#ShortStory Bedside Confession by L.J. Cassidy #amwriting #writer #writerslife

So one of my resolutions for 2018 was to write a short story or piece of flash fiction for my blog each month, and here’s the first.  I hope you enjoy it and I’d love to hear what you think!

I nodded absently, adding the odd ‘mm I suppose,’ as my dad rambled on. I don’t know when he decided that every bowel movement, or lack thereof, deserved an in depth discussion but I suppose there wasn’t anything much else to talk about. At eighty-three his body seemed to be giving up on itself, and now he was confined to living in a nursing home where the only sources of entertainment were reading or staring mindlessly at the TV. Well, unless he overheard one the care staff dishing some salacious gossip, but that had gotten less frequent of late, now his hearing was as he described it ‘like having his ears stuffed with itchy cotton wool’.

Today was especially bad. After the simple task of getting out his chair had caused him to take a tumble two days ago, he’d confined to his bed to rest, which mean he didn’t even have the company of his fellow residents to break the monotony of his day.

His bedroom wasn’t much bigger than your average bedsit. A wardrobe, a chest of drawers, a single bed and a chair had been crammed into the tiny space. It was making me claustrophobic sitting next to his bed.

I remember as a child thinking how tall and indestructible he seemed now he looked so small and shrunken tucked up under his duvet cover. 

My eyes hovered over the bruise just above his eyebrow, covered most of his wrinkled forehead was turning from purple to a yellowish green, which was a good sign but the cut running the length of his forehead that I was more worried about. It had turned an ominous shade of black.

This was the man who used to make bad jokes, always telling me and my sister tall stories of when he was a pirate or a spy or some other such nonsense that kept us enraptured…

Kerry?” said dad, his weak voice breaking through my thoughts.

Yes, dad?” I replied.

You’ve got that look.”

What look?”

That worried look.”

I don’t mean to,” I sighed. “It’s just…how did you fall again?”

It was my dad’s turn to sigh. “I told you. I got up to go the loo and my legs decided they didn’t want to do that and I fell. Hit my head on old Bertie’s chair.”

Nobody pushed you?”

No, this is a good place this, no abuse here.”

Okay, then,” I replied, not entirely convinced.

Your mum was always a worrier when she were alive. I was a couple of hours late home one night, she called the police, the coastguard and she was trying to get hold of the army when I walked in.”

Down the pub, were you?” I smiled. I knew most of his stories and they always seemed to involve the pub in some way, shape or form.

I noticed him shift uncomfortably under his duvet cover.

Don’t tell me you cheating on mum?”

Your mum was the love of my life, I would have never done that,” he snorted indignantly. “It’s just well…it’s not something I’ve ever told anyone before.

Oh, go on,” I replied, “it can’t be that bad.”

He looked at me for a long moment, his bloodshot eyes staring me down.

Alright then,” he said eventually. “It happened when you were small, seventy four I think, the autumn or was it the winter…”

I could see him getting agitated, so I placed a hand on his arm. “It’s okay dad, the date doesn’t matter, just carry on.”

Anyhow, we were living in this lovely street, well, it was lovely apart from this one little sod. Matthew Carter.”

I nodded, wondering where this trip of nostalgia was heading.

I mean real scum of the earth. Couldn’t hold down a job, too bone idle. Beat his wife up, she was young too. Little slip of a thing. Always drunk and having fights with strangers in the street. I broke one up once, which was a mistake because that set me firmly within his sights.”

What happened?”

He started by shouting abuse in the street. He and a mate jumped me on the way home from work once too. Luck for me I could defend myself, him and his mate ran away with their tails between their legs, I can tell you. He didn’t like that. A week later he put a brick through our window, missed your sister Sue by an inch, she was only a baby at the time too.”

Didn’t you call the police?”

Could do anything, unless they had proof and nobody would testify against him.”

That’s terrible.”

Aye. Then I found out he’d been dealing drugs…selling them to kids too..” he said trying stifle a yawn.

Maybe you should have a rest dad, tell me the rest of the story later.”

No, no,” he replied. “I need to get this out. Anyway I followed him one day, determined to get proof, photographic proof, so I could take it to the police. He went down an alleyway and this girl came up to him, she must have been about fifteen at the most. She had that emaciated look that druggies have. She was obviously trying to buy something from him, I heard him say that she didn’t have enough. She begged him for the stuff. He replied saying that there were other ways to pay for things.”

