‘Blink ‘ Fish Prizewinning Flash Fiction 2020.

Here is my Flash Fiction which won second place in the 2020 anthology. I do hope you like it.

I lick a fingertip and run it around the salty rim of my Margarita, enjoying the squeak as I watch, across the open air rooftop cocktail bar, the young couple fussing over a baby.

With sticky finger I suck, mesmerised, as she clicks and he cradles. The fronds of the palm trees move gently in the sundowner breeze.

Sweet pink bootees on floppy little legs. Sweet pink family. Wellknown rather than famous. Well, known to me anyway.

 She stops clicking, seeing me watching. She sips from a cardboard coffee cup. I sip in reply. He sinks his mouth onto the downy hair of the little one’s head. Holding her close, he stands nearer the edge of the hotel balcony parapet, pointing out the palm treetops, the water glistening just across the road.

‘One more,’ she asks. ‘Hold her up so I can see her face.’

 He turns, lifts the floppy body up for the photo, then walks slowly back to the parapet again. The traffic humming gently, far below. He’s a new man Dad, the best he can be.

I close my eyes, washed by the memory of my own small babies. They were dependent but perfect. I never coped with disability, pain or illness. Grown, gone now.

Time for another sip. I open my eyes, blinking, shading with my hand as the sunset blurs my vision. Sudden screams shatter the idyll, the traffic below a mass of honking, brakes squealing, a siren wails.

And they are gone. Off the balcony. The man and his baby are gone. I blink. I look again, to make sure. They are still gone. I see her leaving, putting her phone in her bag, and the used coffee cup. Our eyes meet. I raise an eyebrow, a question, she nods, I nod, I sip.