I’m excited to have made the short list for the January edition of Brilliant Flash Fiction for my story ‘Life is Good’, a tale of a spurned woman.
This one was written whilst waiting in the car to pick up my daughter from school. It was too cold to play outside with my toddler son, so instead, he took the wheel and pretended to drive. I switched to the passenger seat and picked up a pen. The word count was tight and didn’t allow me to include the line:
For someone who was vocal in the bedroom, he died remarkably quietly.
Still, that’s the beauty of flash fiction: it’s a moment of inspiration distilled into a few sentences. There is no room for verbosity. If the novel is akin to a marriage, then flash fiction is a one night stand. Don’t kid yourself though, both have lasting repercussions.
My shortlisted story is below. Read the winning ones and other entries here.
Life Is Good
My husband died last week. It was my doing. I’d planned it meticulously. I began bolstering his ego a few months ago with little scraps of attention until he was sure I’d fallen in love with him again. Then I loosened the railings on our balcony.
Our anniversary is in fall, and we have quite a view from up there of the trees turning gold and bare. It’s the fifth storey, you see. I handed him a flute of champagne and told him to enjoy the view while I went to change into something I had bought especially for him. He couldn’t believe his luck. At least he was happy when he smashed his head in.
I was equally happy when I returned in my gloriously expensive mourning outfit and saw him lying there, splashes of red all around. A girl has to celebrate. I allowed myself a triumphant smile before I slipped my widow’s mask on.
Oh, I excel in this role. It’s the happiest I’ve been…such a natural fit. I think widowhood is quite becoming actually. There’s an elegance to it that is lacking in a mere mother or wife.
Now I stand here with my elegant up-do, a silken shroud of black accentuating my assets. My lips have been painted in nude and there is a hint of mascara on my lashes. Waterproof, of course, in case tears are required. Subtle glamour is the look I am going for. Too much make-up on a widow is unseemly, crass even, and I have a flawless reputation to uphold.
I am awaiting the reading of the will. Money I know is going to me, not his mistress. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had. I wonder what I should splash out on first? Life is good.