As the kids say, eww.”

Exactly. But she was made of stronger stuff that girl, she refused but Matthew decided to not take no for an answer. She stand a chance against him.”

I gasped. “Did he…?”

I didn’t give him the chance. There was an old tire iron someone had dumped, picked it up and hit him, again and again and again until there wasn’t much left of his head.”

I could feel my mouth drop open. Did my dad just confess to murder?

What about the girl?”

Bolted,” replied my dad, his voice fading a little. “Never saw her again. I kept waiting for the knock on the door from the police….”

His head drooped forwards. I quickly leapt forward to check his pulse. It was still beating steadily.

He emitted a small snore.

I sat back down heavily, accidentally knocking into his bedside table sending some things flying.

Automatically I picked them up placing them back on the table.

My dad’s a murderer? I can’t believe it. What should I do?

I picked the last item up. A book. The cover caught my eye. It was of a man holding a tire iron. I checked the back. It had a strangely familiar synopsis. It was pretty much the same story my dad had told me.

I couldn’t believe it, he’d just told me the plot line of the book he was reading. He’d been having me on this whole time, just like when I was a kid.

I bent over his bed and kissed him on the forehead.

You got me dad,” I whispered.

I swear he smiled in his sleep.

#Review The Sherlock Effect by Raymond Kay Lyon @ThistleBooks

Title: The Sherlock Effect by Raymond Kay Lyon

Publisher: Thistle Publishing.

Date Published: 25th January 2018 (ebook available now)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Short story collection.

Description:

Christopher Sherlock Webster always blamed his Holmes-obsessed father for burdening him with an embarrassing middle name. He spent his school days desperately trying to live it down.

But after his old man prematurely dies, Christopher finds that he has somehow inherited the very same obsession…

Teaming up with Mo Rennie, a marketing-conscious pal, he starts up an agency called Baskerville’s, which specialises in the application of rigorous Holmesian method.

Here are five bizarre adventures from the files – a sumptuous feast upon which the gastronome of crime may gorge.

– A young beautician is stalked by a haunting stranger through the narrow streets of Cambridge. Yet he possesses love letters from the girl, ostensibly in her handwriting. How come?

– A science journalist disappears while investigating UFO sightings in Wiltshire. But is the explanation earthly or supernatural?

– When a pornographer receives death threats online he arranges protection 24/7. Will it work?

– A pop diva’s boyfriend is kidnapped twice by animal rights extremists. Should the ransom be paid again?

– Everything in the garden seems rosy when a millionaire widower meets Miss Perfect through a dating agency. But the lady soon starts to behave oddly. Should the wedding plans be shelved?Review:

Now I know I have so many other books to review before this one but when I saw this on Goodreads and the fact it was available on NetGalley, I knew I had to read it.

I am a complete and utter Sherlock Holmes fan girl. I have been since I was four or five and watched Jeremy Brett in the ITV adaptations with my mum (I later read the books too), so a character who’s obsessed with Sherlock Holmes was right up my alley.

They story starts with a brief history of how Christopher Sherlock Webster was saddled with his unusual middle name by his father and how he and Morris Rennie end up setting up Baskerville’s private detective agency.

It’s followed by five short stories written in a similar style to The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes or The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes but they are written by through Christopher or Sherl (Morris’s nickname for him) point of view rather than his Watson Morris Rennie.

Fur Trade – Famous singer Vicki Vine’s boyfriend is kidnapped by extremist animal rights activists, twice, after she was pictured posing in fur.

The Warminster Assignment – A star journalist goes missing after investigating UFO sightings

The Persistent Admirer – A young woman is being stalked by someone who claims to be in love with her.

Gardeners Questions – Millionaire and gardening enthusiast George Beaumaris asks the duo to investigate his fiancée after she starts acting strangely.

The Balcony Scene – Kevin Tripp, managing director of X.E media (an adult entertainment business) receives a death threat from someone called the Mad Monk, he asks the detective pair to provide him with 24 hr protection but will it stop the Monk?

