Concealed words riddle his body: fractured across his heart; overworked – liver; underused – penis. He taps the pint glass, glancing at her on the bar stool opposite. Lonely scrawled on her forehead. And round her heart, a wavering impaired.
She too must have a trail of regrets clattering at her heels.
He chances a smile. She looks away. He dips his head, sips his pint, his eyes flicking up.
And he catches it, the sign: her lips softening, just for a second.
Soon he’ll go over and talk, hesitantly. She’ll remain guarded till, relaxing, her heart shivers and settles on paired.
This story won the People’s Prize in the November 2021 Monthly Micro Competition.
About the author: Sharon lives in East Lothian and writes around her part-time job and family life. She has had several short stories and flash pieces published on-line and in magazines, including Ellipsis Zine, Exeter Writers, Writers’ Forum and Cranked Anvil. She tweets as @SharonBoyle50