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Flash Fiction: Splitting by Sarah James

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 Splitting by Sarah James. Follow us on twitter with #LegendFlashFic to share and comment.

Paul wakes feeling like an undercooked egg cracked open: dripping the Saturday morning bells that church wedding suits should keep to themselves, with their feckin’ bow ties, their feckin’ clangers and smiles when his bottle’s sucked dry. He slowly recalls now how loud-mouthed, jaunty-swagger ‘God’ went home with Paul’s ex, Kate, lush and dark-haired on his divinely muscled arm.

Meanwhile, the devil’s an earwig swigging back wax in Paul’s cochlea, the toast keeps taunting his long-past-pissed smoke alarm, margarine melts beside the steaming kettle and he’s bloody jam seeds wedged in his teeth again. He spits pink pips into the sink, and sighs. He knows that Kate is never coming back to him.

The thought used to churn his stomach but now simply settles as a slight heaviness. Paul straightens his spine and glances out of the kitchen window. Though his head is splitting, right hand shaking, bare feet cringing at the cold…there’s a single crocus in the yard pushing purple from the soil.

He pours a coffee: hot, dark, aromatic. Left out, the last of the milk has turned sour. Paul stirs the liquid half-heartedly, then leaves the mug untouched, as a haze-drugged voice calls to him from the bedroom.

Paul follows the sound, all else suddenly quiet in his head. He reaches out and curls blonde hair round his finger. He could come to love this pale sunlight sleeping on his pillow.

Sarah James also writes as Sarah Leavesley and is the author of several works of fiction and poetry. For more information visit her website here