Flash Fiction

Today’s blog is a little different. I set the Rayleigh Vineyard Writing Group a flash fiction of about 500 words with the title “Shh! Did you hear that?” and I thought, as I set it, I might share my attempt. So here it is…

Mandy by Hellen Riebold

“Shh! Did you hear that?” Robert hissed, annoyed.

“What?” Mandy looked at him confused.

“Well, if you would just stop yammering for two consecutive minutes I might be able to hear what he was saying.”

Mandy’s face crumpled and Robert regretted his harsh tone. “I’m sorry Mandy,” he whispered, “it’s just that I paid a lot of money for this conference, specifically to hear this guy tell me how to get rich writing and I keep missing stuff because you’re talking.”

The people around them rose to their feet and started applauding enthusiastically as the seminar came to an end.

“Now I’ll never find out what number seven was.” Robert exclaimed, rising wearily to his feet and politely joining in with the clapping.

Mandy, in the meantime, turned to the person behind her, “Excuse me,” she said politely tapping the person on the top of his arm to get his attention, “can you tell my husband what number seven was please, I’m afraid I distracted him and he missed it.”

The man ignored her completely, turning instead to the person standing beside him, “Isn’t he insightful?” he said and his neighbour nodded his agreement.

The clapping died down and people started leaving the room, barging past them without so much as a by-your-leave. Robert was getting more and more annoyed and Mandy, wanting to deflect some of his anger, decided to try again, “Excuse me? Hello? Could you help me?” she tried stopping the flow of people several times, tapping them, waving at them and even sticking her foot out to cause them to stumble but nothing. Everyone was in far too much of a hurry to even look at them.

“What are you doing?” Robert’s eyes bore into her. “First you make us late leaving with your cooked breakfast and endless check-lists of things we don’t need, then you forget the tickets so we have to go all the way home, then you needed that loo break and, when you finally do get here you talk to me just at the most crucial part of the seminar. I really have no idea why I brought you along!”

Mandy felt her bottom lip start to tremble, she didn’t like it when he exploded and she could feel an eruption was imminent, “Robert, I’m sorry. I was hoping I could ask one of these people what you’d missed. I thought if I could find out for you it might make up for my ‘yammering’. I really don’t know why you keep me around, I’m such a nuisance.”

He looked at her trembling lip and pleading eyes and his heart melted, he let out a deep sigh and took both her hands in his, “Mandy.” He began, “I’m so sorry. Please forgive me. You are not a nuisance. I love you, I couldn’t bear to be without you.”

She smiled, “I know. Would you like me to go home ahead of you and get the dinner on, then you could stay here and find out what you missed.”

“That would be great.” He smiled.

And with that Mandy disappeared.

Rayleigh Vineyard Writing group is completely free and meets the third Saturday of every month at Rayleigh Library, Essex from 2pm to 4pm and new members are welcome. Have a look at our Facebook page for more info https://www.facebook.com/groups/157357637755219/


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