Saturday 14 January 2023

FRIDAY - Flash Fiction Story by R.A. Clarke



Flash Fiction Story

by R.A. Clarke



Shane's a builder in town who daily stops in,

buying countertops, hardware, cupboards, and trim.

He seeks me out often to help him decide.

I perk at his visits, but keep that inside.

It's business, just work, I think with a sigh.

The man's just an overly flirtatious guy.

Women he'd date should be gorgeous and slim.

Not a clerk with a smirk and a too-pointy chin.


It's time for a break—a quick snack in the back.

But just as I do, a chime spins me back.

My crush just arrived with a disarming smile.

Shane flashes a wave, then points to some tile.


"Can't chat long today." He taps his wrist watch.

"My floor must match this." He holds out a swatch.

As I help him peruse and find a great match,

he looks at my necklace and asks, "You like Patch?"


"I do," I admit, as a blush dusts my cheeks.

My pendant's a puppy, like the toy one that speaks.

For many a year, I loved that old plush.

When it vanished one day; my heart turned to mush.

"Maybe it's silly—a child's toy, I know.

But Patch was a gift from my mom long ago.

She died the next day, so it's special, you see.

I lost my old Patch, but this charm reminds me."


"That must've been hard. I'm sorry she passed."


I smiled. "She is peaceful—pain-free at last."


"Shoot, I must go. Can you order that tile?

I'm run off my feet—won't be in for a while."

Then he paused by the door, ran a hand through his hair.

"Are you free Friday night to have dinner somewhere?"


Warm tingles ran rampant. I shyly agreed.

Once we swapped numbers, my date took his leave.




Friday at dinner, our laughter flowed free.

I didn't want it to end, and neither did he.

So, we strolled through a park to a market he knew.

He said, "I'll be back." Then what did he do?


Shane sweet-talked a rose from a florist for free.

But I frowned when I realized it wasn't for me.


My heart gave a slump, my shoulders in tow,

as he carried on walking a ways down the row.

He came to a halt at a cluttered toy stand,

where he passed a blonde beauty the rose from his hand.


How dumb had I been? What should I expect?

Shane flirted with me from the moment we met.

A man as handsome and charming as he

could never find interest in one plain as me.


I turned on my heel. "Oh, the gall of that man!"

But twenty steps later, Shane's grip found my hand.


"Elise, what is wrong? Why would you go?

I thought that we clicked. I've got something to show—"


"You left to go flirt! What a slap to the face."


"The blonde? That's my sister—she leases that space."


I wanted to melt right into my shoes.

Shane brandished a gift box wrapped in chartreuse.

Inside lay a rose with a puppy dog toy.


"It's Patch!" I exclaimed, eyes tearing with joy.


Shane took a step closer, his gaze filled with care.

He wiped tears from my cheek and his hand lingered there.

"I'd seen Patch in the shop, and after we talked,

I knew you should have it." Just then, our eyes locked.


I stretched up and graced his lips with a kiss.

"That's so very thoughtful. Thank you for this."

Then we shared a slow smile, one that says more than words.


"We should do this again."


I strongly concurred.

R.A. Clarke is a former police officer turned stay-at-home mom from Portage la Prairie, MB. She shares life with a sport-aholic husband, two adorable children, and an ever-expanding collection of novels-in-progress. Besides sipping coffee and escaping to the lake, R.A. enjoys plotting multi-genre short fiction, and also writes/illustrates children’s chapter books as Rachael Clarke. She has won international short story competitions such as The Writer’s Games, Writer’s Weekly, and Red Penguin Books humour contest. In 2021, she was named a Hindi’s Libraries Females of Fiction finalist, a Dark Sire Award finalist, and a Futurescapes Award finalist. R.A.’s work has been published by a variety of publications, including Sinister Smile Press, Cloaked Press LLC, and Polar Borealis Magazine, among others.

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