Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Flash Fiction #3: Dirty Pretty Things

I dream of lovemaking. Not the hard, angry sex that M and I shared, but soft, tender, beautiful lovemaking that the romance novels witter on about. I writhe under an imaginary lover, and when my eyes begin to flutter open then drop closed again, when I wander into that no-man’s land that's neither asleep nor awake, I slide a hand down my stomach and between my legs.
A low gasp escapes my lips, then another, my breathing quickens, and my imaginary lover and my fingers merge in the nightscape of my imagination, until soon I'm panting with my eyes closed and before I know it I climax with more intensity than any orgasm I can remember, certainly nothing I ever felt with him and as soon as he enters my mind, my nostrils fill with the sickly iron of blood and all I can see under my eyelids is his face, all I can hear is the desperate, almost sexual grunting as the breath leaves his body. I open my eyes, gingerly place both hands on top of the duvet, and I know with strange certainty that it is the last orgasm I will have for quite a long time.
I spend the next few days in my flat, wearing nothing except occasionally a bra and panties. I rarely eat, I drink a little wine, I smoke a hell of a lot more than I should. I sit at my laptop and type for hours on end, only to delete everything that I have written. I sit on my tiny balcony in a bathrobe, listening to distant police sirens and wondering if some day soon one of them will be coming for me. I lie in bed, staring at the ceiling, and I think of my mother.
The last words she said to me; "If you walk out of this house, don't ever think of coming back." I stuck to my word, I never ever returned. I was eighteen then, barely. Tomorrow is my twenty-sixth birthday, or is it the day after... Home feels like a million years ago. Mum and dad are echoes - people I knew for a while but who won't ever come back into my life. I feel like crying, for them, for me, but the tears won't come.
St. Elmo's Fire is on the TV next door, I can hear it through the paper-thin walls, just like I could hear the loud grunts of gay sex through my bedroom ceiling last night - a far cry from my old angels. A muffled Demi Moore spirals out of control, and for a moment I fantasise that her character is in exactly the same situation as me. Except as far as I can remember, no-one in the Brat Pack ever killed their lover. I walk into my room, slam the door, collapse onto the bed and wonder if the boys upstairs will start fucking soon, if only to take me outside my own head for a while.

This passage was taken from a short story I wrote four and a half years ago, entitled "Camille".  The rest of the story was pretty much un-salvageable

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Flash Fiction #2: Stormy Weather

"It's raining," she says, glancing out the window as she pulls her skirt on. "Pissing down, actually. I'm not going out in that."
He sits up in bed, still naked under the bed sheet, slightly uncomfortable that she's still here. Less than five minutes ago he was deep inside her and she was gasping in pleasure and he wouldn't have her leave for the entire world. But that was five minutes ago. Now is now, she's had her money, and he wants her gone.
Oblivious, she perches on the edge of the bed and smiles at him. He smiles back nervously, and offers to call her a taxi.
"No, no… My car is parked a few streets away. I'll just wait for this rain to ease off."
Bugger, he thinks.
"So," she says, eying a small ladder in her tights, "you got any holidays booked yet this year?"
"We're thinking of Benidorm," he replies, of course meaning by 'we', his wife and him. "But if money's tight, we'll be lucky if we get to Blackpool."
She laughs softly in agreement and comments on the extortionate prices of Britain's seaside resorts.
"It's actually cheaper to go abroad for a weekend," she says, eyes wide, as if to say can you believe it? "I checked on the internet. Bloody ridiculous if you ask me."
"So what about you then," he asks, his unease evaporating. "Going anywhere nice?"
"Well," she inspects her flawless nail polish. "I was hoping for a few days in Dublin with the girls this summer, but there's no guarantee of good weather… I might fuck them all off and go to Ibiza for a week, get some myself some sun. The clubs out there are amazing."
He smiles, wistfully remembering the days when he could go to clubs and not get mistaken for somebody's dad. He silently wonders whether he is old enough to be her father. How old is she, exactly? Before he knows what he's doing, he's asked her.
"You realise you're never meant to ask a lady that." She grins broadly, as if acknowledging the irony of calling herself a lady. Then she voices it. "Even a lady of the night." She turns her head and looks out the window again, checking the rain, and he thinks she's forgotten the question. Then, after a few seconds of silence; "I'll be thirty this year."
Definitely not old enough to be her father. He breathes an inward sigh of relief.
"God, thirty…" She whispers, like she's talking to herself. "Doesn't sound right. I don't feel thirty. I barely feel twenty, most days." Her face brightens somewhat. "Still, I suppose it's good to be young at heart. Like you."
"Yes, you. Earlier, the way you… you know. You might look a little, well, mature, but you're still a red-blooded male under it all. I like that you've kept that. You have no idea how many men lose it the instant they hit forty. Either that, or it goes the opposite way and they're driving mid-life-crisis-mobiles, doing it with teenagers." She sort of stops herself, realising she might be a bit too close to home. He doesn't mind. At least she isn't a teenager… And he is happy with the sensible car that he owns. He leans forward and peers out the window.
"You know… I think that rain is going to be going on for a fair while."
"Oh, okay…" She gets up as if to leave. "I might as well be going, then –"
He pulls her by the waist down onto the bed, on top of him. He can feel himself stiffening under the bed sheet, and the look on her face is very encouraging. He rolls her over and slides a hand under her blouse, grinning as her squeals of delight drown out the noise of the storm outside.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Teaser Tuesday (15th Feb 2011)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB ofShould Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

Seth gritted his teeth and felt the comforting glow of anger replace his fear and panic.  Soon, a great molten power coursed through his every limb.

- From page 98 of "Apartment 16" by Adam Nevill.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Flash Fiction #1: Neverland

The locket keeps her sane. Or maybe it does exactly the opposite... Either way, she doesn't think that she would be able to cope for a single day if she couldn't look down and see Peter's face, framed in gold, around her neck like a talisman. Wendy knows that girls her age shouldn't feel like this; empty, alone, the widow of a man yet to die.

They were childhood sweethearts. Peter had been the guiding light of her adolescence, the only one she could ever imagine being with. She doesn't know if he felt exactly the same, but the main thing is they were together from the start. When eighteen came, they left home and set up house together, a grown-up child and his little lady. An engagement ring appeared like a thimble on her finger, and sometimes, in the middle of the night when neither of them could sleep, they would whisper words like baby to each other. She remembers calling him baby when they were saying goodbye, when he left to join the Forces and she stayed behind in their flat, twisting the ring round and round and searching for a picture of him small enough to fit into the locket he gave her.

The boys who used to flirt with her at school, they're married now - hitched to beautiful girls who fell pregnant after their first time. She hears them all talking about their jobs, their children, their fast and important and oh so grown-up lives, and she wonders why she hasn't changed at all since God only knows when. Secretly, she knows the reason. Peter. Her life is tied to his, she's always known that, and she's always taken comfort in it. Why, then, does she wish that things could be different? Her life can't start for real until he's here, until he's home and safe and never going anywhere ever again. She's frozen in time until Peter kisses her back to life.

A bomb could go off in a faraway country, and she wouldn't know. She might wake up in the dead of night, chilled for no apparent reason, but she wouldn't know anything for sure. Or a stray bullet could take his life, and still she'd be none the wiser. His thread would be cut short on the other side of the world, and Wendy would still sit in the tiny flat they called theirs; waiting, always waiting, for her Peter to come flying home.