Windows into other people’s lives

This is my favourite type of writing. I like to peep through a window into other people’s lives and make a little snippet, a scene, a moment. I guess they are short short stories. Perhaps we’d call it flash fiction but I don’t keep to any word count restrictions. I didn’t write these recently, I wrote them nearly four years ago.

A man and a woman sit side by side on a bench at the top of a hill. Traffic below hums like insect noise as they gaze across the flickering city. The woman sighs. The man places his hand upon hers, her skin cold in the November night air.
“I love you”
“I’m leaving you”
The moon goes behind a cloud.

“You made it then?”
He swallowed his mouthful of Stella Artois. “Yes, I did.”
“To be honest, I didn’t think you’d turn up.” She sat down on the barstool beside him. “I’m glad you did, though.”
“I didn’t think I would either.” He stared into his pint. “But here I am.”
“So did you do it?”
“Yes, I did it.”
“Was it difficult?”
“The most difficult thing I have ever done.” He continued to stare downward into his drink.
She didn’t know how to reply to that. It was a relief when he raised his head and looked her in the eye. “I’ve done the right thing, though,” he said. “I know it.”

The lights are so bright and hot on my face. The audience is a sea of black when I step out onto the stage and stand before the microphone. My eyes finally get used to the light and I manage to pick out Mum, Dad and Jack in the audience. I’m so glad Jack came to hear me play. He must really love me. It’s only a school concert, but playing the saxophone is something I really love. And he’s here to share that with me, and support me. With a smile and a deep breath, I close my eyes and place my lips on the reed.

There she is. Wow, she looks hot in her uniform. That little skirt and tight white blouse. I think I can just about see her bra with the bright lights shining on her. Seeing her lips touch that saxophone is turning me on so much. I can’t wait to get her home.


Now these ones are similar but for some reason, particular words were highlighted but I can’t remember the reason. I think it might’ve been a writing exercise I did at university or something. All the different snippets are linked by certain words, I think. Maybe we were given pictures to look at? I don’t know. Anyway, I’ve changed it so nothing is highlighted and perhaps someone else can work it out for me.

I love my job but I hate it. You hear the crackled voice over the radio and instinct kicks in to arrive at the scene as quickly as possible. I’m never fully prepared for what I will be faced with and this was no exception. As the blood from the victim’s head wound pooled on the concrete floor, it wasn’t the horrific image before me that chilled me to the bone, it was the look in the eyes of the faithful friend beside him. “Do something,” they pleaded. “Fix him.” I will do all I can.

The fluid crackled in his chest as I rested my head above his heart. I can hardly believe these breaths I can hear are his last. I listen to each one like sacred notes of beautiful music.

Blood- red liquid that carries oxygen around the body. Made of red and white cells. Lose it all and you will die.

He won’t stay faithful. I love him and he loves me but I can tell from the look in his eyes that I won’t be the only one he loves. Despite this, I say “I do.”

Four year old Bella gives five year old Sam her last cookie. It is heart-shaped. I want to take a photograph and put it on a greetings card.

Her face seemed white and chalky in the cold air of winter. I ran the back of my fingers gently down her cheek, half expecting a powder to rub off on my skin, like icing sugar.

I don’t realise anything’s wrong until he looks at me. His eyes are reddened and look heavy. He’s obviously been crying. It’s only when I move towards him that I notice the music playing, poised in the silence of the small room. I take his hand in mine and he squeezes it tightly in return. He wraps an arm around me and rests his head on my shoulder. I pull him closer, running my fingers through his hair as he weeps into my neck.


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