Friday, 22 November 2013

Friday Flash Fiction - Nearing the End

Nearing the End

Every day this is one thing I look forward to. Do you know what that’s like? To feel like you have nothing to look forward to? Wait til you get to my age, then we’ll talk again. If I didn’t have this one thing worth getting out of bed for, I think I would just constantly live in pyjamas. I would only move from my bed, to the bathroom, to the sofa and then back to bed again. Some spotty kid delivers my paper and I get milk delivered, so I would just hide in this grotty little one-bedroom flat and read my paper. Food, you say? Once a week someone from Help the Elderly visits. She’s bloody annoying I can assure you, but she does my shopping for me, so I put up with her. Even make her a cup of tea when she gets back because she means well. It’s not her fault she’s annoying. 

No. Every day I get up, get washed, get dressed and take my paper to the local pub. I have lunch there and sometimes stop for a couple of hours depending on how I’m feeling. This isn’t any old local. They stock decent beer, which I allow myself on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and cook organically-grown local produce. None of that stuff pumped full of god-knows-what rubbish. 

Another good thing about it is that it’s within shuffling distance from where I live. As you can imagine, I don’t walk very fast anymore and the twenty – yes, twenty – minutes it takes me to get from here to there is enough daily exercise for me. 

The young girls who work there are extremely friendly. The boss – an old bird called Sylvie – is a bit of a witch, I’ve heard between the lines. Never to the customers, of course, but I hear the girls whispering. Nothing wrong with my hearing, you see. Those girls are always so good to me, taking care of everything I need and sometimes stopping for a little chat. I miss my Alice who used to chat incessantly. At the time it irritated me, but the place isn’t half quiet without her. We never had any children, so there’s no one to visit me. All my friends listed on my birthday calendar, more of them are dead than alive these days. 

Yesterday. Yesterday I went and there was a sign up in the window: closing from 1st January to 1st February for renovations. What am I going to do?

©2013 Laura Besley

Flash Fiction Diary  

This piece was inspired by a pub my sister used to work in. Every day there was a table reserved by the window for an older customer, but I don't know any details. Further details of the pub and the people who work there are fictitious. The style of writing was inspired by the book I'm currently reading, The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid.

I've decided to take part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) again this year. The aim is to write 50,000 words towards a novel, or in my case towards a collection of short stories, within the month of November. 

We're in week three now. I had a major dip in week two. Partly due to lack of inspiration, but mainly due to the fact that I was ill. I wrote nothing for four days. This week I've written a lot and there's still a glimmer of hope that I'll make it to 50,000 by the end of the month. Fingers crossed and I'll keep you posted! 


  1. That paints a sad picture of old age. I hope the pub opens up again soon so that he's not so lonely.

    1. I can imagine that if you're on your own, it can be pretty sad and lonely.

  2. Wait, they can't close for an entire month! Keep a side area open.

    We live for what we can for as long as we can until it's time to let go. Nice slice.

    1. Thanks for your comment, David. Keeping a side area open would be the right answer! ;)

  3. Ah, that is so sweet. He must manage for that one month, and look forward to the pub re-opening!


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