Hello! It’s been a bit quiet here for a couple of weeks but, all being well, this should be the first of three posts this week; this one, one on Short Fiction Break and one on Flash Fiction Magazine. So keep checking back! And do enjoy this one. It’s a love story. Sort of.
I retreated from the wedding buffet with a big plate of sausage rolls and sat down. I only eat sausage rolls. I like the buttery, melty, flaky pastry and the squishy cold middle. I can’t eat anything else. Even thinking about trying something different brings on the gag reflex and makes the back of my brain feel like it’s on fire. I took a bite. Delicious.
I was at the wedding alone, which is not unusual for me as women don’t tend to take to a man whose diet consists exclusively of sausage meat in pastry. Not only is it impossible for me to take a lady out to dinner anywhere – except Greggs – I’m also rather puffy and pallid in the face due to my nonexistent vitamin intake. I watched the queue of people coiling around the buffet table, paper plates in hand, helping themselves to quiche, crisps, and cheese squares on cocktail sticks so pointy it’s a wonder they let people handle them when they’re drunk, which everyone here seemed to be. Did you know that it can be 15 years between accidentally swallowing a piece of cocktail stick when you’ve had a few drinks and finally feeling pain in your intestinal tracts? It’s true, I read a report about it on the internet. I can show you if you like.*
‘Where’s all the bladdy sossidge rolls gahn?’ bellowed a voice from the buffet.
Those nearby looked at me, then shuffled away. I squinted over at the table. I should have worn my glasses really, but I was hoping today would be the day I’d meet a lady who enjoyed sausage rolls and medical reports just as much as I do. I try to remain optimistic as best I can. I couldn’t see who was doing the bellowing.
‘I want sossidge rolls right nar!’ came the voice again. ‘Oo’s got them?’
‘He has!’ came a voice from a few metres away. I tried to shrink back in my seat, but it’s difficult to do that on a stool.
‘Right!’ snarled the voice. Someone came marching towards me. As I squinted, the shape came into focus.
‘Whatja think yer doing, nickin’ all the bleedin’ sossidge rolls?!’ enquired the shape; a shape which turned out to belong to the single most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen, with long tresses of dark hair and deep, hypnotic hazel eyes. I stared at her. I was struck dumb. She wasn’t. She ranted and raved and called me a ‘bleedin’ greedy bar steward’. (I never swear, even when I’m quoting other people’s vulgarities.) She had a mouth like a sewer, it was true, but the grace and beauty of the rarest and daintiest of butterflies. I wondered how I could ensnare such a species in my net. (Metaphorically speaking, of course. I don’t have a net. Any more.)
‘…and I only eat bladdy sossidge rolls!’ she finished.
Oh my God.
‘I only eat sausage rolls too!’ I ventured.
‘Everyfink else makes me puke,’ she said.
‘My friends all think I’m weird.’
I didn’t have any friends, so instead I said: ‘Do you like reading old medical reports on the internet?’
‘Yes!’ she said.
Holy moly. Could this be… it? I stared at her. She stared at me. Her big dark eyes locked on mine, and she smiled. I smiled back. I had pastry stuck between my teeth, and hoped she wouldn’t notice. I opened my mouth to deliver some incredibly witty yet seductive repartee.
But before I could, a giant tattooed thug appeared from behind her and said ‘’Ere Clara, has this twat nicked all yer sossidge rolls?’ He snatched the plate from my bewildered hands, then punched me in the gut with his ham hocks. I sprawled to the floor, dirtying my beautiful tweed jacket.
‘Do you mind,’ I managed to gasp. ‘My grandfather died in this jacket!’
‘Ere you go, luv,’ he said, ignoring me and handing her the plate.
‘What a loser,’ I heard the girl say as they turned and walked away.
I scrabbled back onto my stool, and looked back towards the buffet table. What would I eat now?
Then again, I wasn’t really hungry any more.