Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the one hundred and sixty-fourth piece in this series. This week’s is a 496-worder by Samantha Wilcox.
The classroom darkened as grey cloud passed overhead. The bell went and I waited as chairs scraped back in a frenzied hurry.
Eleanor was sitting in the car waiting for me, looking straight ahead into nothing. I could hear Nirvana. On the way home, she talked about how she had nearly broken down on the way over and told me my knee-high socks were actually in fashion. It started to rain and I got a headache all at the same time, and then Eleanor parked up.
‘You go inside,’ she said. ‘I’ll stay out here a bit longer. Remember tomorrow is Friday.’ I nodded. ‘Oh – and soften up, soften up!’ I smiled as she mimicked the advert. This was what we did, to cheer each other up. There would be a packet of Skips waiting for me on my bed.
‘Liquidise!’ I responded, pretend-swaying, before going in.
A man was in the hallway talking to Mum about the radiator. Apparently it had been leaking. Dad had come home early and so I jumped, startled, when I saw him. He laughed and put his hand on my head. I followed him through to the kitchen. I filled a cup with water and Dad had beer and asked me why I didn’t want Doke and I told him I had a headache. He told me to get some sleep so I would feel better to go away tomorrow. When the man had gone, Mum poured herself a big glass of wine and said, ‘bloody rip off’ and sighed. Then Mum and Dad went into the lounge to relax.
I went upstairs and looked at my homework book but I didn’t understand how to do it. I sat instead on my bed and ate my crisps, letting them melt on my tongue and looking at the picture of Madonna in black lace gloves on my wall before falling asleep.
When I woke it was morning and my teeth felt furry and my school skirt was crumpled. I went downstairs and Mum had gone to work and Dad was pulling on his jacket, about to leave.
‘Don’t go near the radiator,’ he told me as he stepped outside. ‘Bloody thing’s leaking again.’
I made toast and sat at the kitchen table, staring at the water slowly soaking into the towel placed beneath the radiator. I thought of the Skips advert. I imagined myself swaying and swaying until I softened and melted and disappeared. And then I went out to the car where I knew Eleanor would be. Eleanor always liked to sit in her car.
It was Friday. Eleanor looked sad as she pulled my belt across for me. ‘We’ll be away longer this time, OK? Because of half term,’ she said.
I answered that yes, I knew we’d be away longer. I didn’t ask why we couldn’t stay at home, why Mum and Dad don’t like it.
‘It’ll be an adventure,’ she said.
‘Yes,’ I agreed, lying. ‘An adventure.’
I asked Samantha what prompted this piece and she said… Continue reading