Another shortlisting! Disbelief much?

Another week, another shortlist for my fiction.

Back to the Secret Attic website for their weekly flash fiction prize. For week 42 I entered a piece called ‘Room for Four’ and was shortlisted!

It’s a 300 maximum word challenge. This time I scraped through with 294 words using the phrase “all of it?” somewhere within the text.

I chose a story about a dating couple and their 3rd date. The full text is below for you to enjoy.

My writing has become a real mix of light and dark, but I was relieved to discover a light-hearted idea for this challenge.

I’ve talked before about how my mental health has an effect on my creativity and is often clear to see in my drawing and writing. I can feel myself entering a darker phase of my life and the ability to draw and write has been affected by this.

There’s no shame in suffering, and sometimes the key that unlocks some relief can appear in the strangest places. It’s taken me years to find something I’m happy to reflect my brains difficulty in. But it doesn’t always work, which is why I sometimes have a hiatus on here.

Anyway, I’m still doing my best to create fiction that provokes thought on important issues as well as making a reader smile from time to time. I hope you like this latest piece!

**********

Room for four

Dating had become a minefield.

She quickly discovered coming out of a 10-year relationship in your thirties meant there were slim pickings.

However, this was the first time she’d met someone she wanted to see again. 

He was a breath of fresh air. And they were on date 3.

They’d chatted, laughed, and chomped their way through 2 courses.

“Fancy a dessert?” He clearly did.

“Yeah, lets have a look at the menu!”

“What can I get you?” The waitress was clearly rushing them.

“I’ll have the Vanilla Cheesecake please” 

“Hmm. I think I’ll have the Chocolate Super Sundae please”

The waitress looked back and forth between the two of them. Something was confusing.

“Sarah. That sundae serves 4. What are you doing?”

“Having dessert!”

“All of it?”

“Absolutely”

She was a keen runner, so despite its enormity, she knew she’d earned it.

He watched in awe of her ability to demolish a colossal pile ice cream mixed with so many chunks of chocolate.

After dessert had been devoured, they stood outside the restaurant talking.

She could only think how much she’d enjoyed herself.

“I’d love to do this again. Are you free on Sunday?” She knew it was forward, but he made her feel confident and hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

“Oh. Um. I’ll have to check – I’ve got an event this weekend.” For the first time there was an awkward pause. “I’ll call you, ok?”

He couldn’t get away quicker. 

That would be the last time she ate a dessert designed for 4 people in front of anyone.

She opened her phone, removed ‘Foodie’ from her list of likes on the dating app. 

A private message from a new man was waiting for her. 

She sent a wink back. 

Onwards and upwards.

**********

Published by stephc2021

Hi! I'm Steph, an amateur writer and illustrator specialising in Mental Health and being a self-confessed Spoonie. My website is home to any successful fiction I create, with stories that have won so far covering difficult subjects such as baby loss and mental health in grief as well as some funny and heart-warming tales when I get the inspiration. Every drawing and picture on my website was created by me. I spend a lot of time coming up with illustrations to accompany all of my posts and pages. I try to create original content across all of my channels, whether I'm writing about my own fiction or just generally musing on mental health or my own issues. I want to be part of the change because I believe the understanding of MH in the UK is getting better, but has a very long way to go. By being honest about my own struggles and symptoms I think others will relate and hopefully it will encourage them to talk to someone and get the help and support they need. Long term my goal is to help children too, help them understand their own mental health and how to help with the mental health of those around them. I live in the UK with my partner, daughter and dog, I swear frequently and I adore a well made, traditional, gooey, chocolatey, delicious brownie.

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