The Interview

“And your prognosis?” She leaned back, scrutinizing the male across the desk.

“Um…” He fidgeted with his wedding ring. “Err…”

“At this rate, I’m won’t be getting my fifteen minutes of quality time.” Arms crossed, she scanned the room with a huff of disdain. “Tick-tock.”

His fingers tugged at his too-tight collar. “Well, the reports and our tests—”

“Prove, what?” Her swinging crossed leg made her stiletto’s heel to glint in the light like the tip of a black dagger.

His mouth went dry, unable to swallow. “Um, well if you look at—”

“I don’t want to look at the images I can find at home. I’m here for a report. Your verbal presentation. Not a show and tell lesson. I want to know strengths. Weaknesses.” She shifted in her seat. “These chairs are so uncomfortable.”

“I can get you another one?”

“And waste my fifteen-minute time slot. Listen, Mr,” she said, checking her wristwatch. “I want to know the basics. Simple—failure or pass? Brain scientist or truck driver.”

“No one fails grade two and your son is doing well.” Relieved to see her smile, he dabbed at the sweat from his brow, mumbling, “I hate parent-teacher interviews.”

200 words

from the flash collection HOME SWEET—NOT.

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It came in the mail

“Tommyyyyyyy,” hollered the housekeeper from the front door.

“Stop ya bellowin’,” his boots echoed on the wooden floorboards. “What, woman?”

“This came in the mail, got proper paperwork  everythin’.” She passed the envelope and pointed outside.

Tommy opened the packet, his eyes darted across the pages, then flicked to the open doorway. His frown deepened as his jaw locked tight.

“What’s it say?”

He cleared his throat, licked his lips, and stepped forwards, mumbling, “It’s time to stop being the villain of this tale.”

“What does that mean?”

“What do you have to say for yourself, boy?”

“Hello, father.”

 

(100 words)

 

from the flash fiction collection HOME SWEET ~ NOT!

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Vehicular Larrikanism

“I’ll check it later,” he said, scratching beneath his oil-stained baseball cap as her bottom lip dropped while staring up at him with pleading puppy-eyes. Shaking his head, he leaned down to the rear tyre.  “Y’know, mechanicin’ isn’t magic. It’s just a process of elimination.”

“But—”

“You realize it’s a car, an’ not moving camouflaged-art?”

“But—”

“This is a two-wheeled drive —not four-wheeled drive.”

“But—”

“It’s not a billy goat or a reincarnated army tank.”

“But—”

“Not a born-again gecko gripping metallic-mud-wrestler.”

“But—”

“My truck’s tyre’s bigger than this teeny, tiny, car. Our cattle’s bigger than this vehicle. It’s a toy-car designed to never leave city limits.” He reached beneath the chassis and sighed heavily at the sight. “You know, cars perform much better when they’re not luggin’ a forest’s worth of tree,” he said, dragging out a long branch from under the wheel arch. “What did this little car ever do to you to deserve this kind of treatment?”

She jumped into the front seat and started it up. Her feet barely reached the pedals as she crunched the car into gear. “It’s survived everything we’ve put it through, so far.”

“Poor car. Especially with you drivin’ it. Where d’ya get it?”

“It fell off this road-train, Uncle. No one claimed it.”

“Course no one would want it, kid, not when we’re in four-wheel drive country. I’m surprised the bull-dust hasn’t swallowed it up yet.” He closed her door and the whole car shook. “How come you’ve got it when you’re not old enough to get a license?”

“There’s a wager goin’ on what it’ll take for me to kill it. But, I’m not allowed to shoot it or hit anythin’ to trigger-off the airbags. Hey, do you reckon it’ll float? I wonder if I can hook the outboard motor onto it?”

“Get gone, girlie,” he muttered, wiping his grimy hands on a rag as red dust billowed out from behind the tiny car cutting through the open plains. Wallabies raised their heads from under the shady eucalyptus trees, watching her drive past, upsetting a screeching aerial escort of white galahs to fly above her trail of red dust. “That’s it, I’m buyin’ that kid a bloody TV, to get ‘er away from all this country….”

(377 words)

FROM MOVING MOMENTS

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