• FLASH FICTION •

These flash fiction stories are regularly updated, so check back here from time to time.
You'll find stories like these in two of my books, available as Paperback or a Kindle read from Amazon.
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The Schooling Chair
Female singer

Kaine Rayne

Kaine Rayne was a singer. Born Katharine Ryan. Backing group, three friends from schooldays. You guessed it: the Humbrellas. Rarely turn up, these days. No contract. No regular band. Just clubs and pubs. Never seen a bigger stage, except from the auditorium. And two failed auditions. Tried to popularise her Rayne Dance on YouTube: an awkward robotic stance with angular actions. It never caught on. Always hoping for the big break. But not many scouts visit the low dives she mostly sings in. After the pole dancers move offstage, to titillate a few punters. Daughter Kelly, ‘you’re so beautiful Mummy,’ was told she was a star. Found two sultry YouTube downloads, but nothing in HMV, nothing in The Vocalist. Now starting her teens, wondering if her mum really does go out singing. Or is just meeting men. Kelly’s dad never says anything. If he knew anything, he’s not around to say it. Not since she was three. Tonight’s the big night, though. She’s been allowed out to a gig. One of Kaine’s rare appearances at a fairly respectable working men’s club in Oldham. She’s up there, now, in the once slinky, glittery, but faded red dress, seam-burstlingly stretched across a matronly figure, bottle blonde hair showing mouse brown roots and ruby lips belting out a medley of Ibiza hits. Solo. Some Joe on a keyboard. No Humbrellas. Working up the feeble energy of just ten dancers gyrating on a small square of parquet dance floor; all with joints stiff with age and joining in raucously; mistiming and muddling the words. She casts her eyes over to Kelly, awkwardly sandwiched at a beer loaded table, between a couple in their eighties and Uncle John. The one who stays over sometimes. Kelly looks like she’s about to burst into tears, she looks hot; and not in the way she would like to be thought of, at a real gig. Kaine finishes. A few odd pairs of clapping hands. Everyone just going on drinking, a banter of laughs and trips to the bar, as she walks, unnoticed by her audience, to take Kelly back home. In near silence. Perhaps it was wrong to bring her; break her dream. Not a fallen star. One that never reached the night sky. Now it is Kaine’s eyes that fill, shutting the door to her bedroom, leaving a subdued Kelly to slip into her own. The truth was out. She’d let her daughter down. A night of restless sleep. Not even Uncle John to comfort her. Then, another day. Sunday. And a slow crawl from rumpled bedsheets, opening the bedroom door and finding on it a great big golden star, cut from cardboard and covered in glitter; and a smiling Kelly at the top of the stairs.
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