'Hi.' You are at her side. Bumble and Fudge are panting, slobbering and pulling at their leads, in anticipation of being let loose to rummage amongst the undergrowth and the bushes and the rabbit holes of the Westwood. She carries on walking, but does at least concede a 'Hi' and a shy smile in return, so you fall into step alongside her, your crash helmet now dangling on the crook of your
arm, looking for all the world like the wicker basket of a maiden off gathering mushrooms in the dawn.
'How's it going?' You say, and then wince inwardly, because it's not what you wanted to mean, but you can't really open up a conversation with 'I am besotted with you', because in any case she probably wouldn't recognise the word, and you don't know the German for 'besotted'.
'Oh, it is going, you know', she replies in a sort of singsong way, and indicates the dogs.
'They seem happy enough', you say.
'Who can ever say what is enough happiness?' she asks, taking you literally, 'They look forward to their exercise'.
This is not going well. Think of something to say, something funny, something to make her laugh, anything to make you seem less gangling, awkward and gawky!
'Do you look forward to exercise, then?' you ask, trying desperately to be funny. She looks at you as if you are deranged, and you think instantly of that joke about 'where would we be if we didn't have a sense of humour - answer, Germany!'
'Exercise is very important,' she says, seriously, taking your question at face value.
'I know, I've just been playing cricket. I probably smell!' Oh God, you idiot, don't draw her attention to it. Even as you are wincing though, you realise that she is now smiling broadly, as if you had actually said something funny.
'Cricket is a silly game,' she says, emphatically, and you are about to argue, then you think better of it, and for a while you walk on in silence instead. You are drunk with the closeness of her, the
You find yourself wondering what it would feel like to touch her hair, what her body looks like underneath those blue jeans and that lacy smock, what her breasts must feel like, you think about being naked in bed with her and touching her blonde fur and of not being able to see because of the wave of blonde hair falling over your face like swimming in a blonde sea, and what the weight of her would feel like, not very heavy, with no clothes on, you think, since she seems to be made largely of evanescent light anyway, and then you realise with mounting panic that, while you have been playing this lurid fantasy in the private cinema of your mind, she has actually said
something, and you haven't been listening or paying attention.
'I'm sorry. I was miles away.' Though actually, you were as near to her as it's possible for one person to get to another, but only in your dreams, your dreams.
'I will always remember the smell of this street,' she repeats, 'the smell of the hedges and the rain on the footpath, the blossoms and the trees and the hotness, like today. When I have returned to home, I mean. Is 'hotness' correct?'
'Heat, hotness, whatever,' you reply, adding, 'Your English is very good. Better than my German.'
'Do you know any German?' she looks quizzically at you with those cobalt-blue eyes.
'Not much,' you answer ruefully.
Do you know any German? Only what Frau Graham managed to din into your head when you were taking your O levels, asking the way to the station and telling a policeman you have lost your suitcase.
The knock on the door sounded official; usually callers just pressed the bell, but this morning, they didn't...
Dean's heart rate moved up a notch.
'Who the fuck's that?'
He stood up from the chair that he was slouched in and walked over to the window.
Parting the curtains slightly, he observed two powerfully built characters standing there.
One was holding a clip-board; his sleeveless arms were loaded with tattoos
Fiction - The Dance Of The Pheasodile By Tim Roux
I have to admit that I am in a bit of a predicament.
I have regained consciousness to discover myself swinging upside down outside the plate glass window that wraps around the lawyers' office where my wife works - where she is a partner, in fact. I am bumping up against the pane as I dangle here. I can see several of the office staff taking pictures of me with their mobile phones, and feverishly distributing them somewhere over the ether.
Fiction - Conversation By Scott Rorrison
Rome! Have you ever seen the Colosseum? Beautiful isn't it; how strange it is that things of immense beauty contain contrasting qualities. From the outside tourists marvel at the grand scale and arresting architecture, it is ideal for a photograph or postcard. Step inside, though, and a whole complexity of emotions will haunt the senses. Stand on the arena floor and wonder how many men and women have followed your steps into oblivion.
