Flash Fiction Challenge 25th March 2011

Posted: March 24, 2011 by INC in Flash fiction, general
Tags: ,

For more info about flash fiction and our challenges, look at the flash fiction post and comments from 18th March.

This is the picture that should inspire your story:

  1. evelinasec says:

    The House

    “Which one is it?” asked Delia, reaching for the sheet of A4 in her husband’s hand.

    “That one, I think,” he replied nodding at a neat brick terraced cottage in the middle of the row.
    Net curtains veiled the interior from the idle gaze of passers by, and a circular satellite dish obtruded incongruously from the roof. The step looked as though it was washed down every day. The windows shone. The paintwork was shiny and black.
    “It looks good from here,” Delia said thoughtfully. Her gaze swept the street. House after house bore the same signs of proud housekeeping. There was no litter in the gutters, no chewing gum adhered to the pavements.
    “It’s like a scene from the 1950s,” said Will, unconsciously echoing her thoughts. “Do you think the women come out in pinnies and headscarves over their rollers to sweep the patch in front of their houses every morning?”

    “I shouldn’t be surprised,” she replied. Then, “It reminds me of my gran’s house.”
    A small yellow Fiat drew up at the kerb, and a young man, his skinned just too tanned to be natural, his suit, aspirationally smart, got out. He walked towards them, one hand outstretched. In the other, he held a folder with the name of a leading estate agent on the cover.

    “Mr and Mrs Walker?” he smiled.
    They smiled back and Will shook the outstretched hand.
    “I’m Wayne. So, shall we go inside? I have the keys.”
    Inside the house was revealed as a series of tiny rooms. Each was decorated and furnished simply. The kitchen was small but carefully designed; a tardis like space where Delia suddenly pictured herself cooking tiny meals to eat at a tiny table. Upstairs there were two bedrooms, both doubles, and a wetroom with a cornflower blue floor. A trapdoor led up to the loft space.
    Delia joined Will in the back bedroom. He was leaning against the window sill, his back to the light.
    “There were six of them here,” he said. “Mum shared this room with her two sisters; Uncle Kit had a truckle bed in his parents’ room until he joined the navy. Hard to imagine isn’t it?”
    She nodded her agreement and took his arm.
    “But look,” said Will twisting gently from her grasp and turning to point at the pocket hankerchief sized garden with its neat borders and trimmed lawn, “The tree’s still there, or at least the stump is.”
    He pulled a dog-eared black and white photograph from his inside pocket. It showed his mother, aged about nine, standing in a formal pose with her siblings. Their parents, the grandfather and grandmother he had never met, stood behind them. A cherry blossom tree flowered behind them. His mother’s youngest sister, Aunt Minnie, cradled a large black and white cat in her arms; Terry, the famous mouser of family stories; the slayer of generations of rodents.
    She looked at the picture and then the stump.
    Downstairs, Wayne was talking into his mobile, arranging another viewing.
    At that moment, a black and white cat jumped onto the wall at the end of the garden. It strolled to the corner, glancing around with a benignly proprietary air, then gracefully climbed down to the stump and began to wash.

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