I have a three year archive on this blog and there's some fabulous stuff hanging back there that newer readers probably never see. Why don't you have a browse through this selection that I have chosen for you. This theme is "Short Stories".
[image credit: J Paxon Reyes on Flickr]
She sat on her faded, aged settee, clutching the crumpled lottery ticket, not daring to let it out of her sight. She’d chosen the numbers carefully – not the usual birthdays and anniversaries but numbers that she thought would be lucky. It was 7.30pm on a Saturday and the usual rituals of evening meal, washing up and the pouring of a glass of wine had been conducted. She was trying to stay calm but she always got jittery at the same time, every week. Her mind was full of ‘What if’s...’ and she almost couldn’t bear the tension but she knew that was part of her enjoyment of the weekly ritual... or torture, whichever way you looked at it.
I hung my work overall up, closed the locker door, clicked the padlock shut and walked though the empty, dimly lit shop with the manager, mentally visualising the brown wage packet that was in my handbag. The Saturday job didn't pay much but at least I could afford a trip to the cinema with friends that evening. Once outside, I bid the manager goodbye and, as I strode off across the square, I glanced over my shoulder to see him pocket the bunch of keys and turn towards the car park.
She dressed in a figure-hugging outfit and bolero style jacket that did her no favours. Her make-up was intentionally thick and acted as a mask. Her feet were clad in thin ballet pumps and a fixed, toothy smile adorned her face. She had scraped back her hair into a tight ponytail and crammed it all into a black hat. The recent de-fuzz session ensured that she was not considered for the job of bearded lady any more and as for the painted lady character, well... she was in the process of saving up for the next tattoo.
I was 18 years old and sat on a wall outside my friends house. [..] My friend brough the coffees out into the garden and spied a group of lads walking up the road towards the fair. She nudged me and whispered, "That's the bloke from the pub last night,"
It started with the muffled giggles wafting through the wall and I knew that I was in for an hour of unintentional voyeurism. It was always the same when The Bloke from the next-door flat brought home his latest conquest. It was a different one each week. How did he do it? Here I am - the right side of twenty-five, single, willing and able, yet in bed before eleven rather than tripping through the streets in town in ill-fitting stilettos and a skimpy dress. All my mates had other plans or dates of their own tonight. Where was I going wrong?
The release date is getting close I thought to myself. For six years I had shut myself away to work on my latest project; something that would change the way in which the world perceives human nature, free speech, emotion and public outcry. I was finally going to be in control and not one single person in the whole world would know that that were taking part in this experiment.
I felt his finger trace my spine from top to bottom. If I'd have been able, I would have let out a sigh of pleasure. I know he only loved me for my inner knowledge and the stories I could tell but, when he wrapped his strong hands around me and gently picked me up, I knew that we would both be satisfied within a few minutes.