I was extremely honoured and excited to be asked to launch ‘Flash Fortnightly’ on the Artipeeps website. I’ll introduce myself and then you can read some flash fiction.
My name is Laura Besley and I’m an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher. Over the years I’ve met thousands of students of all ages from many different countries in the world. This job really suits me as I love meeting people and learning about different languages and cultures. After working in England for a couple of years, I moved to Düsseldorf, Germany, where I taught Business English for two years and now I’m living in Hong Kong. This small pocket of Asia is a perfect blend of East meets West and is rich in colour, noise and inspiration.
That brings me nicely onto writing. I’ve been writing on and off since childhood and did my degree in English Literature and Film Studies. When I was in Germany I started writing a bit more regularly and in Hong Kong I’ve really had the time to dedicate to my writing. In 2011 I joined the Hong Kong Writers Circle and a critique group which allowed me to start looking at my work with a more critical eye. On 4th May 2012 I embarked on a project to write one piece of flash fiction a day. I’ve always seen myself as a novelist, but actually I’ve found that I really love writing short pieces as it gives you plenty of room to experiment with style, voice, characters and settings. And each day I can write something new.
I hope you enjoy the first ‘Flash Fortnightly’ entry and I’ll be back on Wednesday 21st November for some more…
Under a starless night Madeline slipped out of her front door, threw the rucksack onto her back and walked the two miles to the local train station. For seventeen years she’d lived on the outskirts of Aberdeen, but now she needed to get away from this cold and grey city.
The first train to London left at 5:51 a.m. and she sat in a window seat listening to Amy Winehouse on her ipod. An hour later the ticket inspector came round.
He smiled kindly. “You’ll be a long way from home.”
“Yes.” That’s the point.
At King’s Cross station Madeline bought a pop-up map of London, a chocolate bar and some chewing gum. Outside it was warmer than at home and she loosened her black scarf. The pavement was teeming with people, all in a hurry to some place or another.
By Big Ben at 3 o’clock. That’s what they’d agreed. “But how will I know it’s you?” she’d asked.
“You’ll recognise me from the photos I’ve sent you.”
“Yes, but you might look different in real life.”
“I s’pose. I’ll wear a green beret.” Madeline loved his kookiness.
At ten to three she could see the meeting point from where she was standing, waiting nervously, checking her watch every couple of seconds. And then she saw him. Tall, square shoulders, leather jacket and the green beret.
Childlike, she almost skipped over to him. “I wasn’t sure you’d come,” she said.
“Of course I’m here,” he replied, his baritone voice so deep she felt she could sink into it. “Let’s go get a cup of tea. I know a nice little place not far from here.”
He took her bag, and later her life. In Aberdeen, the only clue the local police had was an open tab on her computer of an online chat room.