Beyond My Window by Karen Jones

Her over the road’s got a fancy man. He’s got a face like a bulldog lickin’ pish off a thistle, but he’s got a BMW, so she’s happy enough. He’s there now, washing the car. She’s in a deckchair, filing her nails, fake-tanned legs crossed, one bouncing up and down so her sparkly gold sandal looks like it might to fly off. I imagine it does. I imagine it flies through the windscreen.

He’s fit, I suppose. Wears too-tight T-shirts to show off his muscles and skinny jeans that show off his bulging wallet. Bet it’s full of receipts and sugar sachets he’s nicked from McDonalds. Still, I like watching him bending over and squeezing out the sponge. Passes the time.

Another car’s pulled up. It’s her ex-husband. He was no looker either – face like a burst couch – but he took her and her bairns on, so she stayed with him until something better came along. Wait. He’s got someone with him. The passenger door opens and I see the doctor’s receptionist. Body like a blow-up doll but looks like she’s been sookin’ lemons. This’ll be worth watching. Been a while since someone else’s house provided the drama.

The ex and the receptionist walk up the path. Fancy man stops washing the car. Her over the road stops swinging her leg and her sandal slips onto the path. She gets up. Fancy man drops the sponge, dries his hands on his T-shirt, straightens to his full 5’ 5”. It’s going to kick off big time. Wish I had time to get a drink.

They shake hands, hug. Fancy man goes and gets them all drinks. They look over at me and wave. My face beams like a stop light. I hide behind my curtains. This street has gone to shit.

Karen Jones is a flash and short story writer. Her flashes have been nominated for Best of the Net, Pushcart Prize, and included in Best Small Fictions 2019. She’s Features Editor for New Flash Fiction Review. Her novella-in-flash, When It’s Not Called Making Love is published by Ad Hoc Fiction.