Natural Erosion

by Karen Jones

“You’re like the Queen,” he used to joke, “taking your handbag everywhere, even to the beach.”

She knows she should miss him, miss the children. She does miss the sea, the shock of spray on her face. Not the sand. Not those ground down particles of something that used to be bigger, stronger, scratching at feet already itching to leave.

Back in the city she inhales exhaust fumes and fast-food outlet fake aromas and feels at home. She’ll call what he thinks of as home later. On the underground she clutches her handbag to her chest, trying to stay afloat.

This story won First Prize in the February 2021 Monthly Micro Competition.

About the author: Karen Jones is a flash and short story writer from Glasgow. Her work is included in numerous anthologies and magazines and frequently found on long and short lists. Her story, Small Mercies, was included in Best Small Fictions 2019 and nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. She is Special Features Editor at New Flash Fiction Review. Her novella-in-flash, When It’s Not Called Making Love, is published by Ad Hoc Fiction.