I absolutely loved this book. Would I have liked it as much if it hadn’t been Sherlock themed? The answer is probably yes. Each story is so different with humour infused throughout and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

I found out it was originally published in 1997 and there has been an attempt to modernise it a little bit but there’s still a bit of old style language like Ghetto-blaster or video recorder. Also I did figure out most of the endings but it was still an immensely enjoyable read.

I really hope the author has more of these stories to be published!

Overall a perfect book for Sherlock fans and people who love a cozy mystery.

Rating: 5/5

Author Bio:

Raymond Kay Lyon won several literary prizes at the Cambridge Grammar School. He went on to create a theory of time, based on its complete non-existence, which gained him an unconditional offer to study Philosophy at University College London.
After being signed by several record labels as a singer/songwriter in his twenties he finally abandoned music to write The Sherlock Effect, having lived for a year on Baker Street to give himself inspiration.
A keen Ufologist, Raymond appeared on television in the 1970s, while still at school, commenting on the flood of UFO reports in the Cambridge area, and outlining the theory that the Bible had extraterrestrial origins.

#BlogTour #BookReview Devil’s Kitchen/Brass In Pocket by Stephen Puleston. @stephenpuleston @Books_n_all

I want to thank Jill Burkinshaw for inviting me and this Blog Tour for Brass In Pocket.  I have also included my review of the prequel novella Devil’s Kitchen.

devils kitchen

Title: Inspector Drake #0.5 Devil’s Kitchen by Stephen Puleston

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

****Currently free on Kindle****

Description:

A tragic accident?
When two bodies are found sprawled at the bottom of the Devil’s Kitchen in the mountains of Snowdonia, it’s believed the man found dead killed his wife and then committed a suicide. But something doesn’t feel right to DI Ian Drake and his gut instinct has never let him down before.

Or murder on a mountain?
Drake suspects at least one of the deaths could be suspicious, but who would kill such an ordinary couple and why? This might be Drake’s first murder inquiry, but his years as a detective have taught him one thing – every murder has a motive, and every killer leaves a trace.

Review:

The story opens with Ian Drake, newly promoted to Detective Inspector and he’s keen to prove himself when the call comes in about two bodies being found in the Cwn Idwal valley in the middle of Snowdonia, otherwise known as the Devil’s Kitchen.

It looks like a simple murder suicide but Drake is unsure. With the help of DS Caren Waits he wants to find out what really happened.

This is a good short story, it’s only eleven chapters long, and a nice introduction to the characters of DI Drake and DS Waits.

DI Drake seems a little OCD and serious which nicely complements DS Waits who’s a bit more laid back and messy.

I haven’t read many stories set in Wales, especially crime fiction and I’m interested in seeing where this series is headed. The review for the first full length novel in the series, Brass In Pocket is up next!

I read it in one sitting and I think it’s ideal for a commute or if you’ve got a bit of spare time.

Rating: 3/5

Brass in Pocket cover

Title: Brass in Pocket: Inspector Drake #1 by Stephen Puleston

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

It is the middle of the night…The road is deserted…A killer is waiting…

Two traffic officers are killed on an isolated mountain pass in North Wales. Inspector Drake is called to the scene and quickly discovers a message left by the killer – traffic cones in the shape of a No 4.

The killer starts sending the Wales Police Service lyrics from famous rock songs. Are they messages or is there some hidden meaning in them?

Does it all mean more killings are likely? When a politician is killed Drake has his answer. And then the killer sends more song lyrics. Now Drake has to face the possibility of more deaths but with numbers dominating the case Drake has to face his own rituals and obsessions.

Finally, when the killer threatens Drake and his family he faces his greatest challenge in finding the killer before he strikes again.

Inspector Drake

Detective Ian Drake is an inspector in the Wales Police Service and is based in the northern division headquarters near Colwyn Bay on the coast. North Wales is a large area that stretches from the coast to the border with England. It is an area rich in history and great scenery.

Book 0.5: The Devils Kitchen (a prequel novella)

Book 1: Brass in Pocket

Book 2: Worse than Dead

Book 3: Against the Tide

Book 4: Dead on your Feet

Book 5: March 2018

Review:

The book opens with the death of two dodgy policemen on an isolated road. The killer leaves a number four at the crime scene then sends a message to the baffled police in the form of song lyrics. A second murder occurs with the same M.O. and it’s up to Inspector Drake and his team to stop the killer before they strike again.

