Sunday short short story: Such A Pterodactyl by Morgen Bailey

Posted every Sunday, the following piece of flash fiction is from Morgen’s shorter short story collection, FLASHES,  available in e-book from Morgen’s online store where you not only get the best price but can either instantly download the collection or purchase the paperback dedicated to you or as a present! We hope you enjoy this story…

Such A Pterodactyl

“Dad! Maisy won’t share!”

“Eddie, you’ve got your own,” Simon pointed out.

“I’ve finished it.”

“So you have. That’s not Maisy’s fault.”

“But hers is pineapple.”

“Then you should have ordered the same.”

“But I didn’t want to.”

“And?”

Neither of the children replied.

“Yours looked nice Eddie. Cranberry Crush, wasn’t it?”

“Yes, but…”

“Oh Dad,” Maisy piped up. “You’re such a pterodactyl.”

“What?” Simon asked, face screwed up.

“It’s a dinosaur,” Eddie explained.

“I know,” Simon replied. “But I don’t…”

“Never mind, Dad,” Eddie continued looking longingly in the direction of his sister’s dessert.

“OK,” Eddie said when Maisy had finished. “Are we done now?”

With her lips blue from the pineapple and damson ice cream, Simon smiled at his daughter. “Something else?”

Maisy shook her head.

“Really? You two usually work backwards; dessert, main, starters. Not hungry?”

Maisy shrugged her shoulders.

Eddie grabbed a menu.

“And you Eddie?”

Eddie nodded but stared at his sister’s blue lips. “Anything blue.”

Simon laughed, but before anyone said anything else, the fire alarm went off.

“Shouldn’t we evacuate?” Eddie said, proud of his knowledge of the word.

“I’m sure it’s only a drill or someone’s burning the toast. Can you smell smoke?”

The children shook their heads.

“Well, then. Go on, have whatever you fancy.”

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Sunday short short story: Knew Better by Morgen Bailey

Posted every Sunday, the following piece of flash fiction is from Morgen’s short short story collection, SHORTS,  available in e-book from Morgen’s online store where you not only get the best price but can either instantly download the collection or purchase the paperback dedicated to you or as a present! We hope you enjoy this story…

Knew Better

Emily knew better. She’d been told over and over. Only she thought she knew better. That it didn’t matter. She’d been out to the ice-cream van a hundred times, probably more, but always hands clasped tightly to grandfather, grandmother, or mother. Never alone… ’til now.

*

It was a classic scenario. Hot summer’s day, ice-cream van, little girls in school uniforms. A dream scenario to Frank. He’d promised the judge he’d behave, told the parole board enough times so they believed him, but he knew better. They thought he knew better.

And there was this one little girl. She looked like a Lucy. He liked the name Lucy. Used to have a cat called Lucy, until his father took it away. Told him it had been run over but Frank knew. His father looked guilty, just for a second, just long enough for Frank to know. He knew everything that his father did. And vowed never to be like him. But he couldn’t escape. Just like the little girl who’d gone to his car to see the puppy, holding the ice-cream that had already started melting. Except there was no puppy. He couldn’t have pets after Lucy. Couldn’t bear to let them go. He wouldn’t let her go… this little girl in her navy blue and white uniform. So smart. With navy blue shoes and long white socks.

They had holes in them. Not old, like his socks, but symmetrical, like the middles of flowers. Frank loved flowers. His mother would buy fresh ones every week until his father had lost his job and they’d run out of money.

But Frank had plenty of money now. He’d look after Lucy like she was his flesh and blood. She’d forget, and call him “father”. She’d be the sister he never had. The daughter he’d always wanted.

*

She knew it was wrong. “Don’t talk to strangers” that’s what she’d been told. Except there was something familiar about him. He reminded her of her father. The little she could remember. And his smile. He had a nice smile. Friendly. And she was in need of a new friend.

It had never been the same since they’d moved. So many times after her father had gone away. Her mother had promised that it would be fine, that there would be plenty of little girls for her to get on with, but she’d had that look in her eyes that Emily had seen before. Her mother had said that this was ‘it’ this time, that they’d stay, but Emily knew better.

