watch remained on her bedside table or in her jeans pocket for the three weeks between her mother’s death and the day she became Laura Elliott.

As the music started, Laura turned to her father and they both stepped forward. She wasn’t sure whether it was his lack of emotion that was holding hers back but she was grateful.

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Sunday short short story: The Picture On The Mantelpiece by MorgEn Bailey

Posted every Sunday, 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…

The Picture On The Mantelpiece

You slump in your chair as your son plays with the dog. It’s been a bad day but you try not to let it show. You’ve had weeks of bad days and it’s getting to you. Jasper squeals as he pulls Bertie’s tail and it’s all you can do to bite your tongue. Jasper watches you leave your chair and head for the dining room. Bertie follows you, glad of a distraction and hopeful that there might be something in it for him, although he knows his treats are kept in the kitchen.

You pour yourself a large scotch, they’re getting larger as the week goes on. It’s only Wednesday and at this rate you’ll forgo the glass. Emily would have said you have a problem but you’re grateful that’s she’s no longer around. She always had something to say, and sometimes you couldn’t shut her up. But you found a way eventually.

Your head hurts. You take another swig of Glenfiddich which soothes the back of your throat. You switch off the TV and Jasper moans. “Off to bed now,” you say and he trundles upstairs with Bertie following, leaving you staring at the picture on the mantelpiece.

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Sunday short short story: Most People by MorgEn Bailey

Posted every Sunday, 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…

Most People

“It’s their legs I don’t like.”

“Sorry?”

“Spiders.”

“What? Where?”

“Nowhere. I’m just saying.”

“Why are you just saying?”

“Just occurred to me, that that’s what I don’t like about spiders.”

“Don’t think many people do like them.”

“Some do.”

“Who?”

“I dunno. David Bellamy, David Attenborough, other Davids, I suppose.”

“Which is why you don’t like them.”

“Because of their legs.”

“No, because your name isn’t David.”

“Now you’re just being silly.”

“You started it.”

“It just seems a funny thing to say.”

“That I don’t like spiders.”

“It’s just a little odd, that’s all.”

“But you said most people…”

“I know but most people don’t work in a reptile house, do they?”

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Sunday short short story: Chalk and Fromage (Part 2) by MorgEn Bailey

Posted every Sunday, 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…

Chalk and Fromage (Part 2)

It’s her repetitive moaning I can’t stand so I hum it out with a little tune I know. And it sounds nicer as a whistle… like a bird. That’s what she used to say anyway.

It was her idea to go to France. I don’t even like the French; they’re… well, French. She thinks it’ll be romantic; like our honeymoon… better than our honeymoon, but then you can’t get much worse than Hurricane George on the not-so-tropical island of Mongoose. Mongoon it is of course but it’ll always be Mongoose to me after that; watching those birds from the sanctuary being swept away like that. Holidays weren’t really the same after that. We stayed on dry land. British soil. I’ve always been the traveller but kept my mouth shut for her. Well, I didn’t get a look in, did I?

She was so quiet when we first met; that was… seven years ago now. And this is why we’re here; our fifth anniversary is next week, except she couldn’t get the time off work so we’re just away for the weekend. Out of season of course. I said I wouldn’t have minded waiting; the football season is only on from August to May. A saint she is… of course, but she acts like it’s martyrdom sometimes. But then she likes the sun and June / July is normally pretty nice isn’t it. Yeah, that’s what we thought when we booked it… I got drenched just loading the car. A ‘baby’ she called me… used to call me that in a nice way but then when we were told we couldn’t actually have a real one… you know, a baby baby, she stopped saying it. Topic non-grata or whatever the saying is.

Didn’t help that it was my fault. “It’s no one’s fault,” she’d said but she looked at me funny, and never really looked at me the same way again.

But they got it wrong. Tommy I want to call him, after Tait, one of my heroes, but she was having none of it. Kendal she wants. I ask you. Kendal. She’s always had this thing about the Peak District. I really like Felicity Kendal but I’m not having my child named after a slab of mint cake, but then she just looks at me funny. The wife, not Felicity, unfortunately.

Oh dear, she’s pulling that face – must be wind again.

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Sunday short short story: Chalk and Fromage (Part 1) by MorgEn Bailey

Posted every Sunday , 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…

Chalk and Fromage (Part 1)

It was during the day trip to France that had started the divorce, or at least Claire’s thinking of it. It was his whistling that she thought sounded like a Eurovision tune; one that had scored ‘nul points’… or worse. She knew that wasn’t possible but this was a song she’d heard a dozen times that morning, as he was packing the car, and the repetitive melody grated. The image of French cheese being slid monotonously down a grater, started making her feel hungry and knowing they’d arrive in Paris around lunchtime, she was looking forward to a large bottle of rosé with Brie and French bread, the rosé being hers as he’d insist on driving.

Paris was one of the most romantic cities in the world but another ‘city’ had crushed what little they’d had in their marriage: Manchester City – every home and away game in the seven years they’d been together. They’d even timed their wedding around the football season two years later. Saturdays between August and May had become her clothes shopping or spa days; also making sure she was busy when he checked the results on the TV despite having seen the game live. “The cameras spot me sometimes,” he’d say, justifying his second-by-second analysis of the late-night highlights.

Chalk and cheese, she thought as he drove the car on to the ferry and handed the tickets back to her for safekeeping.

She smiled at him hoping for a flash of affection but none was forthcoming.

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