Flash Fiction Tuesdays - Behind Every Cloud Theres a Deep Blue Sky

Every week, we bring you a fresh, original 200-word story from one of of Legend's stable of exceptionally talented authors. This week we present Behind Every Cloud There’s a Deep Blue Sky by Mark Piggott, author of Fire Horses and Out of Office. Follow us on twitter with #LegendFlashFic to share and comment.

After birth, complications arose. Midwives regarded Ayasha’s squawking body with distaste; the doctor lowered his eyes as she was placed in my bare white arms. After taking her home none of my family visited; old friends stopped returning calls. My baby, my beautiful child, slept oblivious through frost.

Alone and free I moved to New York, finding solace in Manhattan's empty canyons. The city’s indifference to Ayesha’s beauty, her golden skin and astonishing eyes, was consolation for the love she missed out on back in Maine.

Yet on the bleak warm morning I carried Ayesha to that dreadful place, that hollowness by Battery Park, she started to cry as if shamed by the deeds of a father who never knew she existed.

At City Hall I completed the forms which heralded her birth into a world of crushing bureaucracy. Date of birth: June 4, 2002. Mother: Hennessy, Lucille. Nationality: American. Religion: Christian. Occupation: chambermaid. Father’s nationality: Egyptian. Religion: Muslim.  

It was easier than I’d expected to write the father’s name in the box: Atta, Mohammed.

The bit that stumped me was the box marked OCCUPATION. I thought about that for a while, but in the end I left it blank.

Mark Piggott is the author of four books, including Fire Horses and Out of Office, both published by Legend. He's had almost 100 major features published in the nationals and now writes mainly for The Independent and Spectator.