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Sunday short short story: Almost by Morgen Bailey

Posted every Sunday, the following piece of flash fiction is from Morgen’s shorter short story collection, FLASHES,  available in e-book from Morgen’s online store where you not only get the best price but can either instantly download the collection or purchase the paperback dedicated to you or as a present! We hope you enjoy this story…

Almost

You stare at him and wish he hadn’t done it. It was a simple enough request; time for yourselves, just the two of you but he’d thought better, involved the whole family. You thought you knew him by now, that he knew you, but you realise that two years counts for nothing when you’ve spent little of that together.

He steps forward and kisses your forehead. You normally find it endearing but this feels patronising. You hear his mother sigh, proud of his son… the perfect team. Better than him and you.

You look down as he picks a thread of cotton off your blouse, his favourite top, the one he bought you for your nineteenth and you suspect that he had help.

At fifteen years your senior, you liked his maturity, but as you look around the room you feel almost a child.

Then he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a box, the blue velvet box that you recognise from his briefcase, the square diamond large enough to feed a country.

The room is silent, waiting for what everyone expects to happen next.

You shake your head. You know you shouldn’t, but you can’t help it. For once you do what you want.

You mouth a ‘sorry’ and turn to leave but he grabs your arm.

“Don’t you dare,” he hisses under his breath, the smell of whisky almost overbearing.

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Sunday short short story: Idiosyncratic by Morgen Bailey

Posted every Sunday, the following piece of flash fiction is from Morgen’s shorter short story collection, FLASHES,  available in e-book from Morgen’s online store where you not only get the best price but can either instantly download the collection or purchase the paperback dedicated to you or as a present! We hope you enjoy this story…

Idiosyncratic

“Well, well, well…”

“What?”

“He’s at it again.”

“Who?”

“Old Fred.”

“Oh, Harry. Leave him alone.”

“What?”

“He’s just old. You always have to find fault.”

“Mavis, I tell you, he’s up to no good.”

“Why?”

“It’s his green bin. He’s stuffed it full of lemonade bottles.”

“So?”

“Well, it’s not right.”

“Ours is full of wine bottles; that’s worse surely?”

“He’s idiosyncratic.”

“What’s that?”

“Quirky. Odd.”

“You’re like a walking dictionary, Harry.”

“And that’s what you love about me.”

“If you say so. Listen, come away from the window. He’ll see you and think you’re idio-whatsit.”

“Syncratic.”

“Yes. I still don’t see what’s so odd about drinking lemonade at his age.”

“That’s the thing though, Mavis, from the way he’s struggling to move them, he’s not drinking them, they’re all still full.”

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Sunday short short story: To No One In Particular by Morgen Bailey

Posted every Sunday, the following piece of flash fiction is from Morgen’s shorter short story collection, FLASHES,  available in e-book from Morgen’s online store where you not only get the best price but can either instantly download the collection or purchase the paperback dedicated to you or as a present! We hope you enjoy this story…

To No One In Particular

I knew it was going to drive me mad, the sixties CD, but it’s become his favourite and who am I to complain? Not that he’d listen if I tried to.

A six-hour drive up to Edinburgh and this is all we have. At least it’s by different artists.

Cornwall was Pat Boone crooning to no one in particular. Not to me, that’s for sure and certainly not to Eric. Doesn’t approve of all that same sex malarkey. I think it’s fascinating, the connection they have, and some say they’ve always known, but the only thing Eric finds interesting is who the service station cafés are run by. We only stop at English ones, no Costa or Pret a Manger for Eric.

That’s one thing that first attracted me about him, how patriotic he is, and so vocal, but then I realised to what extent and, well, it became an obsession… not quite to BNP level, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he was on that list that someone published on the internet a while back.

He loves his computer does Eric. Never lets me go messing about on it, but then I wouldn’t know where to start. I’d be too afraid I’d delete something important, and it must be important or he’d not keep his door shut, make me knock when I take him his cups of tea.

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Sunday short short story: Less Than Green These Days by Morgen Bailey

Posted every Sunday, the following piece of flash fiction is from Morgen’s shorter short story collection, FLASHES,  available in e-book from Morgen’s online store where you not only get the best price but can either instantly download the collection or purchase the paperback dedicated to you or as a present! We hope you enjoy this story…

Less Than Green These Days

Russell stared at the photograph sitting on the window ledge above the cooker. Sarah would laugh at him if she could see him now, only she couldn’t, wouldn’t.

