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Archive for the ‘Short Fiction’ Category

windshield note

The Perfect Day

The rain had fallen hard last night, but not today. Today was perfect. Sylvia grinned up at the cloudless, sunny sky, drew in a deep breath that smelled of wet grass and spring, and then dropped her keys. She giggled when she looked down and realised that she had neither dropped the keys on her foot nor in the mud puddle she had almost stepped in but managed to avoid completely. Of course she avoided it. Mud had no right to intrude on her perfect day. She felt almost giddy as she picked up her keys, fingers grazing against the cool, damp gravel. As she straightened, she rubbed her hand on the back of her jeans to brush the crumbs of dirt off her fingers. Then she remembered that she still hadn’t locked the front door.

“Oh, f-f-f-fiddlesticks.” Ever since the stick turned blue, she was determined to stop swearing. She’d only peed on the stick this morning after Andrew left for work. Immediately after the door closed, Sylvia had grabbed the test hiding in her handbag and rushed into their shared bathroom. Two minutes had never taken so long, and she’d surprised herself by actually whooping out loud when she saw the positive result. Followed by a jubilant “Hot damn!”, which was, rather predictably, followed by an earnest promise to the powers that be to give up swearing before the baby came.

She locked the door and turned to go to her car. She saw a piece of paper under the windscreen wiper, and both her heart and her steps quickened. Her footsteps squelched on the damp gravel, and the faintest breeze lifted her hair and brought tiny goosebumps to her arms. She knew what it was. Andrew did this every year, leaving her a little love note for her to find on their anniversary. She adored these little surprises, but she knew they couldn’t top the surprise she’d be giving Andrew tonight at dinner. As her hand reached out to take the note, a police car pulled in the drive behind her car.

Sylvia couldn’t understand what the cops would be doing here. But it didn’t matter. It couldn’t. Nothing was going to ruin this perfect day.

The car came to a stop. She noticed the crunching noise the tyres made. She saw a uniformed officer exit each side of the vehicle, and everything, including time, stopped.

“Mrs Taylor?” She heard them tell her about the car accident, about the ambulance arriving on the scene, about Andrew dying before reaching A&E. She heard it all, but she’d stopped noticing anything. Nothing made sense anymore. Nothing but the blue stick in her bathroom and the paper she clutched in her hand.

My Dearest Syl—
Happy anniversary, darling. I think this is going to be our best year yet. I’ll see you tonight.
All my love, A.

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Patricia relished her nights at the symphony, letting the music infuse her spirit with beauty. And sometimes, with just a bit of ever-elusive hope. But since her husband had said it wasn’t ladylike she never played her violin again. Even after the divorce.

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The widow wept. But only once.

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She was amused by the boy who, after loading the groceries into her car, wished her a good day in a tone that said he really couldn’t care less if she won the lottery or was eaten by rabid wolves.

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  1. Wanted: One new daddy.
    Apply immediately.
  2. Bee sting. Wedding reception becomes wake.
  3. Late getting home. Puppy. Uh oh.
  4. Cold beer. Back seat. Shotgun wedding.
  5. Bad night. Relationship over. Happy ending.

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Most tourists assumed that the barista’s haughty attitude was part of the ‘coffee shop experience’. And while Molly did feel a certain amount of contempt for the ridiculously pretentious lattes and macchiatos they ordered, the look of disdain she wore was there mostly because she couldn’t stand the smell of coffee.

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