Smoke & Mirrors

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I had this system for getting exactly what I wanted out of people. Oh, I’m not proud of it as such, but I admit, it was very, very effective.

You see, I’m an articulate woman. Well-educated, well-informed, well-adjusted. At least, that’s what people see, what I allow people to see. If they get too close to finding out what lies beneath that carefully crafted veneer – because it is, after all, paper-thin – then, I turn it on. The system. Works every, damn time.

Jonathan. He was the last one. he was skating on thin ice – that’s all I can say. All I will say, to the likes of you at least. He got too close. I’ve standards to keep up, an image to protect, my whole bloody life to keep on track. You know, a mortgage, a car, an exotic holiday I bloody well deserve. Do you know how difficult it is to keep this up, day in, day out?

The last straw was the lemon sherbert that melted all over the counter. Jonathan swore, jumped up as if he’d had a bucket of water thrown all over him and grabbed me, to make me look at the sweet, sticky mess dripping all over his new briefcase..

“Damn it all, Sophie! Do you know how much that cost? Look, look at the label. Just tell me you don’t know how expensive those things are. Bloody limited edition as well!”

He shoved a receipt in my face. “Read. It.” Menacing wasn’t the word. The paper was rich, creamy, watermarked. It literally smelled of money, that I could tell. But decipher the hieroglyphics handwritten in elegant copperplate? No. Not my bag.

I’d rather die than admit I can’t read, and watch my world crumble at my feet.

So, I cried. Like a baby. Got him to feel sorry for me, hold me close, comfort me, apologise..

And then I killed him.

I’d rather he die, than let the world know my guilty little secret.

Dancing With Jack Ketch – Five Sentence Fiction

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Dad got sent to The War, that’s what Nan told Mum.

Mum wouldn’t listen – she shook her head, then shouted and waved her arms, then put her hands over her ears and cried.

Mum told anyone outside our four walls that Dad volunteered, that he took himself to the Navy, head held high and a smile on his lips, ready to do battle for King and Country.

Nan was right though – it was either go and fight, or hang for his crimes.

And I know what those crimes were – I saw them all.

———-

Here’s my latest entry in to Lillie’s Five Sentence Fiction. It follows on from my VisDare entry this week, but of course can be read on its own. I hope you enjoy it, and please do visit Lillie’s blog for more five sentence tales!

Little Pitcher – VisDare

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Aunty Vi and Uncle Roy don’t have no kids, they have a parrot. They taught it to say ‘Bad Lucy!’ and laugh. That’s me. I’m Lucy.

Mum got really angry with Aunty Vi and told her off good and proper. “Lucy’s good as gold, Violet! You’re just jealous because God decided you didn’t deserve children.”

They didn’t speak for weeks after. Christmas was spoiled and Nan wouldn’t let Mum forget how wicked she’d been, telling Aunty Vi she was being punished by God.

But I know the truth. I know that Vi didn’t want no baby. She went to see Rosie Noakes down Garrison Street and Rosie sorted her out. I know, because Dad took her there and fetched her back after, and Dad and Aunty Vi promised each other they’d never tell.

They all think they’re so clever.

They forget about me. They forget that I know everything.

——

Here’s my latest entry to the lovely Angela’s VisDare.

I hope you enjoy this week’s tale – I’ve tied it in with my Five Sentence Fiction entry and Magpie Tales entries this week (they’ll be up soonish).

Please do visit VisDare for more amazing flash fiction.