Social Surfing – Gail Aldwin
1400 word Women’s Fiction
Vik is isolated and wants to join the other parents who chat at the school gate. She seizes her chance by asking two couples to dinner and sets about preparing. But making friends is not that easy and the evening lurches from polite conversation to something much darker.
Placing the lilies in the centre of the table, Vik thought the pink petals curled like tongues and she noticed the perfume drifting. The stamens were well away from the napkins folded into crowns, she didn’t want the linen to be marked, at least not before the dinner guests arrived. Taking a step back, she admired the table: the crystal glasses blinked as sunshine leaked through the patio windows, the cutlery was laid in orderly rows, the place-cards were adorned with italic script indicating where each guest should sit. Vik had gambled on the best people to invite, keen to get into the group of parents at the playground gate.
Wait There – Gail Aldwin
1000 word Women’s Fiction
A teenager prepares for a Sunday visit from her Dad. She loves him to bits but things have not been the same since he left home. Her Dad suggests a trip to the beach as a way to patch things up, but it’s not long before things go awry.
Daylight stings my eyes when my Mum opens the curtains, but I’m glad the morning’s here. I stretch star-shaped under the duvet. Mum’s meddling with my things and the wardrobe door creaks. I hope she hasn’t chosen a dress for me to wear. ‘I’ve laid out some clothes for you,’ she says. ‘Your Dad’s coming at nine o’clock.’ ‘I’ll be up in a minute.’ ‘You better have some breakfast before you go. You know what your Dad’s like, he’ll probably forget you need to eat.’