Flash Fiction: A Retirement
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Flash Fiction is a Short Story in either 100 or 500 words. Here is a 500 word tale, based on a very real story. (See http://www.flash500.com/index.html)

31 Years

She had worked for the Council for 31 years and on her last day they gave her a card. She opened the envelope and along with the card there was a single pound coin. On the card were the signatures of her former colleagues, two of whom had scrawled “Good Luck” above their signatures.

She ripped card and envelope to shreds with her long taloned fingernails and threw the pieces into the air, obscuring the face of her smug line-manager in a blizzard of spite and hatred.

The street snatched at her heels, the ground sucked at the two huge Sainsbury’s bags containing her papers, the notebooks full of the agonies of spilled egos and destroyed lives, the coffee mug with the stain that looked like Jesus, about 16 pens, ten of which would never work, the framed photograph of her with ‘my boys’.

Revenge. That bully will regret this, she thought.

Her eyes leaked tears like blood as she climbed onto the bus which had taken her home thousands of times in that 31 years. So much effort, dissolved by time! So much of her heart, her mind enmeshed in the words she had created for the sake of the Council, dissolved by time, bathed in acid.

And every work night she had sat on this bus still thinking and planning for the Council, still teeth clenched over the clients she had seen. And lying awake at night so often, seeking and finding solutions for the Council…ideas for the Council…

Yes she had annoyed people. She had never had time for fools, and very often a solution was extremely clear for her and she would say so and implement it as she eventually gained the power to do so. Her theory was always if a solution was the right one, however it was implemented, people would realize, appreciate and applaud the result.

She had been wrong about that obviously!

What a waste.


Home was a wasteland. The living room is bland, scraped clean of any colour, any personality. She had never had time for home…the Council, the Clients had been all that mattered. The cleaner cared more for her home than she did.

Revenge! Grindr, that would do it. A simple matter to install the app, chat up the campest man she could find in the persona of her ex line manager. Some gloriously erect photographs from the net snagged an extravagantly camp, desperate young man. “I can’t wait!” she typed. “Come to my place at ….” The address “and if a woman opens the door tell her you’re my slut, she knows all about it, and explain what we are going to do together…” His wife will explode. His children will scream…….! Bastard!

In the bathroom cabinet, the sleeping pills. Whisky in the cupboard. Still clutched in her hand, that coin.

Not actually a pound. A gold Victoria sovereign.

In the bedroom, a flourish of flowers delivered this morning, arranged by the cleaner.


497 words. Do you know what the last 3 are?

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