Secret House: The Aftermath – Writing Prompt

Hello! I was inspired to follow up on one of the writing prompts I wrote late, last year after searching through some flash fiction prompts at Flash Fiction Prompts – 100 Day Flash Fic Challenge. The prompt that I wrote last year is called Secret House, which you can read here if you haven’t already.

I decided to choose no.55 on the list of Flash Fiction Prompts. The chosen prompt is “I wanted to stand and fight. He just wanted to finish his tea.”

Vivian gripped the base of her cup, filled to the top with steaming black coffee. She almost burnt her tongue after prematurely taking a sip, but she couldn’t wait. She had sped walked back home, desperate for a hot coffee to drown her sorrows after what she had seen. She replayed that moment back in her head and slammed her cup down on the table, a wave of coffee spilling over the edge.

She paced up and down her kitchen with her hands clawed to her hips, gripped by anger that rose her temperature to fiery levels. Her china plates and cups were neatly stacked on the washing rack near the kitchen sink, but she had the strong urge to throw her washing rack in the air and smash every single crockery that she owned. Her husband had a secret house. A secret child! All of this time, he’d presumably been sneaking off to this house to see this child, whoever she was. What explanation could her husband possibly have for keeping this from her? What was the oaf playing at?

Her breathing was short and rapid, but Vivian willed herself to calm down. She was better than this. Several deep breaths later, she walked carefully back to the kitchen table and cupped her cup of coffee back into her hands.

Her husband hadn’t yet returned back home from his venture to the secret house that hid away a secret child. A little girl who apparently had some sort of connection to Harold. She bit down on her bottom lip as she remembered the way that little girl looked up at her husband with a sweet, pure grin on her face. It was a look of familiarity. Admiration. A look of love. She could recognise that look from a mile off because it was a similar look to the one she had for him all those years ago, when they’d first met. It was funny now, if only a little sad, how the mere thought of it now disgusted her.

Vivian was still sitting in the kitchen and was impatiently tapping her manicured fingers on the table when she heard the rustle of the front door open. She couldn’t bring herself to look at the man as he dragged his heavy feet into the kitchen. He grunted an incoherent ‘hi’ at Vivian before heading straight for the fridge. Vivian picked up the pace of her finger tapping, frowning hard at her coffee that was now almost empty.

‘Not having anything to eat,’ said Vivian, in more of a statement than a question, after Harold pulled out a stack of beers from the fridge.

‘No, I’ve already eaten,’ he mumbled.

He lumbered out of the kitchen and settled into the couch. He spread his legs wide.

‘Where have you been?’ she said, raising her voice so that he could hear her from the living room.

‘I was at a mate’s house, catching up.’

‘A mate? What mate?’

‘Terry.’

Harold twisted a can of beer out of the plastic loophole that kept the can of beers together and cracked it open. Slurping at the liquid on the surface of the can, he slid back on the couch. Vivian swivelled around on her chair and faced him, irritated by his nonchalant attitude.

‘Quit the lying Harold. Where were you really?’

Harold stopped mid sip and turned to Vivian, his brows knitted into a frown.

‘What is your problem? I told you where I was.’

‘No you haven’t, you’ve told me a lie once again. It’s lie after lie after lie with you!’

Vivian shot up from her seat, her chair scraping back with a screech across the floor.

‘Who was that little girl you were with earlier?’

‘What girl? What are you talking about?’

‘The girl you were pushing on the swing! Who is she Harold? What about this house that you’ve owned for the last three years and never thought to tell me about? Are you going to tell me or are you going to make up another lie?’

Harold squeezed his can of beer in frustration. Liquid fizzed to the surface.

‘I don’t have to listen to this!’ he said and grabbed his column of beers from the table. Cradling the cans of beers in his arms, he stormed up the stairs. Vivian chased after him but stopped at the bottom.

‘Harold get back here! Be a man and tell me the truth for once in your bloody life!’

Word Count – 750 words

I’ll probably write a part 2 to this somewhere down the line as clearly there is some unfinished business between the two but for now, thank you for reading!

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