The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt … Sylvia Plath

Trincomalee - Gerald Massey
Trincomalee - Gerald Massey

Quentin Cope

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Flash Fiction: Words: 275: Title: The Beginning: Author: © Quentin Cope

The Beginning

Was she aware of his lingering gaze, studying her over a coffee cup held steady against a trembling lower lip? She examined the morning newspaper whilst demolishing her second slice of crisp, brown toast; the flitting, fidgeting eyes offering little indication of an interest in anything other than the contents of the daily broadsheet.

Audrey Briars would never have been considered a 'beauty' by those who had met her, but to him she was in fact a 'handsome' woman, a successful business manager, a competent mother and, on occasion, an enthusiastic lover. Well managed natural blonde hair fell with ease down each side of her face, cut with care to take rest on each shoulder.

Alice also had blonde hair, but something managed with less precision. Alice of course was some years younger than Audrey, caring less about manageability and more about current fashion.

'I'm off now darling'

'Goodbye dear' Audrey replied without lifting her head ... without making eye contact.

Sixth sense perhaps?

Might such a thing be possible; he had only decided himself during the early, stomach churning, sleepless hours?

Might this then be the real beginning?

He closed the front door.

It left him quiet, standing motionless next to his car, teeth grinding with the tension; the knowledge he would not be coming back.

Audrey finished the last bite of her toast. A tear slipped from her eye, falling down her cheek as she pulled the letter from beneath the newspaper, reading the dampened words for the thirty fifth time.

'Dear Audrey. My name is Alice and you probably won't recognize the name, but I have something I need to tell you!'