Jon was irate. “It’s a scam, I bet you. How stupid can people be? There’s something behind it. I’m sure I read about this. Some people say that Hemingway wrote it, others have researched it and say he certainly didn’t. So why’s it on the evening news website now? It’ll be someone trying to set up a sweet little scam – they’ll say they are crowdfunding for baby shoes for the workshy or writing flash fiction for charity or something like that and who knows where all the money will go? ‘After costs’, that’s what it’ll say, I bet you. For sale baby shoes (never worn). People are stupid.” He carries on, but Sophie isn’t listening any more. Behind him, silent tears stream down her face.
First published in For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never worn: A Collection of Flash Fiction Based on A Single Theme Buy it on Amazon here All royalties from sales of this book are to be donated to Make-A-Wish® UK Charity Registration Nos. (England & Wales) 295672 / (Scotland) SC037479
To lie beside me you lied.
I lay. You lay beside me.
Tut mir leid, Schãtzli, you said.
Es tut mir leid.
Post-callous, post-blood-through-the-skin, post-anger-and-forgetfulness.
I can’t say no to beauty. That’s why you brought me flowers, plate-sized sunflowers that sizzled, blood-red roses dripping dew…. Then one day – Leave them there on the floor. I can smell your betrayal through the crushed chrysanthemums. Walk away and leave me with the broken vase. I could name the pieces poetically but now the glass is only a function no longer needed. Be proud of what you have done.
Tim took a cigarette, put it in his mouth. he looked up and a tear rolled slowly down his cheek. He breathed out smoke and the words. He’s gone then. Really gone this time. Yes. Yes, he has. Tim pulled hard on the cigarette, spotlit by the streetlight. I looked at him, hurting from being unable to help. He walked away across the road, through the sudden traffic. Rock and roll man, I heard. Rock and roll.
There, there, there you are, don’t cry, you’re mummy’s big boy.
Are you the biggest brother? No, I’m the middle one. My little brother’s the biggest. Big brother is the smallest of all three.
Only three people ever called me Si. A grandad, a brother, and another.
I have no words to calm you, no words to soothe you, no words to change the past for better.
I have my silence and my arms and they are yours forever.