Flash Fiction

This is a sample of my very short fiction to give you a flavour of my writing style.

An Extra Bag

The girl looked around the room and tried to get her bearings. The curtains were closed but light pushed its way in around the edges. She could see furniture and a TV. None of it seemed familiar. It took her a moment to remember they were in Italy, hundreds of miles away from everyone she knew. Everyone except the woman sleeping beside her.

They had arrived after midnight and gone straight to bed, exhausted, leaving the plate of food left by the hotel staff untouched on the coffee table. Their bags were still packed, just as they had been in the back of her wardrobe, for weeks before. 

Something in the room wasn’t right. In fact, there were two things bothering her. There was something missing and something that didn’t belong there.

Billy, her soft toy dog, was not in the room. He helped her sleep at night but was meant to go back into her bag each morning. As the weeks had gone on, she had started to forget some of the rules. Billy had been left on her bed yesterday, and now she would never see him again. She felt her eyes fill with tears and tried to focus on the other anomaly.

The thing that didn’t belong was an extra bag. There had been two bags before, holding just their essentials; clothes, toiletries, passports. Now there were three: her old green backpack, the worn blue cabin bag, and an incongruously new black sports bag. She glanced across at the woman, breathing heavily, unmoving.

Slipping carefully out of the bed, the girl inspected the unassuming sports bag. Slowly, to minimise the noise, she opened the zip. Inside, there was more cash than she had ever seen before. She closed the bag again, not wanting to acknowledge how it got there.

Crossing the room to the window, she opened the curtain a little. It had been too dark to see their surroundings when they arrived so it was a surprise to find herself looking out on a huge lake. The water was such an intense blue, it made the cloudless summer sky seem pale. The nearest houses were on the opposite shore; tiny dots in the distance, at the foot of a mountain. 

A whole mountain would surely keep away that man and the people he worked for, she reasoned. He’d said he could find her anywhere but that seemed unlikely now. Even she didn’t know exactly where she was. That thought made her smile.

She pulled the curtains wide open, and turned around.

“Mum, wake up! You’ve got to see this.”