This is book is set in the picturesque setting of north Wales like Devil’s Kitchen. Inspector Drake is a man on the edge. He’s ambitious and he’s been given one of the biggest cases of his life yet suffering from mental health problems,.i.e. obsessive compulsive disorder. The author conveys OCD very well and shows how when their stress levels raise they find comfort in their routines (in Drakes case, it’s making sure his desk is tidy and orderly and doing his daily sudoku puzzle). I know people who suffer from the condition and this is very accurate. He’s not particularly likeable but that is balanced out by his DS, Caren Waits.

I also liked the chapters written from the prospective of the killer with little glimpses inside their mind, (if you are a regular reader of my reviews you probably know it’s one of my favourite things in crime novels).

I have to be honest after reading the prequel novella first which seemed very well put together, I was a little disappointed by the editing of this book. I think it could have done with a little more revising, as sometimes I thought that I’d missed something or some information was left out.

The book was it was named after a song Brass In Pocket by the Pretenders (I’ve vaguely heard of the band myself but not the song) and the killer taunts them with lyrics from that and other songs but the song lyrics don’t actually appear in the book. I feel if the author couldn’t get permission to use the lyrics, then maybe he could have used something else.

Also it has the tired old trope of Scousers (that a nickname for people from the Liverpool area to any international readers) being either thugs or incompetent which as a person who was born and bred in Liverpool and does not have a violent bone in my body I find exceptionally annoying. I’m also not denying that there are violent thugs floating around my city but if there were as many as there are in crime books/tv shows we’d be overrun with them which is not the case.

Rating: 2.5/5

Author Bio:

I write mysteries and thrillers.

I have published the first novel in a series featuring Inspector Drake based in North Wales andAuthor photo also the first in a series with Inspector John Marco based in Cardiff. The first Drake mystery is called BRASS IN POCKET and the second WORSE THAN DEAD. The third, AGAINST THE TIDE and the fourth, DEAD ON YOUR FEET.

Before turning to crime fiction I had written three other unpublished novels and you can read about my writing and about Wales, one of the most beautiful countries in the world, on my website http://www.stephenpuleston.co.uk/

I was brought up on the Isle of Anglesey, off the North Wales coast and went to school in Holyhead. After a degree in Theology from London University I decided to train as a lawyer and returned to work in the practice run by my father on Anglesey. For many years I worked as a lawyer in a small practice representing clients in the criminal courts and doing divorce work all of which has given me valuable raw material for my novels.

I still live and work in North Wales where the Inspector Drake novels are set. 


LINKS:

Website: http://www.stephenpuleston.co.uk/

twitter @stephenpuleston


Facebook: http://on.fb.me/17G6iIA

#BookReview Manipulated Lives by @HALeuschel

Title: Manipulated Lives by Helene Leuschel

Genre: Literary & General Fiction, Novellas, Suspense

Audience: Adults

Three words to describe the book: Psychological, manipulation, narcissism

Publisher: Self-published

Page count: 274

Publication Date: 8th June 2016

Description:

Five stories – Five Lives.

 
Have you ever felt confused or at a loss for words in front of a spouse, colleague or parent, to the extent that you have felt inadequate or, worse, a failure? Do you ever wonder why someone close to you seems to endure humiliation without resistance?
Manipulators are everywhere. At first these devious and calculating people can be hard to spot, because that is their way. They are often masters of disguise: witty, disarming, even charming in public – tricks to snare their prey – but then they revert to their true self of being controlling and angry in private. Their main aim: to dominate and use others to satisfy their needs, with a complete lack of compassion and empathy for their victim.
In this collection of short novellas, you meet people like you and me, intent on living happy lives, yet each of them, in one way or another, is caught up and damaged by a manipulative individual. First you meet Tess, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision, then young, successful and well balanced Sophie, who is drawn into the life of a little boy and his troubled father. Next, there is teenage Holly, who is intent on making a better life for herself, followed by a manipulator himself, trying to make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Lastly, there is Lisa, who has to face a parent’s biggest regret. All stories highlight to what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives and threaten our very feeling of self-worth.

 

Review:

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by the author herself.

Manipulated Lives is a collection of five short stories, Tess and tattoos, The spell, Runaway girl, The narcissist and My perfect child, all based around the theme of manipulation.