The first Sunday after she’d died, he’d forgiven himself and knew she would have too; a roast for one.

Three months later and he was still serving up double portions – one sat in front of him, the other in front of the empty chair; the chair with the Border Collie cushion. The cushion he’d bought for her last Christmas; the Christmas they’d not expected to see together.

She’d been given six months at best and had seen another four. Christmas, New Year, just short of Easter and now it was summer. The time of year she’d spend her days in the garden. She wouldn’t be so pleased about that; the dying plants, unmowed lawn, less than green these days, bird food containers.

Work had been understanding. “Take all the time you need,” John had said. He’d known how Russell had felt then – but not now. Jane had got better, lived, thrived. She’d helped Sarah those first few months but when it became clear that there really was no hope the gaps between visits grew wider until she stopped coming – to the house, to work, to the funeral.

Russell had considered quitting his job but he’d needed something to focus on – a return date – another set of walls to stare at all day.

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Sunday short short story: She’d Expected A Whooshing Sound by Morgen Bailey

Posted every Sunday, the following piece of flash fiction is from Morgen’s shorter short story collection, FLASHES,  available in e-book from Morgen’s online store where you not only get the best price but can either instantly download the collection or purchase the paperback dedicated to you or as a present! We hope you enjoy this story…

She’d Expected A Whooshing Sound

No one believed Izzy when she talked about the old man. She’d cried wolf too often, told people about her imaginary friends. This time he wasn’t so imaginary.

The Johnson family had moved into the Old Post Office a fortnight before Izzy had started seeing the old man. Him rushing from room to room, turning his head left to right, right to left, as if watching a tennis match. Izzy loved tennis. Her Uncle Frank had taken her to Wimbledon the previous summer but now that was a distant memory.

The house was cold, old and Izzy missed their place back in Weybridge; the rambling vicarage that had gone with Daddy’s job except Daddy no longer went to church – none of them did.

Izzy was sitting on her bed playing with Ruby Rabbit when the old man ran from the bathroom to the back bedroom, the spare bedroom that was still piled with boxes.

The man came out just as quickly, and disappeared into her parents’ bedroom.

One thing that surprised Izzy about him was the silence. She’d expected a ‘whooshing’ sound as he ran. Everyone makes a ‘whoosh’ when they’re in a hurry although she didn’t think anyone was as rushed as the old man.

It wasn’t long before he came out of her parents’ room and headed for hers. He’d just reached the threshold when he spotted Izzy and screamed. A noiseless scream which Izzy knew should have been loud, as loud as Mummy when she sees a spider, shuts the door to it and waits for Izzy’s daddy to come home.

“Hello,” Izzy said calmly. The man stopped screaming. It was then that she noticed something in his left hand.

“What’s that?” she asked. He held it out to her and she went to look closer, to take it, but he pulled it back, held it to his chest.

Izzy could just about make out a figure; a woman about the same age as her mother, but old-fashioned, wearing clothes like her grandmother used to wear.

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Sunday short short story: A Glint Of Gold by Morgen Bailey

Posted every Sunday, the following piece of flash fiction is from Morgen’s shorter short story collection, FLASHES,  available in e-book from Morgen’s online store where you not only get the best price but can either instantly download the collection or purchase the paperback dedicated to you or as a present! We hope you enjoy this story…

A Glint Of Gold

Johal’s heart sank as he looked at the statement on the bank’s ATM screen.

His holiday to Goa had taken more out of both him and his savings than he’d expected.

His next stop was to have been Tesco for a bag of ice but now he decided to go to the pound shop and buy some plastic trays instead.

As he walked home he passed the antique shop and stared at the window.

Few items were priced and he could see why. A glint of gold caught his eye and he grinned as he spotted a familiar item; a small Indian elephant lead by a man in national costume.

As Johal took a mouthful of water, the elephant’s price tag made him cough… if this baby was worth £1,000 what was his adult version at home worth?

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