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - The Mother From Hell (following on from A Depressive and a Botched Suicide) By Laura Fry
Outside, a woman in late middle-age tries to look through the large crematorium doors.
Despite the November wind, she is dressed in six-inch stilettos, thin stockings and a tiny mini skirt which leaves nothing to the imagination.
One mourner hears a sound over the music and makes her way outside, aghast.
Fiction - Loved Ones By Emma Williamson
I remember the day my mother and father split up. All the family had gone out for the day with our parent's friends, Claire and Craig and their two daughters, Lauren and Molly. Me and my two younger brothers, Jasper and Cohen were in the ball pit with Lauren and Molly.
'Silver, drink!' Jasper announced, he was only 3 years old and hadn't quite grasped the concept of full sentences yet.
Fiction - What Colour My Dear? (Exercise in experimenting with different voices)
By Michelle Dee
"What colour my dear?"
"Blue. Yes blue to match my mood."
"Why so blue dear on such a promising day?"
"Well I'll tell you. I have just this moment been turned down yet again for employment; that is the third this morning if you please. I am doomed never to find a suitable position.
Fiction - Replacing Sheila By Gary Clark
She was a sorry sight Sheila, sat all day in a corner of the room, moving only occasionally to look through the window when the front gate rattled or a car door slammed.
But it was never him and her watery eyes soon closed again, sadly, as she returned to her fitful dozing. Old age takes its toll on us all eventually.
Poor Shelia, cast aside like an old
Fiction - Equus Mal-Amour By Frankie Lassut
Every time Roger fell out with Trudy, he took it out on Selina.
Saturday nights were the worst. Roger and Trudy would go out pubbing, Selina would of course stay at home, dreading the unhappy couple returning at 12.30 - 1am.
It was always the same. Selina would hear them coming up the lane.
"Don't you fuckin deny it! I saw the way you looked at her!"
"Oh, stop being so fucking stupid!
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Sundog By Amanda Lowe
I have my yellow boots on to walk the dog who is scratting at the door, he knows it's time to go. Outside, he's running ahead like a mad thing as my yellow boots squelch flat fields, left foot, right foot.
Striding along the bank, lost in thoughts, I stop and gawp at a sundog, reflection of the sun in the sky. The sun and its doppelganger side by side, striving to outshine each other.
Fiction - The Lie of the Land By Steve Rudd
So I ran.
I ran, and I ran, and I ran.
Nothing means anything when eagerly anticipated phone calls never come.
All those wasted Sundays slumped beside the phone add up.
Ah, heartbreak. You've got to hate it. But you've also got to take it.
The hardest thing of all is resisting the urge to break the ice, to ring first,
to put words into your mouth
Fiction - Too Late To Call By Sarah Ann Watts
The bus pulls out of the station. I check my watch - I am not too late. I close my eyes, pretend to sleep.
The witching hour is yet to come. I told you I would be home by midnight. You like to know where I am. I tell you I can protect myself and you shake your head in doubt. 'Be careful. It isn't the same world.'
I laugh at your fears and paint my lips and smile.
Fiction - The Day By Danny Swain
Ray turns the CD player off as he answers the phone. The sound of waves crashing against a beach fills his ear. Jenny wipes the plate and puts it on the draining board. A man appears at the kitchen window. Benjamin pulls the car into the drive and gets out. He hears a noise in the garage.
Mary locks her front door and buttons up her coat. Read more...
Fiction - Blood in the Bath By Leah Scarpati
It was Halloween night and the weather suitably matched the mood of the evening. Like a parody of a horror film, the wind howled at forty miles per hour, blowing the dried up autumn leaves up into mini tornadoes down the deserted and dimly lit street. The odd raindrop fell from the sky, threatening to pour down but unable to carry out the threat to its full potential.