Welcome to Flash Fortnightly!
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 this ‘Flash Fortnightly’ entry and I’ll be back on Wednesday 15th May with some more…
Pot of Gold
Sandra gingerly touched her heart-shaped face. It was dry, swollen, every shade of the rainbow. Taking a large wooden spoon from the ceramic pot on the kitchen counter, she started dishing up two plates of piping hot chilli with steamed white rice. On one she sprinkled salt and pepper, both for three seconds; she grated exactly 15 grams of mild cheddar cheese; and added one large tablespoon of sour cream. On the other she put no extras.
In the dining room, decorated ten years ago in floral cerise Laura Ashley wallpaper, Rex was waiting at the round oak table. He was reading today’s paper, which had lain untouched all day since it had been delivered by the Rogers’ boy at 8:15 a.m.
She placed the steaming food gently onto the placemats and sat down.
Rex folded the paper and put it down onto the table. ‘Bon appetite,’ he said.
‘Bon appetite,’ she replied, as she had done for twenty years.
He ate quickly; shovelling food in, chewing rapidly, eating hungrily like a man in the war, not the office worker he was. The last spoonful disappeared as quickly as the rest and Rex leaned back in his seat and wiped his mouth delicately with a napkin. ‘Good grub, Sandra.’
Tick tock tick tock
Rex started coughing. ‘Water. Get me some water, woman.’
She went to the kitchen and let the tap run for a minute, then filled a pint-sized glass. By the time she got back to the dining room Rex was foaming at the mouth and his arms were flailing about as if he was trying to catch the air around him.
Tick tock tick tock tick tock
Watching him breathe his last breath, Sandra felt a tear run down her cheek. She hastily brushed it away and snatched the paper from under his elbow. He slumped forward and his red bloated face landed in the empty bowl. ‘I’m going to read today’s paper, today, if that’s okay with you.’ Laughing bitterly, she quietly shut the dining room door behind her.
Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock
If you’d like to check out more of my writing, flash fiction and non-fiction, check out my blog: Living Loving and Writing. Or you can follow me on twitter @laurabesley or connect on facebook Laura Besley Writer