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Flash Fortnightly #21

21 Aug

Words 2

Laura BesleyMy 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 last ‘Flash Fortnightly’ entry. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Artipeeps for their support and I wish them all the best for the future. Also, many thanks to all of you who have read, liked and commented on my pieces; it means a great deal.

A HUGE  ‘thank you’ Laura, for all your great flashes over the past months. I have appreciated your writing, your care and your conscientiousness enormously, and I look forward to working with you in other collaborative ways in the future. 

Like Laura, I’d also like to thank all the readers of ‘Flash Fortnightly’ and I hope you all will continue to follow what we’re up to on ArtiPeeps as we move forward and develop.

___________________________

Sugar Rush

Maisie looked at the floor. “Good evening everyone.”

“Try to look up, dear,” a voice said from the back. “Let’s see your face.”

Maisie’s large brown eyes moved slowly from the black and white floor tiles, to the rows of shoes. They were black and brown, made of leather or suede. Not flat turquoise plastic pumps like hers. She looked at trousers, skirts, tights in different shades of black, grey and blue. Not like her pink and purple striped tights under a light denim skirt. Torsos were clothed in shirts, jumpers and jackets, all plain. Not like her off the shoulder white t-shirt with a print of Marilyn Monroe on it. She searched the faces for something that looked familiar, something that she could relate to. Something, anything. One man had thick tortoiseshell glasses on and looked like an architect. One of the women had such pinched lips she looked as if she was sucking on a lemon. But she was wearing a fabulous shade of plum lipstick.

A smile danced on Maisie’s lips and she focused on the rich lipstick. “Good evening everyone. My name’s Maisie and I’m an addict.”

Laura Besley

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

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Flash Fortnightly #20

7 Aug

Words 2

 Welcome to Flash Fortnightly!

Laura BesleyMy 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 21st August 2013 for the last Flash Fortnightly…

___________________________

A Casual Drink

“Give me another, will you Jim?”

“Sure thing.”

Matt threw back his shot of whiskey and reached for the freshly pulled pint before the liquid had had a chance to warm his throat, let alone his stomach.

“You okay there buddy?” A hand clamped down on his shoulder and then a face appeared. A face he recognised, but couldn’t place. He sat down next to him and ordered a dark ale. “You look like you’ve settled in for the night.”

“That’s about right.” Could he be a regular? No.

“Don’t usually see you here on a Wednesday. You know tonight’s-”

That was it. Wednesday was fucking-

“-quiz night? Are you joining in?”

“Don’t think so mate.” This was the god-awful compere, Dick. Dick fucking Tracey. No-one actually knew if it was his real name or not.

“That’s a shame.” He picked up his pint and shuffled off the high bar stool. “We’re starting in ten minutes.” And he walked off to a table near the back.

“I’d best get off as well,” Matt said to Jim. “Can I settle up?”

“Course.”

“How do you put up with that crap every week?” he said, handing over several notes.

“With difficulty.” Jim laughed. “But I do learn a thing or two at the same time.”

Matt sighed. “Lucky you.”

“Hey, you sure you’re ok?” Jim leant on the bar.

“Rosie’s pregnant again and it’s rubbish timing. She was gonna go back to work full-time now that Stacey’s at school and we were gonna save up to buy a bigger place. Now we won’t be able to. More bods and even less space.”

Jim stopped polishing the glass he was holding in his hand. “Man, I don’t know what to say.”

“I know. It’s lousy. I’m happy, really I am. It’s just crap timing.”

“Sure thing.”

Matt stuffed his wallet in his back pocket. “Night, Jim.”

“Night. Say hi to Rosie for me.”

“Will do.”

Laura Besley

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

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Flash Fortnightly #19

24 Jul

Words 2

Welcome to Flash Fortnightly!


