Elsie Bickerstaffe’s Window

Mother judged other women by their nets, and Elsie Bickerstaffe’s naked windows told her all she needed to know. Elsie’s too-short skirts showed more than was decent as she leaned into the fishman’s van. She reeled him in with head-tilted smiles and the way she caressed his fingers when she took her change. Before long, he was slipping her extra fillets. “That bay window’s like an aquarium” Mother said, peering through her snow-white nylon as Elsie wound octopus tentacles around her catch. Mother bought her fish from the market after that, and stopped wearing stockings and suspenders on Wednesday afternoons.

Alison Wassell is a short story, flash and micro fiction writer, published by Retreat West, Reflex Fiction, Bath Flash Fiction Award, NFFD and FlashFlood Journal. She has no plans whatsoever to write a novel.