Lancelot (Flash Fiction)

“Hey beautiful” I hear his soothing  voice, half asleep

My eyelids flutter open to behold him. He’s like a marble warrior- svelte, handsome, manly… His blonde curls have a dashing, windswept look. I can’t quite believe my luck. We met at a bar last night, where we talked about our work and family. He’s a fireman. He told me about a time he saved a cat from a burning building. I swooned. Then, we danced the night away.

“Hey.” I whisper, nuzzling closer into his broad chest.

He takes me into his arms and kisses me. “Last night was pretty good, huh?”

My mind flashes back to when he came back to mines. The passionately barbaric lovemaking that went on until early morning. How he took control! He’s so strong, well-endowed… “Yeah, it was pretty good.”

He asks if he can use the loo. I nod. He throws the covers off of him, shoves on some boxers and walks to my bathroom. I lie down, still not quite believing my luck. How can a girl like me pull an Adonis like him?

Then I hear a bloodcurdling screech coming from my bathroom. I rush out, forgetting to put on my clothes. I pound on the door. I hear unintelligible crying from behind the door. “Sean let me in!”

The door unbolts. I swing it open and I see him cowering, staring fearfully at the bathtub. I peer into the tub and see a small spider resembling an inkblot.

“Kill it Gwen! Quick! Kill it!” he sobs.

I look at it for a moment, wearily. It looks totally confused. I look back at Sean, who is curled in the fetal position in the furthest corner of the bathroom.

“It’s probably more scared of you that you are of it…” I suggest.

“IT’S GIVING ME THE EVILS! IT’S GOING TO KILL ME!” he squeals. “SAVE ME!”

I sigh. “I’ll put it out the window…”

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Pirates (Flash Fiction)

Sunlight seeps through the window. Where am I? I look around. A wooden cabin. It is too hot in here. A blonde-haired young man stands over me, yelling “Tell me where the map is!”

I am tied to a wooden chair. “Map?” I look up at him. He’s a pirate, wearing torn trousers, leather boots, a pointed hat. I can see the sword attached to a pilfered gold belt.

“Yes the map! To Ruby Island!” he yells, louder this time. His steel grey eyes stare through me.

“I-I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I tell him. “Why does this Island mean so much to you?”

“The treasure, of course!” He takes his sword from the belt and hovers it near my face. “Legend has it that this treasure chest will contain anything I desire. That’s why I must have it!”

I look at the sword as he held it to my throat. It glittered in the light, you could see the hand carved runes that read: Deliverer. “I don’t have it! I swear I don’t have it! Please, spare me?” I cry.

He is shaking with rage. You can see the doubt rush in his eyes. Just as he is about to kill me, we hear a voice: “Kids! Dinner time!”

We break character, and look at each other.  We laugh. “Coming Mum!”

Garden (flash fiction)

Wildflowers, fruit bushes with blackcurrants, strawberries, redcurrants… our garden was the envy of the neighbourhood. Henry and I dug it out from a heap of dirt when we were first married 45 years ago. When we weren’t gardening, we would be sitting on our garden bench watching our Josie play or climb up the oak tree.The years flew by, but the garden never lost its appeal.

One winter, when it was just the two of us Henry got ill. He couldn’t do much and over time forgot everything. I tried to do the garden on my own but it was difficult. He seemed lost and scared. He wasn’t himself. I tried to hold him, tell him everything was going to be fine, but we both knew it wasn’t.

After the funeral, I couldn’t bear to set foot in our garden. I stayed indoors for months, before in spring, Josie told me to go to the garden. Dad would want you to, she said. I refused. I couldn’t face it. Josie was persistent, and weeks later, I reluctantly took a step outside. It was a jungle! Henry would be furious if he saw our garden in this state! I knew I had to get it straightened out.

I smiled for the first time in months: “Get the gloves Josie. We’ve got work to do.”

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(c) Text: Jen Hughes

(c) Image: McKenzie Clark

Smuggler

My suitcase sits there on the seat next to me, mocking me. The last time I saw inside that thing was just before I left a week ago, when I put the goods in there. Don’t get high on your own supply. He keeps sending me away to get it and I put my life on the line every time I go. Part of me wishes I never came back. I could’ve stayed there, applied for a VISA. Disappeared from his sights, used his drug money to get the fuck out. I even learned some Dutch on the plane.

What is it about him that keeps making me come back?  He’s not magnificent looking. He’s not that smart. The only ambition he has is scoring drugs and selling it. He only uses his intelligence for keeping me in line. We don’t do much together, except for inject, argue, fuck. He can’t be that good in bed, can he? I’ll never know, but now I know it can’t be the heroin. I had plenty of that over there.

All I do is bend over and do what he says. He leads, I follow- that’s how it’s always been. I don’t know how much more I can take…

Someone else has pressed the button already, I get off at a bus stop near his place. I take a deep breath. Maybe today I’ll tell him it’s over.