Laura BesleyMy 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 7th August 2013 with some more…

___________________________

Love and Marriage
>>>>>
“But you always said you wanted to get married.”  
>>>>
“I know,” Xander whispered as he looked down at the remnants of Tony’s spectacular Duck L’orange. 
>>>
“So?” Tony fixed his eyes onto Xander’s downturned face. 
>>>>
“So, I’m just not sure.” 
>>>>
“Well that’s great, isn’t it?” Tony shoved his chair back and picked up the two dirty plates. “So now it’s legal you don’t want to?” he yelled from the adjacent kitchen.  
>>>>
There was music playing upstairs and the rhythms of reggae could be heard softly dripping through the ceiling. 
>>>
“I don’t know,” Xander said. “I haven’t said no.” He picked up the empty serving dish displaying the carcass of the duck and a few stray green beans and followed Tony into the kitchen. 
>>>>
“But you haven’t said yes either. Jesus, Xander, do you know how long we’ve waited for this to be possible?” 
>>>>
“Yes.” 
>>>>
“And do you remember all the conversations we’ve had about it?” Tony was shoving the plates with force into the slots in the dishwasher. 
>>>>
“Yes.” 
>>>>
“So what’s the bloody problem?”
>>>>
“I don’t know.” 
>>>>
Tony slammed the door of the dishwasher and strutted back into the living room. He flicked the overhead light on and stalked around the room blowing out all the candles. 
>>>>>
“Tony,” Xander said softly, reaching out and laying his hand lightly on his shoulder. 
>>>>
Tony shrugged him off. 
>>>>
Xander clapped his hands together. “Let’s do it!” he said. 
>>>
“I don’t want to now.” 
>>>
“Don’t be an idiot, Tony, you obviously do.” 
>>>>
“Correction: did.” 
>>>>
“You just took me surprise, that’s all.” 
>>>>
“That was the idea, but it was meant to be a good surprise.” The silence hung in the air like the smell of rotting fish. “You know what, Xander, I’m just going to find someone who does love me enough to marry me.” 
>>>
“You’ll never find someone better than me. Someone who makes ‘us’ better than ‘us’.” 
>>>>
“Maybe not, but at least there’ll be an ‘us’.  A married ‘us’.” 
>>>>
“You’d throw it all away for the sake of a ring?”
>>>>
“No, Xander, I’m giving it away because of a lie.”

 >>>>

Laura Besley

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

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Flash Fortnightly #18

10 Jul

Words 2

 

Welcome to Flash Fortnightly!

Laura BesleyMy 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 24th July 2013 with some more…

___________________________

Waiting

Standing in the shadows of the granite wall, Thomas was waiting. Maya was late. Her art class finished at nine-thirty and she should already be exiting through the heavy oak door of the local community centre. Others were streaming out with pads and pencils in their hands, chattering excitedly after their evening’s work had finished. But nowhere could Thomas see the tall girl with short curly hair. His tall girl with short curly hair.

Thomas pulled his mobile phone out of his trouser pocket. He pressed a button, illuminating the screen. Nine-forty. Where the bloody hell was she? He dialled her number. It rung once and then went to voice mail. No point in leaving a message. He debated with himself about going inside to get her, but he quickly dismissed that idea as she might reject him. Again. In front of everyone else.

Eventually, at nine-forty-nine she was there, in front of the building, her blue and green checked bag slung over her right shoulder. No doubt there would be another new sketch inside.

Thomas stepped forward into the pale light of the overhead streetlight. ‘Maya,’ he said quietly.

She spun round and smiled. ‘Dad!’ She hugged him in front of her classmates.

He felt a warm sensation in his stomach spread throughout his entire body. ‘Let’s go, honey. I’m double-parked.’

Laura Besley

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

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Flash Fortnightly #17

26 Jun

Words 2

 

Welcome to Flash Fortnightly!

