It’s nearly Christmas, so to cope with the rush, Karen and Ruth have employed a girl to sweep and tidy up. She’s about seventeen and very attractive: petite, cute, brunette, with a breast-hugging white vest top that shows some tummy. If he’d passed her in the street Graham would have smiled and felt a slight stirring, but he’s troubled by a clump of brown hair she’s left at the base of the chair near the window. It’s not in the shadows. It’s on one of the white tiles. It’s unmissable. It doesn’t make sense.




Ashley Chantler is co-director of the International Flash Fiction Association, and co-editor of Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine and Flash: The International Short-Short Story Press.