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Flash Fiction

Food and Drink

The Meal

One sunny afternoon in June, the man I loved who did not love me back took me out for a meal.

 

‘I hope this establishment is to your liking, Princess,’ he said.

 

In my mind, his words were contemptuous, insulting. Was he pointing to some sort of inability of mine to appreciate the few good things that he could offer me?

 

I put on my sweetest smile and tried to turn my eyes from narrow-slit-cat eyes to open-trusting-girlish eyes. Not the easiest thing in the world.

 

‘It is marvellous,’ I said.

 

I could picture a tub of honey, in which I would slowly immerse the bastard until he drowned in sweetness.

 

‘I missed you,’ he said, my honeybee.

 

You don’t know the meaning of the word. I said nothing.

 

‘And how is the wife? The kids?’

 

He lit a cigarette. That gave him the time to think of an answer.

 

‘Just grand,’ he said.

 

'Are we having fish or meat?’ I wanted to order the wine: white or red? I needed a drink badly.

 

‘I think meat is in order today,’ he said.

 

Ah, yes.

 

Why do we need love? My thoughts went on tormenting me to the end of our meal. Meat, love, betrayal.

 

All the instruments of pain and pleasure on our plate.

Arthur-Koestler_edited.jpg
Cat Walking

 

THE HUNGARIAN

The Mega Million jackpot had reached one billion pounds so far. Elayne took a quick look at the previous winning numbers, then picked the new ones: 15 – 25 – 28 – 60 - 68 and 21. She placed the bet and yawned. In a few hours from now, she was going to be a very rich woman. Again.

 

‘Do you want to know how I do it?’ she asked Yellow Bob. Her voice sounded strange to her ears. The lack of a companion for so long had started to take its toll. She wished the waves of symmetry would soon bring along someone nice. Someone loving. Ever since she had read the book by the Hungarian, she had access to the parallel universe ruled by probabilities. That had brought her unimaginable riches. But money cannot buy love and she had learned that the hard way.

 

‘Do you want to know how I do it?’ she repeated.

 

Yellow Bob turned his big, yellow eyes to her, and his whiskers did a little dance. If he could talk, he would tell her he did not even care where his next meal was coming from.

‘Everything comes in clusters, baby,’ Elayne said. ‘Lotteries, card games, storms, accidents, lovers. Everything is connected.’ She thought of the time she would only meet dentists. An awful time. Going to bed with a dentist required local anaesthesia. She laughed but it sounded so unnatural, she put a stop to the noise coming from her throat.

This time she would donate the money to Takis, the strange man in Crete who had an animal shelter. He would put the money to good use.

 

'Two years, baby,’ she said to Yellow Bob. ‘Two years of loneliness. By my calculations, this is the year I get to meet the One.’

 

The cat licked his paws meticulously, then rubbed his head clean.

 

When the doorbell rang, it did not come as a surprise. Elayne walked to the door and opened it. A fine morning, after a cluster of rainy days.

 

The waves of symmetry undulated in the blue air. Her mind filled with rainbows.

 

‘Hello,’ the One said with a smile. ‘I am your new neighbour.’

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