Right, thought I’d start the new year with some more flash fiction.
Similar drill to the Christmas Flash Fiction – three stories, 200 words each – although not interlinked this time.
(Not A) New Year
The year had officially been ‘new’ for three days now, and it was already business as usual.
Karen sat at her desk and stared at the pitiful garland of tinsel around her monitor.
The corporate Christmas card with the boss’ signature – printed, not handwritten – stood stoically by her phone, surrounded by shreds of wrapping paper from her Secret Santa present.
She’d got chocolates. As always.
She looked across the floor at Mandy, who’d worked in the office for so long she was practically a chair.
Kevin wasn’t in yet, but then he never deigned anybody with his presence until quarter past anyway.
He’d swagger over to his desk, loudly complaining about the traffic, then spend ten minutes flirting with Monica the temp before finally logging onto his computer.
Same old, same old.
A voice suddenly – defiantly – exploded into Karen’s head like a new year firework.
This year will be different, Karen.
Things are going to happen. You’re going to make them happen.
She straightened up, emboldened for mere seconds before a memory crashed into her with depressing clarity.
She let out a long, tired sigh and slumped back down.
The voice had said the same thing last year.
The fireworks had exploded over London, the bright colours bursting over the city before raining down like fragments of a million rainbows.
Big Ben had got in on the act too, noisily announcing the start of a new year. Crowds had cheered, and people had sang.
And, in the midst of all this, Jerome and Natasha had kissed each other.
Had finally kissed each other.
The next morning – well, afternoon – he sat on the bus, turning his mobile phone over and over while trying to conjure the requisite confidence to call.
But should he phone her?
What if she wasn’t awake yet? He wouldn’t want to disturb her. After all, it had been a late night for everyone.
And what if she was awake, and they spoke, but she didn’t even remember kissing him?
Everyone kisses everyone at midnight, don’t they? That’s how films make it look anyway.
The real question, he knew, was this; would she act like nothing had happened between them, or would this be the start of something great?
His phone suddenly trilled in his hand, almost causing him to drop it in excitement. He looked at the screen.
Natasha L calling…
New Year, New Style
Steve walked up to the customer service woman with the angry face.
“Hello, and happy new year,” he said cheerfully.
She raised an eyebrow.
“Um,” he continued, fumbling a shirt out of his bag, “this was a gift, but I don’t like it so could I have a refund please?”
“What’s wrong with it?” she barked.
“No, nothing,” he said. “I just don’t like it.”
She stared at him suspiciously.
“And what don’t you like about it?”
He suddenly knew this would be hard work.
“Other than the fact that it’s a bright green shirt with an exploding firework shooting up from the crotch?”
“You don’t like green?”
“The green isn’t the problem,” he said slowly, “it’s just that I don’t like walking around looking like my groin has exploded.”
“Please don’t swear, sir,” she said indifferently.
“But I di-”
“I think it’s nice,” she said with a shrug. “Colourful.”
“And that’s… great, but I’m the one who’d have to wear it, so…”
She rolled her eyes and held out her hand.
Two minutes later the refund was done. Steve walked away shaking his head.
The woman gave her colleague a bemused look.
“We’re getting some real oddballs today…”