Art theft

The face was familiar but Adrian was rubbish at names.

The man extended a hand. “Hi, how are you?”

“Really well,” Adrian lied. “You?”

“Well… you know.”

Adrian didn’t, but nodded sympathetically. He was about to comment on the painting they were standing in front of, how the woman looked like someone he used to know, when the man burst into tears and threw his arms around Adrian, burying his face into Adrian’s shoulder.

Adrian waited, arms limp by his sides, trapped. “There, there,” he wanted to say, as if comforting a child, but the man was older than him, fatherlike almost.

“She’s never coming back,” the man sobbed.

Adrian, with no clue who ‘she’ was either, said a pathetic ‘I’m sorry’.

The man’s grip relaxed and Adrian assumed he was going to let go but instead felt a sharp pain in his side.

“Too late for sorry, too late for Sasha,” the man grunted.

As Adrian dropped to the floor he remembered the man’s name; Jeff Robson, the artist and the man from whom Adrian, all those years ago, had stolen his wife.

***

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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

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