Henrietta Maddox Webloner

Wall Flower
June 2, 2011, 3:45 pm
Filed under: Writing | Tags: ,

Alice felt rotten, almost as if she was falling apart. She had been hanging in the bar for about an hour now. Even though she had no recollection of how she had ended up there, she was content to lean back against the wall and observe the people enjoying themselves in the cosy, little pub.

Strutting over to the control box, the hefty bar maid dimmed the lights as moonshine approached the windows. It was a warm, modest space with six dark wood tables and a mismatch of red suede covered stools and old farmhouse chairs surrounding them. Although the wallpaper had started to peel and there were occasional blotches of damp, the vintage adverts for brews and ales plastered above the bar gave it the kind of character that Alice liked.

Overlapping murmurs filled the room from the farrago of friendships with intermittent spurts of laughter from one table or another. At the table closest to her were two balding men leaning into their glasses of murky brown ale. The stockier of the two sat with his legs astride, hand on one knee, elbow pointed to the ceiling. “It was a good night, a very good night.” he said taking a sip. “But I’m feeling it today. Never drinking that Old Thumper ale again. Knocked me sideways.”

He gave out a hearty laugh that slightly startled the prim, wide-eyed woman sitting at the next table with her quiet, bashful looking boyfriend. They were holding hands under the table but did not seem to have much to say to each other. She spent most of her time admiring the melange of classic paintings above the fireplace. Whilst he was looking in the direction of three giggling teenage girls lined up at the bar anticipating getting served.

The girls nudged each other as the bar maid came over and pushed out their chests trying to look older. Watching them, amused grin across his face, was a dashing man with one arm propped up on the counter. Alice liked the look of him more than anyone there. He was the only person in the room who had noticed her. Every now and again he had looked over with a look of admiration combined with familiarity. She wished she did recognise him, with his lean yet muscular stature; lustrous, mane of black hair; and whirlpools of blue eyes.

Alice felt stiff as a board when she realised he was walking over. The closer he got, the more his image seemed to take over her entire being. Then he stopped and stood face to face with Alice. He turned his head back to the bar and shouted to the bar maid in a thick London accent, “She’s nice, Georgie. Loving the details. Is she new? ” he asked, looking at her, admiring his clean shave.

“Yeah,” said Georgie, playing with her hair, “We bought it in a car boot sale, this morning. You wait till we get a new frame for her, Frank. She’ll looks even better” She carried on serving drinks to the never-ending queue of enthusiastic customers whilst Alice sat reflecting on what had just happened.

© Vicky Bigmore 2011


13 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Oh really good twist! Very engaging descriptions, and I love a bit of surrealism, great to see you on fridayflash!

Comment by alisonwells

Oh, what a smashing tale! Really created the feel and atmosphere of a small pub. The foreshadowing in the first paragraph makes the ending a knockout.

Comment by Icy Sedgwick

Good observations and nice wordplay. I like this.

Comment by ~Tim

Love it…

Comment by Laura Jane

Love it. Sterling work. x

Comment by Ash

Excellent twist. Really good piece of flash fiction. And I love how the title ties in.

Comment by Derek Flynn

Just enough darkness to make it a twisted tale, love it. A hint of Roald Dahl short stories, which I believe to be a massive achievement.

Comment by S

I came to your story via a retweet. Glad for the read.
I’ve gone over this a few times now and the layers of story get deeper every time I read it. Great story.
Adam B @revhappiness

Comment by adampb

I am overwhelmed by all your comments. Thank you so much for reading my story. It’s made my week.

Probably a bit to much to hope for but I will endeavour to entertain you as much every week. #FlashFriday has been a great find. And an original kind of anchor for writing.

Comment by henriettamaddox

What a great story, I loved the descriptions as seen through Alice’s eyes of the pub, it was easy to imagine the scene. The first line really creates the scene for that great ending.

Comment by Helen

I like the way the details follow the attentions of one character from table to table. You capture some interesting details in their descriptions.

Comment by Aidan Fritz

Good story! Excellent twist, which you set up nicely.

Comment by Eric J. Krause

Great story. I like the personalization of Alice and the descriptions of what she sees. I agree with @revhappiness, this story is good to read a few times and see things missed in the first readings.

Comment by Chuck Allen

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