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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Sunday short short story: Cry Baby 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…

Cry Baby

Michael sat down in the middle of the road and began to cry. Being four a.m., he knew there was little chance of any traffic but the way he was feeling, he didn’t care.

He stared at what was left of his car, his three-week-old Mercedes SLK, the British Racing Green body now battered beyond recognition.

One of the indicators was flashing and as Michael watched his pride and joy sinking into the murky water he yelped, the fading yellow light growing dimmer by the second.

He’d always hated quiet and now he hated it even more. He wasn’t sure where ‘here’ was, what had brought him to that place and, more importantly, what he was going to do next.

Having driven on autopilot, following the bends of the American landscape he couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen life; buildings, cars, people. He had no clue which direction to start walking, if in fact that was he was going to do.

He’d stopped crying by now and started laughing… loud, unnatural, like something out of a Stephen King movie. He kicked the ground with his Gucci-shoed feet as if he were a child demanding a new toy or sickly treat – his toy now lying at the bottom of the lake.

He started walking in the direction he was sure he’d come from, assuming there to have been life there, wherever ‘there’ was, but stopped when he heard a noise.  The sound, human he thought, came from a few yards ahead so he walked towards it and as he approached it, he made out the noise, a cry, and in the moonlight saw the kick of tiny feet at the side of the road.

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Sunday short short story: African Grey Blues – by MorgEn Bailey

Now 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…

African Grey Blues

Lugging his blue plastic recycling box through his front door, Ernie growled at his complaining right knee. It had been troubling him for a few weeks but he didn’t want to go to the doctor’s. He was old, that was all, nothing serious. Doctors were busy attending to genuinely ill people, not arthritics like him.

He was lowering the box on to the pavement when he sensed someone standing next to him.

Turning round he recognised his next-door neighbours’ son, chewing furiously.

“Hello, Mr Beasley,” the boy said brightly through pink-gummed teeth. He then proceeded to blow a bubble which popped and receded expertly back into his mouth.

“Hello, Tommy,” the old man replied, stepping backwards to let the boy pass.

Tommy stood still. “Do you know anything about African grey parrots, Mr B?”

“I don’t really. Sorry. What’s the problem?”

“I’m looking after it for a mate and I think it’s kind of… well, sick.”

“Oh dear.”

“Yeah. It’s sitting on its perch all solemn like. Bored or something, only it was all chirpy when I got it.”

“Which was?

“Saturday. He’s on honeymoon in Ibiza. And my folks are away, so I’m on my own and…”

“Anywhere nice?”

“Not really, gone to the cottage in Devon and left me alone, only they didn’t know about the parrot.”

“Would you like me to…?”

“Would you?”

“Certainly,” the old man replied. He went back into his house, grabbed his key, slammed the door shut and followed Tommy into his house. “So it’s eating alright?”

“Uh huh.”

“And when you let it loose it flies about OK?”

“Loose? Like, out of its cage?”

“Well… yes,” Ernie said.

“Oh… am I supposed to do that?”

“It is a bird.”

“Well, yes,” Tommy mimicked. “But it’s a pet.”

“It is that, Tommy but like everyone, it needs its exercise. Imagine if you were shut in your room 24/7.”

“I wouldn’t mind that,” the boy said cheerfully.

“No, I don’t suppose you would. So where is it now?”

“In the toilet.”

“In the… toilet?”

“Yeah.”

“Any particular reason?”

“It’s got flowery wallpaper.”

“Oh I see,” Ernie said, although he didn’t at all.

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Red Suit And All – 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…

Red Suit And All

“Yeah, Merry Christmas.” Rick shook his head. There had to be better ways of making money than a Santa. He wasn’t even built for it; 5’5 and skinnier than that boy in the striped pyjamas. He’d stand up for himself, that’s what he’d do, say “no” next time he got offered a temp job. Maybe he’d be a gigolo, give private lessons to lonely housewives.

Always relieved when it came to Boxing Day and he’d not have to see the red suit for another year, he smiled as the phone rang and recognised the number. “Hey, Marcia, what have got for me this time?”

“You free New Year’s Eve?”

He was, but said, “It depends.”

“They money’s good,” Marcia tempted. “Two fifty for five hours.”

Escort money, Rick thought and was going to speak when Marcia continued, “Bunch of tourists, only just arrived, want the works; red suit and all.”

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