Friday, 11 October 2013

Friday Flash Fiction - Plum Lipstick

Plum Lipstick

As I tune into my surroundings, I hear the two young girls next to me talking in staccato French. The blond, slightly less pretty one, is obviously having some sort of problem. She's doing eighty per cent of the talking as her brunette friend listens, leaning in, nodding sagely and occasionally offering condoling murmurings. 

The blond catches me looking at them. 

'What?' she snaps, anger in the small lines set around her mouth. 

'Nothing.' I shrug and turn back to my book. (A Stephen King by the way, totally unputdownable. Nobody builds suspense like he does.)

But like a moth to the flame my eyes keep wandering from the page to her eyes, her face, her lips. She is wearing a pale shade of lipstick, paler no doubt than her natural lip colour. Why any woman would choose to do that is beyond me. Lipstick was invented to make a woman's lips darker, alluding to the fact that she's just been kissed, making men want her more. The paleness doesn't have the reverse effect, but I'm old-fashioned. I prefer darker, richer, plum colours. Tracey wore the perfect colour lipstick. 

Simultaneously the French girls stand up, pushing chairs back with slender tanned legs and leave. The blond turns, throws me a glance that I can't decipher and after slinging her cheap cotton multi-coloured bag over her left shoulder stalks off behind her friend. 

A waitress in a green and black polo shirt quickly clears away the debris of their afternoon rant. She wipes the table haphazardly and disappears back behind the counter. 

I could calculate how long it's been since I last saw Tracey, but I don't want to. I'll just sit here with my half cup of lukewarm black coffee thinking about her. 

Laura Besley

Flash Fiction Diary  

I'm back! Not quite from outer space, but from the non-writing/blogging world. I took three months off over the summer because I knew I wasn't going to have the time. To be honest it was quite liberating for a while, then I started to miss it and then I started to think I couldn't write anymore. I sat down to write for the first time at the end of September and realised within minutes why I absolutely love it. It's also been really nice to hear from people who've mentioned that they've missed my flash fiction, so thanks for those votes of support. 


  1. I think the lipstick had the desired effect, after all!

  2. Lovely. Sometimes the wrong color is right.

  3. Welcome back!!! We have missed you.

  4. Flash fiction is always fun to do as it teaches us to write tight. Keep up your writing! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  5. Staring at lips after saying you're not engaged is dangerous. Lucky the narrator didn't get sucked into a worse fight! Good work on the lipstick.

  6. Your much missed FFF was a lovely surprise this afternoon and made the effort involved in switching on the computer a worthwhile exercise. What cheerful news to learn your Triple Fs are up and running again ... !

  7. A lovely piece of writing, it would seem Tracey is very much missed.

    I especially like the word-flow in Para 5, very nicely put together.

    1. Thanks very much, Steve. Really appreciate that! :)

  8. Loved the observations that she made.

  9. I wonder how they French girls would react if they could see inside the narrator's head. They just seem wistful, preoccupied, but in this Hallowe'en season one could imagine them going obsessive/delusional too. Great depiction.

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