Laura BesleyMy 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 1oth July 2013 with some more…

~~~

The Great Escape

Mr. and Mrs. Wright were sitting on hard wooden chairs towards the front of the local community centre – which also doubled up as the village’s theatre – waiting in silence for the beginning of an amateur production of Hamlet. Mr Wright’s nephew, Rupert, was playing the lead part. Precisely four minutes before the show was due to start, Anne turned to George and said, ‘I just need to pop to the loo.’

‘Christ Anne, it’s starting soon,’ he replied, gesticulating wildly at his watch.

‘I know. I’ll be really quick.’ She put the badly photocopied flier onto her seat, picked up her brown leather handbag and left George sitting on his own, staring out of the window at the dark November night. She walked quietly, slowly down the aisle to the main lobby. The Ladies’ toilets were on the right. She glanced at the short queue, looked back over her shoulder and pushed the heavy oak door open.

Stepping into the car park she breathed in the cold air and let it fill her lungs. She dashed down to the main road and saw, with relief, the taxi she’d ordered earlier. ‘Airport, please.’

In the back seat of the taxi she looked at her watch and thought about Rupert who would no doubt be on stage by now. She was sorry to miss the show, she’d even helped him rehearse his lines, but she knew this was her only chance. Hopefully one day he would understand. She knew that George on the other hand would be fuming and wondering where she’d got to, but too embarrassed to get up and look for her before the interval, giving her enough time to get away.

‘Flying to Paris?’ the young woman behind the check-in counter said.

‘That’s right.’

‘Your flight leaves in two hours. We advise you go through Security straight away to avoid long queues.’

Anne put her passport back into her bag. ‘I’ll certainly do that.’

‘Any luggage to check in?’

‘No, just my handbag.’

‘I wish everyone would travel as light as you!’

Anne laughed like she was expected to. ‘Yes, I bet you do.’

Once through Security, Anne bought new clothes, a new bag and went to the Ladies’ to get changed. She bunched up her old beige blouse, stuffed it into her mouth and screamed as loud as she dared. The old material masked the noise enough not to cause any kind of commotion. Walking towards gate number 55 in a glittery fuchsia pink dress, she felt like this was the first day of the rest of her life.

Laura Besley

~~~

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

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Flash Fortnightly #16

12 Jun

Words 2

Welcome to Flash Fortnightly!

Laura BesleyMy 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 26th June 2013 with some more…
 
NB. If any of Laura’s readers find this particular story familiar, it is one Laura has already published on her blog. We’re glad she’s sharing it with us. 

___________________________

Down the Hill
>>>>
Mrs. Knox pushed the heavy wheelchair up the hill for the third time that day, then stopped, turned and released it. She pulled her gloves off both hands, finger by finger, cupped her hands in front of her mouth and blew. Mrs Knox’ hands hadn’t been warm for as long as she could remember.
>>>>
The wheelchair careened down the incline, gaining speed and she turned at the sound of the crash. She put her gloves back on and slowly stomped down to the heap of metal, under which was her husband.
>>>>
She passed the row of town houses she had seen every day for the last forty years, each with a different coloured front door. Marjorie lived at number 21 behind the green door, and Betty at number 35 behind the black door. She’d regretted painting it that colour because she had to wash it every day. Tom and Pippa had been living behind the red door, but moved away when their only son was killed in the Iraq War. Marjorie knew every member of every family that lived behind those coloured doors.
>>>>>
Pulling the wheelchair off him, her husband let out a groan. “Blimey Nora!” he said.
“Well, I do keep telling you,” she replied.
“But it’s so much fun!” He was sitting with a blanket over his thin legs. “And when you can’t feel anything anymore because your body has given up on you, it’s so nice to feel the wind in your face.”
Her lips turned up a little at the corners. “I suppose. Again?”
“Yes, please!”
~~~

Laura Besley

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

 

 

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Flash Fortnightly #15

29 May

Words 2

Welcome to Flash Fortnightly!

Laura BesleyMy 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 12th June 2013 with some more…

___________________________

Lost

I never saw Emma again.

The uniforms turned up early, before the pale winter light had emerged, and knocked three times on her door with the end of a truncheon. It woke up the whole building, but everyone remained quiet. I crept to the door and peeked through the crack between the door and the jamb.

‘Guten Tag, Fraulein. Kommst du mit?’ Come with us? Like she had a choice. Poor girl. Her dark hair was still uncombed, she wasn’t dressed for the harsh cold of the outside.
‘Mein Tasch.’
‘Schnell!’

Quickly she grabbed an overcoat and a handbag. I remember clearly she double-locked the door behind her, as if she wanted to believe she’d be back. She glanced around the hallway, lit only by a dim bare bulb.

I never saw Emma again.

Laura Besley

In April I found myself, quite by coincidence, reading a lot of WWII fiction. I’ve also lived in Germany and this piece was inspired by both those things.

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

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