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Abbie`s Present

by Jojovits1 

Posted: 06 April 2022
Word Count: 446
Summary: for this week's Flash

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The doll does remind me a little of Abbie, my best friend. 

Same colour hair, although greying a little now I suspect.  She keeps it well covered with regular visits to the salon but I remember her dark, unruly braids from when we were younger.

Abbie had been the new girl at primary school, and I had been given the job of showing her around for the first week.  We quickly became best friends and spent most of our time in and out of each other's houses.  Mum often said it was like having another daughter, which Abbie loved.  Her own mum was always too busy to pay her much attention.
We shared everything when we were kids.  Clothes, make up, dreams.   Abbie had wanted to be a film star back then and she was so pretty that it didn’t seem that farfetched.  I giggle at the memory of Abbie playing Juliet, the thick, Glaswegian accent not doing Mr Shakespeare’s words any favours at all.

She didn’t let it stop her though.  For such a fragile looking little thing, she had a determination that was frightening.  She applied for drama school in Edinburgh and refined her accent.  We had both been so excited when she got in.  The graduation photo on the table shows the two of us wrapped around each other, smiling at the camera, squinting against the sun.  Happy.
I take a sip of my tea and study the photograph.  So young. 

We took very different paths, she and I.  She started to get some small parts in independent films which lead to bigger roles.  She never became a huge star but she was a bit of a local celebrity for a while.  Jerry and I used to laugh at the commotion she would cause when she came to visit.  It wasn’t exactly the Paparazzi hanging about outside like a scene from Notting Hill but there was always a journalist or two milling about.  She was Maid of Honour at our wedding and the local paper covered it.
She used to tell me she envied my life, that I had what she wanted.  I don’t really believe that for a second, she just enjoys the contrast.

Neither of us had children.  Jerry and I couldn’t and she didn’t want to, so it was a bit of a surprise when she told me she was pregnant.  Pregnant at 42 no less. 

This was yesterday when I came home to find her telling Jerry he was going to be a father.
So I have this doll for her. 

I stroke it’s black hair of crude wool, a little like Abbie’s, as I stab the first pin.

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Comments by other Members

michwo at 01:09 on 07 April 2022  Report this post
My immediate reaction to this was to say to myself: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, thinking I was quoting Shakespeare but finding subsequently that I'd got the wrong William when I googled the phrase. It actually comes from a play called The Mourning Bride (1697) by William Congreve (1670-1729) and is in fact two lines in the original:
Heav'n has no Rage like Love to Hatred turn'd
Nor Hell a Fury like a Woman scorn'd.
Not a lot of people know that. Well, I didn't. What a nightmare for any woman to find that her husband's been unfaithful to her with her best friend and her best friend is pregnant with his child! Whoever reads this story will have to take the sticking of the pin in at the end seriously leaving "The Witchfinder", currently showing on BBC1, to poke fun at witchery in general. (She started to get small parts in independent films which lead to bigger roles? For 'lead' read 'led'.
I stroke it's black hair of crude wool? For 'it's' read 'its'.)


P.S. The aforementioned sitcom is currently showing at 10 pm on Tuesdays on BBC2. The final episode, Episode 6, will be broadcast at this time next Tuesday. All episodes are already available to watch on BBCiPlayer.
P.P.S. I use the word 'witchery' to include the witchfinders themselves who contrived to make a living out of it.

Bazz at 19:07 on 07 April 2022  Report this post
A nice subtle piece Jo, dreams that come true but slowly unfold into nightmares. You capture two long lives intertwined, that come suddenly and jarringly apart, so much caught in such a short word count, very well achieved!

euclid at 20:36 on 11 April 2022  Report this post
Great story.

I really enjoyed it.



FelixBenson at 09:36 on 12 April 2022  Report this post
Ooh I loved the delicious turn in this story, but the undertone of unease was conveyed all the way through...you could tell something bad was going to happen! I didn't guess what.

Well done, Jo. How do you manage to write such concise Flash stories like these that are so satisfying and complete? I can't stop waffling laugh 

Well done, I thought this was great.

Jojovits1 at 21:40 on 12 April 2022  Report this post
I think they are maybe too complete, Kirsty?  Flash is (I think) the essence of a story...the bare bones.  I think I try to write a complete thing that perhaps misses the depth...but I'm getting more into it and learning! :-)x

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