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.

HSN TW2

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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!

HSN TW2

#HomeSweetNot #R&Rramblings #RuralRomanticRamblings

A Knight’s Birth

They fed

off others’ fear

polluting the atmosphere

like a sideshow of mirrored shrieks

unleashing their own wintered Dorian freaks.

Until a battle-worn body

with a mind

once confined

to the catalogues of chaos,

found his newly lost identity

amidst an ancient assassin’s ancestry.

Where once,

slave sold

by blue-blooded gold,

reborn of the hunted he preyed

for the revenge, he carried against all those betrayed.

Functioning at a Dysfuncitonal Function - flash fiction by Mel A ROWE

Functioning at a Dysfunctional Function

‘Eating meat this year, Jen?’

‘Your sister’s name is Jenny,’ Mum said, wiping palms down her apron, following Dad’s swagger from the kitchen carrying the prize turkey.

Jenny’s fingertips traced the delicate outline of the crocheted threads in Grandma’s lacework spread across the food-laden table. A silent witness to another annual passing parade of corrupt cousins, divorced aunts, and derelict uncles.

 ‘I’ll answer to both, even bitch,’ Jenny said with a grin.

Dad’s exaggerated knife blade to steel swipes stopped. ‘No swearing, young lady.’

‘Talking about age, Jenny, I’m not seeing any grandchildren or husband seated beside you. Not like your brother with his family.’

Jenny side-glanced at her bully brother, the suppressed sister-in-law and their puppet perfect children. Yes, TV lands happy families existed – and they were PC, paper-cut-out, boring. ‘I’ll eat white meat, thanks. Looks great.’

‘You’re always avoiding my question.’

‘Didn’t I answer the food question?’

‘She did,’ said Dad, dishing out slabs of hacked turkey. ‘Still with Charlie?’

Mum’s head swivelled like an owl. ‘Is this the same Charlie you mentioned last year?’

Jenny nodded, forking her food, avoiding eye contact.

‘That’s a year,’ Mum’s said with eyelids narrowing. ‘Do you think Charlie will marry you?’

Another nod. A shrug. ‘We’d like to.’ Shovelling another mouthful.

‘Slow down – don’t you get fed upstate? Or you’re going for the plate clearing record, sis.’

‘Who’s Charlie,’ demanded Mum, ‘and when will we meet him?’

‘You won’t meet him.’ Jenny sipped her water because wine for women was disallowed at her mother’s table.

‘Why not?’

‘Because Charlie’s a female.’ Jenny stood up as cutlery dropped onto everyone else’s plates. She wiped her chin on the napkin, folded it up and grinned. ‘Thanks for dinner, might see ya next year.’ And left them all to digest.

Tradition is a Tradition - a flash fiction story by Mel A ROWE

A Tradition Is A Tradition

He gulped, licking the salt from his lips. ‘Again, tell me why I’m doing this?’

‘You have to, it’s the rules of engagement,’ she said.

‘Isn’t there another way?’ The breeze tousled his hair as he winced at the odour of the others damaging his sense of smell.

‘It’s a tradition. We can’t change tradition. If we changed tradition, then it’s no longer a tradition. When my family’s all about tradition,’ she said as the others surrounding her nodded. ‘You want me to say yes, don’t you?’

Wiping sweaty palms, he frowned at the depths of darkness. ‘Yeah. But, I don’t want to do this.’

‘If I was in your position, I’d be the same. Tell you what, I’ll help you. It’ll be all over soon.’ She gave him a quick shove in the back and he teetered over the edge with a cry, as the crew craned their necks to follow his fall.

And they waited. Silently.

Until his head arose from the briny drink.

‘Should’ve listened to your mother when she said never play with pirates. Pick me up for dinner at seven,’ she shouted topside.

And he waved and swam back to shore, smiling.

(200 words)

From MOVING MOMENTS

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A Floral Front

He sniffed. Wiped his nose on the cuff of his gloved hands that held the snips he’d been using to trim the stem on the thornless rose. “Please feel free to browse.” His red eyes wandered over the slim build of the bottle blonde screwing up her nose at his art. “Can’t find anything to suit?”

“I’m getting married and I want different.” She popped her littlest fingernail into her mouth and teethed on its edge like a termite tackling timber.

“Of course, you do.” They all do. He sniffed, wiping the beads of perspiration from his brow, and eyed the clock’s countdown.

“So, any tips?”

“Have you considered the match to your dress and theme?”

She tapped the tortured fingernail on her tiny chin. “What do you think?”

Nope, not touching that one. He licked his lips, sniffed, and grabbed his water bottle and drank it dry. “Ask your mother for advice.”

“She won’t. She doesn’t like him.”

“Ah huh.” Great, let’s play counsellor – not.  “What about a friend?”

She shook her head. “They work.”

Duh, don’t we all. “We’re open on the weekend where our best staff pander to people.”

“Oh, goody.” She clapped baring her white teeth in joy.

“Yay.” Not. But it was part of the job. “Listen, honey…” Yes, let’s play it up the expected way.“Why not get your girlfriends to come with you, find a few photos of what you like and meet with our Stylist, she’ll be able to dote all over you, doll-face. She’s just lovely.” He paid his mother a fortune to deal with customers he hated.

Again, he sniffed. Side-glanced the crawling clock, counting the minutes until his next snort of powdered magic.

“Are you alright?” She asked.

“Yeah, why?”

“You look stoned.”

“Excuse me?” His brows raised.

“The red eyes and constant sniffling. The clock-watching, chewing on your bottom lip, and drinking gallons of water. I know the signs. You…” Pointing her chipped fingernail at him. “Are an addict!”

He laughed. “Honey, I’m always like this in the last half hour before I can take my next powdered pill.”

“Pill? I knew it.”

“I suffer from allergies and my antihistamines dry me out.”

“You have hay-fever and work as a florist?”

“What can I say, I like floral arranging.” He just didn’t like the customers or the pollen. “Bet you think I’m gay too!”

(first published 11/08/2016)

Happy Valentine’s Day

From the HOME SWEET NOT collection. Available HERE.

HSN TW2

 

Whispered Wants, flash fiction post by Mel A ROWE

Whispered Wants

She inhaled deeply, basking in his manly aroma. His large palms cocooned her hands. Staring deep into his eyes where the world around them no longer registered.

He leaned in closer and whispered the words, ‘my little blood-puddin!’

‘Huh?’ She blinked at him as if flushing out an eyelash. Continue reading “Whispered Wants”

Mundane Ways

 

‘It’s the perfect gift for that person who has everything.’

‘What is it?’

‘It’s a life clock with camouflaging wristband to suit all wardrobes that counts down the days left in your life. Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee the watch for a lifetime.’

‘Why not? Will the battery run out?’ Continue reading “Mundane Ways”