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Tea Bags

January 11, 2015

I wrote the following flash-fiction on holiday in Pembrokeshire last October. It was to be a story of 150 words exactly, and I wanted to give it a certain feel. I wrote early in the mornings with the patter of gulls’ feet on the caravan roof alternating with the drumming of torrential rain. Maybe it was this that inclined me to tell the tale in alternating sections… and maybe not.

Paul Beech

“I’ve just seen something gruesome here.”
“Would it be a tea bag?”
“It would.”
“Just leave it. Be brave,” she says.

Two miles away, a slender, slinky young man with black hair and beard glances over his shoulder then pulls five hundred pounds from a cashpoint. He has used her card and PIN.

“It’s raining. Turn the windscreen wipers on.”
“Sounds a good plan,” says Hubby.

Half her age and then some, Tim’s a gifted musician and songwriter. Six months ago he was homeless on the street, busking for pennies. Now he’s comfortably ensconced in her old cottage overlooking the harbour. Her protégé – ha!

“Where else. You?”
“Oh, the usual…”
“Don’t forget my porridge and pickles,” he says.

Gulls screech through drizzle as she lies naked with her busker in bliss.
Afterwards, replete, she’ll have another cup.
It’s a match made in Heaven, plainly. Tim reuses tea bags too.


Copyright © Paul Beech 2014

  1. This one confused me a little Paul. Is the wife keeping a lover (Tim) or is it about two different people? I am hoping it is the wife with lover. Please don’t ask me why but I feel such romance and happiness if that’s the case.
    Please get back to me on this one. :o)


    • Dear Pat,

      Sorry for any confusion. ‘Tea Bags’ was something of an experiment; I wanted to see if I could tell a fairly complex character-based story in just 150 words, hence the use of alternating scenes – scenes showing how the relationship between the middle-aged married couple has turned stale, and scenes featuring Tim, a good looking but rather shifty young busker.

      Yes, the long-suffering wife takes Tim as her lover. She’s infatuated with him, but is he with her? Readers can decide for themselves how things work out…

      Good to hear from you as always.

      Thank you,


  2. Ah, I like that. You did get your point across, and very well I might add. I decided he is with her but not forever. I can make my own ending. I like that too. You did a great job on this one.


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