Tag Archives: creative-writing

Flash Fortnightly #14

15 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 29th May with some more…

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Desire for Belonging

>>>

They’ll never love me as much as her. She’s far prettier to start with, cleverer too, and a faster swimmer with three gold medals in the under-12s competitions.

When I was fourteen they sat me down on the red sofa, the squidgy one that’s hard to get out of, and Mum held my right hand and Dad my left.
‘There’s something we need to tell you,’ Dad said.

Is Stacey okay?’ That was my first thought. That something had happened to my little sister.

Yes, she’s fine,’ Mum said, and squeezed my hand. ‘She’s playing at Penny’s.’ I don’t like Penny and have never understood why Stacey does.

Sweetheart,’ Dad said, ‘you know we love you and always will.’ Oh God, I thought, have I broken something?

Mum just sat there with tears trying to escape from her small red eyes.

Yes?’ Was that the right answer?

You’re adopted,’ Dad said quickly, then let out a sigh and looked at Mum. Then they both looked at me.

It was as if the world stopped spinning. I suddenly noticed the hideous flowery wallpaper and how old Mum and Dad (if I could still call them that) looked.

Oh,’ I said.

You must have lot of questions,’ Mum said finally.

And Stacey?’

No, Stacey’s not adopted. She’s ours.’

Laura Besley

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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 #13

1 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 15th May with some more…

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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.

Tick tock

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

>>
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 #12

17 Apr

Words 2

Welcome to Flash Fortnightly!

Laura Besley

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 1st May with some more…

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My Wedding Day

By the time the alarm goes off at seven I’ve been awake long enough to watch the outside world turn from black, to red, to yellow, to light. I run my hand over my face, feeling the coarseness of my three-day old stubble. Despite the lack of sleep, I don’t feel tired. The mixture of adrenaline and nerves are pumping the blood quickly round my body, keeping my breaths short and shallow. Today is my wedding day.

In the kitchen, waiting for the kettle to boil, I think about Lauren; how we met; our first date; our first anniversary; moving in together; the proposal. It all seems like a dream. Smiling, I finish making the tea, as my thoughts fill with images of her.

The doorbell goes at ten, as we’d arranged. I swing the door open, dressed in pressed suit trousers and a crisp white shirt. “Morning, mate!” I say.
“Morning, Jimbo,” Andy says, jumping on and off the front step. “How’s, uh, things?”
“Pretty good actually.”
“Good, mate.” He breathes out loudly. “That’s good to hear.”
He holds up a bottle of Glenfiddich. “Want one?”
“Why not?”

We sit in silence in my living room. I look at the dust-free television and the rows of dvds and books alphabetised on the shelves. Every room in the house is spotless. I didn’t want it to be in a mess. Not today.

The last drop of amber liquid runs quickly down my throat, settling into a warm pool in the pit of my stomach. I jump up. “Let’s go!”
“Okay, buddy, where to?”
I look at him; his short brown hair, piercing blue eyes that make him popular with women and his nails bitten to the quick. Almost twenty-five years we’ve been friends, since he moved in next door the week before we started primary school.
“Where to?” I ask. “Are you mad?”
A noise escapes his throat. “No more than usual. Ha!”
I smile briefly. “Your suit’s upstairs.”
“Okay,” he nods. “Won’t be long.”

I put on my jacket, despite the August heat, and look at myself in the full-length mirror in the hall. Lauren’s voice enters my head, whispering, but I cannot decipher her words.

Andy clatters down the stairs. “Bloody hot in this suit, but I’m ready.”

We get into Andy’s grey BMW. No need for the fuss of hiring cars. He pulls into the car park adjacent to the local church and silences the engine. For hours we sit there watching the sky turn from yellow, to red, to black.

Shall we…?” Andy asks.
“Go?” I say. “Yes. I just wanted to be sure she wouldn’t, you know…”
“Turn up. Yeah, I know, buddy.” He puts his hand on my shoulder. “I know.”

The engine starts with a low moan and he drives me home to my clean and tidy flat.

Laura Besley

The idea for this story is based on a real life situation. The person whose wedding day it should’ve been, was at work, and I thought what a tragic situation that was.

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 #11

3 Apr

Words 2

Welcome to Flash Fortnightly!

Laura Besley

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 17th April 2013 with some more…

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Dreams

Samuel kept dreaming that she would leave him. Despite his nocturnal warnings, he was unprepared when he woke up one spring morning to find the space that she had occupied in his life for nearly forty years, empty.

