I am very fond of writers who share their work …
Yes, alright, you got me, I am very fond of writers full stop. They are so supportive, and kind, and understanding. And so here, for my last blog post with Margaret River Press—thank you, it’s been an honour and a privilege—I am sharing a piece of flash fiction written by moi that won the 2018 Brisbane Writers Festival Micro-Fiction Competition. The theme was What the World Needs Now.
Four Dollars and Seventy-five Cents
He counts the coins out onto the countertop, he has enough because yesterday he smoked one ciggie less so he won’t have to buy until tomorrow and the girl slides his money into her palm, tinkles it into the till, and tells him two minutes, and his mouth drools thinking of the bitterness, creaminess, the residue of chocolatey froth that he will lick up with one finger inserting his whole digit into his mouth, tipping the polystyrene to his lips, tapping on the base, sucking down every bloody last gorgeous drop.
He reaches out with shaky hands for the cup and the frayed filthy cuffs of his hoodie brush the counter, he ducks his head, shambles away to pause at the intersection, and the lights flicker red to green and the crush of commuters crowd his elbows as he crosses to the corner, the corner with the woman with the kid, the woman selling the magazine that keeps her alive, her eyes on his precious cargo and her longing stopping him in his tracks and his one millisecond of regret before he wordlessly offers up his cappuccino.
Kathy George is a Brisbane-based writer. She has a Master of Fine Arts (Research) from the Queensland University of Technology, and has been published in numerous Australian literary journals, including four times in Margaret River Press short story anthologies. Her Gothic novel Sargasso was shortlisted for the 2020 ASA/Harlequin Commercial Fiction Prize and will be published by Harlequin in 2021.