She sat smoking three seats away from the door, cigarette pinched between black talons as she waited for the boy in a green apron to bring her coffee.
‘There is something of the devil about that one,’ whispered an old woman standing in line. She leant in so her companion could hear. ‘Something unnatural.’
The pair twisted to stare; peering over round spectacles to examine the girl in black leather and brass buckles.
‘Very unnatural,’ hissed the old woman’s companion. “Not the right sort at all!”
The girl sighed, pouring the smoke from her lips. She smiled at the old women and stabbed out the cigarette on the table-top.
‘Problem ladies?’ she asked.
‘This is a no smoking zone!’ squawked the first, pointing a shrivelling, stumpy finger at the no smoking sign just beside the door. ‘You are no supposed to smoke that,’ she pointed at the crushed cigarette, ‘in here.’
The girl smiled again, teeth bone white against ebony gloss.
‘I must have missed the sign,’ she said, curling her lips back further.
The old women clucked.
‘Smoking in public places is banned completely!’ said the second, shuffling her shoulder and readjusting the fold of her collar. ‘Do you not watch the news?’ she demanded.
‘Not particularly,’ replied the girl. ‘It’s always so depressing. All that death.’
She winked, still smiling as the boy in the green apron scurried over to her table, miniature coffee cup balanced on his tray.
‘Double espresso?’ he asked, trembling as the girl lifting an arm to pluck the drink from its saucer.
‘Exactly what I need,’ she purred, eyes trained on the boy’s face.
He blushed, stepped back and tripped over a table leg.
The old women watched him fall, hands clasped to mouths as they cooed sympathetically. The girl laughed, the sound spilling into the room like ice. The boy shivered as he scrambled to his feet.
‘The poor lamb,’ said the first old woman, placing a hand over her heart.
‘The poor dear,’ added the second.
‘Fool,’ said the girl, grinning.
She threw back the espresso and stood. ‘But just what I need.’
‘Need?’ the boy stammered, clutching the back of a chair for support.
‘Yes, need,’ repeated the girl. ‘I need a distraction. I suppose you could say I’m recovering from a bad break-up of sorts.’
It wasn’t a complete lie. The boy had certainly broken when he hit the street sixty-six stories below.
She slid out of her seat and stepped forward, closer to the boy in the green apron holding the empty tray.
‘Call me Spider,’ she said and caught his cheek in her palm. ‘You and I are going to have some fun.’
Back in June 2013 (that’s around five and half years ago if you can quite believe it) I wrote a short story ‘A Girl Called Spider’. It was then posted here on Writing and Works.
Now I’ve redrafted and re-posted poems in the past as my poetry has improved, but I have never really gone back to the flash fiction pieces that I wrote ages ago. Part of the reason is perhaps that my formatting style changed after studying creative writing at uni and editing through all the annoying format based niggles in a pain in the bum.
However, it seems a shame to leave these stories to rot in the archive so I’ve decided to go back and dig them out. Each Thursday I’m going to re-post a reviewed, redrafted, and edited piece of flash fiction from back in the day with the aim to collate all the pieces into a PDF that I can then put up for download at the end.
The PDF will be completely free and mostly just a way for me to try and create a sort of anthology of my flash fiction stories. I’m hoping you lovely readers will also enjoy it and like the chance to download a collection of stories which you can carry away on your kindle, or phone, or whatever portable electronic machine you find yourself tied to.
Please let me know if you like the story, if you like the PDF idea, or if you also have a back-file of stories you wrote years ago just sitting on your blog with little to do but collect cyber dust.
Look out next Thursday for ‘Lost: One Bench’, one of the oldest stories that I had on this blog, revamped just for you guys.