Throughout his entire life Samuel had had strange dreams. Some were thrilling, others upsetting, but before he’d reached adulthood he realised they represented not only his day-time reality, but often his future too. He knew he was going to marry the butcher’s daughter, with the long wavy hair and eyes the colour of moss, before he even knew her name. Five years into their marriage he had struggled to convince her to keep trying after the second miscarriage, but he knew they would have two sons and a daughter, all as beautiful as their mother and as strong as the farm animals they kept.

His heart was beating as fast as a frightened animal the first time he awoke after the dream about her leaving. He quickly rolled over and stroked her pale face. She woke up and his coal-coloured eyes pleaded to hers. ‘Don’t leave me,’ he whispered.
‘Of course I won’t,’ she said, her green eyes now faded.

But the eyes lied.

In the depths of winter that same year, she returned as if she’d never been away. He walked back in from the stables to find her sitting on a kitchen chair, life-like. ‘Darling,’ he found himself saying, ‘I’ve missed you.’
‘And I you,’ she replied.
‘Don’t leave me again.’
‘No, I’ll wait right here for you.’

Laura Besley

I wrote this piece a long time ago, on 29th June 2012 to be precise. Sometimes when I look back over old pieces I’m unsatisfied and know that they will never see the light of day. Other times I can be pleasantly surprised by what I find in my archives. I hope you enjoy this piece.

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

Flash Fortnightly #10

20 Mar

Words 2

Welcome to Flash Fortnightly! 

Laura Besley

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 3rd April 2013 with some more…

___________________________

Letters from the Past

She still had his letters; all 46 of them, in date order, bound by a purple and white ribbon. Nineteen were on lined white paper, ripped out of a school notebook. Fifteen of them were on various newspaper cuttings, comic strips or magazine photos. But her favourites were the twelve in blue envelopes; stationary he’d snuck out of his grandma’s desk.

The summer of 1994 was the hottest on record to date and Sebastian, then known as Seb and now referred to again as Sebastian, had a paper round that took him past Libby’s house on the Peppermill estate. Her bedroom window, he discovered, was the one directly above the tall front door. They took GCSE Art together, but whereas he sat close to the front, alone, she sat at the back giggling and chatting to her friends.

Alright?’ he mumbled, recognising the girl in the matching blue and grey uniform.
She glanced up from the magazine open on her lap. ‘Alright. What are you here for?’
‘Check-up. You?’
‘Waiting for my mum. She’s having a filling.’
‘Yikes.’
She smiled, closed the magazine and tossed it back onto the table to join the other three-month old editions. ‘Have you finished your assignment for Mr Harrison yet?’
The redness grew like ivy up his neck, over his chin and spread across his cheeks. ‘Nah, haven’t started it yet.’
‘You have, I can tell.’ She poked him in the ribs with her elbow. ‘Bet it’s going to be ace.’
He looked at the ground. ‘What d’you mean?’
‘Your artwork is always brilliant. I wish I could draw like you.’
He clamped a hand over his mouth, but his grin escaped. ‘Cheers.’
**
Hidden in her en suite bathroom, Libby perched on the edge of the cream coloured bath and unfolded the snoopy cartoon strip, which had been the first thing to arrive on the fifteenth of May. It had been sellotaped together with about half a metre of tape and her name had been printed on the front in capital letters. She had known immediately who it was from, but despite her sister’s endless questioning and teasing, her lips had remained firmly sealed.

A tear fell onto the paper. She wiped it away quickly before it made the ink run, like the previous tears had done. In a box with the letters she also kept many of Seb’s recent cartoons, from the Guardian and the Times, as well as clippings about his recent art exhibitions and the opening of his gallery in Covent Garden.

 Libby!’ her husband called out. ‘What are you doing?’

 Hastily she splashed some cold water on her red and swollen face, shoved everything back in the box and tucked it into the top of the airing cupboard.

 Nothing.’ She stared at herself for a long time in the bathroom mirror. ‘Nothing,’ she whispered.
**
Sebastian Davis, renowned artist and cartoonist, never thought about Libby Birch, neé Darlington.

Laura Besley

To be honest I don’t really know where the idea of this story came from. I do have a lot of letters, which I’ve loved receiving over the years I’ve lived abroad, and would never dream of throwing them away.

If you’d like to check out more of my writing, flash fiction and non-fiction, check out my  blog: Living Loving and WritingOr you can follow me on twitter @laurabesley or connect on facebook Laura Besley Writer

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