Tetra Fish




Alice knew as soon as he entered the bar she would be leaving with him that night. His beautiful olive skin and inky-black hair called out—like a siren—to her womanly desires. His indigo eyes locked on Alice’s, and he took the seat next to her. “Hi, I’m Jack. Let me buy you a drink,” he said, immediately summoning the bartender’s attention. 

After just two Martinis, Alice found herself linking arms with Jack and leaving the bar. As they climbed into a taxi, her stomach somersaulted. She hesitated, contemplating what she was about to do. She had never picked up a guy in a bar before. That was an occupation of the beautiful and confident; not Alice. With mousy-brown hair and pale blue eyes, she was too plain to ever attract someone at first sight. At least, that was what her mother told her.

Taking a deep, cleansing breath, she followed Jack along the rocky stone path to his front door. The house loomed high over them, casting a long shadow in the moonlight. A small flower garden alongside the path looked well-kept. Surprisingly so, for a single man in his twenties.

The old, wooden front door creaked as it welcomed them inside. In contrast to the aged exterior, the heart of the house was light and contemporary. Before Alice had even noticed Jack was missing, he returned; hands carrying more Martinis.

As they settled on the cream leather sofa, they began to explore each other. Their mouths locked and their bodies entwined. The electricity was sharp and Alice could feel herself start to let go. Then she saw it. Oh no. A wave of nausea flooded her bloodstream. 

“Fish!” she yelled, “I hate fish. Oh my God, they’re staring at me!”

Surprised, but wanting to reassure her, Jack said, “It’s okay. They’re not looking at you. They’re Mexican Tetra fish; they have no eyes.” 

But Alice didn’t hear. Throwing open the front door, she ran as fast as her feet would carry her. I’m never picking up a one night stand again, she thought, as she rounded the corner onto her own street.


Flash Fiction Prompt

My writing group gave a flash fiction prompt which was to write a story of 300 words or fewer, using the words fly, mind, and card.

This is my story.

Barn Owl


The Owl With A Fear Of Flying

Spectre sat on the highest branch of the tree, holding onto the bark with all his might.

“I can’t do it, Mama,” he said as tears fell onto his downy, white feathers. “I don’t want to fly.”

“Spectre, darling, you have to try. You’re an owl. You were born to do this. It’s simply a case of mind over matter. Now, come on, launch yourself.” His mother’s voice sounded harsher than usual.

A prickling of fear spread over the young owl’s body. He screwed up his eyes and spread his wings. Edging closer to the drop that lay before him, he took a deep breath.

“Do it, Spectre, don’t be a baby!” his younger sister, Snowdrop, shouted, breaking his concentration.

Pressing himself back against the trunk, he panted and repeated, “I can’t I can’t I can’t.”

“Snowdrop, it’s time for your bed. Off you go now, dear,” his mother said. Turning to Spectre, her eyes softened. “All right, I think I know what might help.”

“What, Mama?” A worm of unease wriggled inside him.

“Dr Meadows. I hear he’s the best hypnotherapist in the forest. He helped little Belle Bluebird to fly when she was scared. I have his business card in the barn. I had a feeling we might need it some day.”

The first session did nothing to help Spectre overcome his fear. “It’s no use, I’ll always be afraid,” he bemoaned to his mother.

After his third session, something strange happened. He wanted to climb the tree. He wanted to try to fly. Touching his toes to the edge of the branch, he tipped himself forward and began to plummet. Panic gripped his heart, and then he remembered: flap and breathe, flap and breathe. Gazing up to where his mother sat, he cried, “Look, Mama, I’m flying!”