Tess And Tattoos is about eighty two year old, Tess, the survivor of domestic abuse who meets the kind hearted Sandra who forge an unlikely friendship which helps Tess come to terms with her past.

The Spell is about Sophie who befriend a young boy named Leo and enters into a relationship with his father. She is happy to spend time with Leo and sees him like her own son. Their happiness is short lived as a woman begins stalking them on behalf of Leo’s mother.

Runaway Girl is about fifteen year old Holly, who wants freedom from her alcoholic mother and out of the small flat that she shares with her family. But she catches the eye of Luke, the hottest boy in school with a bad reputation. She’s never really had a boyfriend before and is soon caught in Luke’s web.

The Narcissist is about a life long con artist who can’t see the error of his ways even though he’s now dying.

My Perfect Child is about Lisa who thinks she has the perfect son whom she spoils with attention and constantly makes excuses for. As the story progresses she realises that he has been manipulating her and everyone around him.

The Spell was by far my favourite and well worth buying this book for. It had a very psychological thriller feel to it. It really drew me into Sophie’s world, sharing her fears and feeling her protectiveness over Leo.

But I have to be honest the other stories didn’t quite live up to The Spell. I felt there was a lot of telling the reader what was happening rather than showing. Like for instance in Tess and Tattoos we’re told about the awkward guilt filled telephone calls that Tess has with her son, who lives in Australia. I felt it would have been better maybe to have shown one these calls within the dialogue. Also at times, especially in The Runaway Girl, the dialogue was little awkward too.

But overall I think Helene did an amazing job handling such a sensitive subject as manipulation/abuse and I can tell there was a lot of painstaking research was done on this subject throughout the stories.

These stories won’t be to everyone’s taste, and I even found it a little hard myself sometimes to read, but I’d recommend you give them a try.

Rating: 3/5

Author bio:

Photo - Helene editedHelene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism and Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh.

She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches Yoga.

For more about Helene Leuschel check out the links below:

Website: www.heleneleuschel.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/HALeuschel

Facebook: www.facebook/HALeuschel
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15337013.H_A_Leuschel

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Manipulated-Lives-H-Leuschel/dp/1534708979/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478786755&sr=8-1&keywords=manipulated+lives

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Manipulated-Lives-H-Leuschel-ebook/dp/B01GU27Y1E/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&q

 

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Flash Fiction: The Date.

Okay so I’ve been trying to stick to a regular Tuesday and Friday upload schedule for this blog but I didn’t have a book review to post, so instead I thought I’d post another piece of flash fiction.

Originally I wrote this trying to break into the woman’s magazine fiction scene but I could never get it to fit the guidelines so I posted it on Wattpad.  Unfortunately nobody really read it there, (chicklit is not my usual genre of choice), so I took it down.  I done a few minor adjustments before posting it here, I hope you enjoy!

The Date.

As usual the Snack Stop Café was packed with the lunchtime rush of shop and office workers. The aroma of the day’s special, Chicken Korma reached Kylie’s nose. She was so hungry she could have eaten everything on the menu plus a chair or two. Perhaps even a table.

It was all because of this stupid blind date Amber, her best friend, had set up. She claimed Kylie needed to ‘get her back in the game’ whatever that meant. All Amber would tell her about him was his name; Alexander. It was an intimidating name, not Alex or Al but the whole Alexander. She immediately tried to back out but Amber wasn’t taking it.

But he’s perfect for you,” Amber pleaded. “Do you know how long I’ve been working on setting you two up?”

Immediately Kylie felt annoyed and guilty at the same time. Yes, she’d been making excuse after excuse to get out of the date yet she didn’t want to let her best friend down…but what if he looked like Piers Morgan?

So much to her chagrin, she let Amber drag her shopping to find the perfect outfit to dazzle him into ignoring all obvious her flaws. Kylie had spotted it right away. The ideal shade of purple that made her eyes look more blue than grey, her pale skin glow and brought out the golden highlights in her otherwise mousy brown hair. Only one minor problem, it was a little bit too tight and the last one in the shop. She was determined to drop a few pounds but only had three days to do it.

So she dieted and exercised and drank green tea until it came out of her ears all for tonight. She had to admit her skirt did feel a little looser.

Her stomach rumbled.

