Posted in Flash Fiction

The Wobbly Table

For a change I’m posting a story that is not linked to ant particular prompt. This one came about on a recent creative writing workshop I attended, organised by our Writing Group. The exercise was to write some dialogue between a couple in a cafe, linked to a wobbly table. Let me know what you think.

p1080112The Wobbly Table

Pauline checked the tray she was carrying. A latte and a round of toast for him, a pot of tea and a toasted tea cake for her. She’d no idea why she bothered to check, it was always the same. Every Saturday they came to town, did a bit of shopping and ended up in the Market Café for a drink. Every bloody Saturday!

When she looked up, George had moved. What was he playing at. They always sat at the same table, the one by the artificial  Aspidistra  plant, away from the draft of the door. He sat facing the wall because she liked to face outwards so that she could watch out for anyone she knew.

“George! What on earth are you doing? Why have you moved?”

“Sorry dear, it’s the table, it’s not straight, I can’t sit there.”

“Don’t be so silly George! Sit back at our table and stop making a scene.”

“It’s not me making a scene Pauline. You’re the one who’s raising your voice. It’s you people are looking at, not me.”

“That’s right blame me! Why is it George you can’t do the simplest thing without making a fuss. All I wanted was for you to save us our normal Saturday table and you have to make a drama out of it. What is the matter with you?”

“But Pauline, the table is wobbly.”

“Wobbly! Wobbly! The only thing round here that’s wobbly is you. This is so typical of you George. Any excuse to make me look foolish. 30 years I’ve given you. 30 years of cleaning, washing, cooking your meals, living with your snoring and this is how you repay me.”

“But Pauline, I was only moving to a different table.”

“Well if it’s a move you want George then maybe you should do it properly. You might as well move out altogether. It’s what you really want. A chance to move in with that tart of a barmaid from the Old Fox. Don’t give me that look George, I know what the pair of you have been up to behind my back. Disgusting. Well, see how she likes cleaning your smelly socks. I’m off home. When you get there you’ll find your things on the doorstop. Don’t bother leaving a forwarding address.”

With that, Pauline slammed the tray on the wobbly table and stormed out, to a ripple of applause and a shout of, “Good on you love.”

George looked at the tray. The milk from Pauline’s tea had toppled over, soaking her toasted tea cake. To his delight his latte was still intact. He picked it up, grabbed his toast and sat at his chosen table. When he looked around him people had stopped staring, the entertainment was over, they’d all returned to their normal, boring lives.

George sipped his coffee and smiled. Rosie was going to be so pleased. She’d been on at him for months to leave Pauline and move in with her but he’d never found the right time to break it to his wife, not until today.



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