Whoa,” said the man who had just appeared next to her. “Is there a bear in here?”

She turned to face him. A large pair of glasses and a cheesy grin met her. He wore a novelty PAC-Man t-shirt and skinny jeans more suitable to a twenty-something than the almost pushing forty as he was. More annoyingly he was lean, in a I-can-eat-what-I-want-and-not-get-fat-kind-of-way.

God I hate him.

Kylie rolled her eyes at him and returned to the menu.

He wasn’t giving up

Kylie?” He said reading the name tag her boss at the bank insisted she wear. “Were you named after Kylie Minogue by any chance?”

Maybe if I ignore him, he’ll go away, she thought.

No such luck.

So, what’s good here, apart from the gorgeous company, of course.”

Look I’m really not in the mood for your bad chat up lines, so just move along,” she snapped.

Okay,” He put his hands up in mock surrender, “if I don’t chat you up, can recommend something good to eat? It’s my first time here.”

Oh,” Kylie pursed her lips feeling a little bad for snapping at him. “The burgers are good.”

Or the ham and cheese panini.”

Or the tuna bake.”

Okay, that’s a lot of choices,” he snapped his fingers. “I tell you what, I’ll just have what your having.”

You’ll be disappointed, I’m probably going to have the chicken salad.”

Kylie’s stomach rumbled again even louder.

Is there a reason you’re starving yourself?”

I have a date and this dress. It’s a little small…”

Does the dress have magical powers?”

No.”

Then why can’t you wear another one?”

Really?”

Well, if I was your date, I prefer if you didn’t look like you were about to gnaw my arm off.”

As oppose to a date that was bursting out of her dress?”

I’m not opposed to that,” he said winking.

Kylie stifled a smile. She looked at him again, properly this time, behind the glasses were a pair of warm brown eyes and his smile wasn’t as cheesy as she first thought.

Sorry, flirting. Won’t happen again,” he smiled, not sounding remotely sorry.

I’ll make you a deal, you eat anything you like and if your idiot of a date doesn’t find you utterly irresistible,” he grabbed one of the café’s menus and wrote something on it, “here’s my number. Do you know, you really do have beautiful eyes, when you’re not rolling them at me, that is. So sorry, flirting again.”

Kylie felt bloated. After her mystery lunchtime friend had left she’d eaten a burger, chips, a muffin topped off by a chocolate milkshake. Now, she was sitting in at a table in the fancy restaurant that Amber had picked for her date, fidgeting with the hem of the black dress she’d hastily pulled on after the purple one didn’t fit.

Damn that stupid man, she thought

His number was still crumpled in the front pocket of her handbag. She just checked on it five minutes ago to make sure it hadn’t disappeared.

Kylie?”

She turned round to see her lunchtime friend dressed in a grey suit had taken the seat opposite her.

He actually looking like an adult, a debonair, James bond kind of…then she caught a sight of his socks. They were bright green with dinosaurs on them.

What are you doing here? Actually doesn’t matter I’m waiting for my date.”

That would be me.”

You? You’re Alexander?”

I prefer Xander if that’s all right with you.”

Okay Xander,” she replied, her voice laced with disdain.

She grabbed her bag, getting up.

Xander grabbed her hand. It felt warm and soft.

Okay, confession time,” he said nervously, “I kind of followed you to the café, I mean, not here. You see I’ve never been on a blind date and I was nervous…”

So you stalked me?” She snapped pulling her hand away from his.

You call it stalking I call it research,” He replied cheekily.

Kylie’s mouth dropped open.

I can’t believe you just said that.”

So, is this the dress?” he said trying to change the subject.

Oh what, no, it didn’t fit.”

Shame.”

What?”

I really wanted to see you burst out of it.”

She raised an eyebrow, trying to stifle a smile.

You look really pretty when you smile. Sorry flirting won’t happen again.”

Isn’t flirting what you’re meant to do on a date?”

So, you aren’t going to storm out of here and tell everyone you know that I’m some sort of weirdo?”

She hesitated a little. “The night is young.”

Xander’s stomach growled.

Whoa, is there a bear in here?” Kylie said repeating his words from earlier.

They laughed.

She looked at Xander as they sat back down and thought;

I may not have been wearing the prefect dress but who needs perfect anyway?

© LJ Cassidy

The picture is not my own.