‘Swami Knows Best’. A new flash fiction.

I can’t account for my laxity in updating my blog other than I have been busy with another writing project (more of that in due course) and then of course we decided that we couldn’t face the rain any longer and nipped over to Spain for a very last minute holiday. That pesky jet stream; it’ll be the ruin of the Olympics at this rate. Which reminds me: I was in a shop yesterday and overheard the assistant talking to a customer. “Well”, he said “there’s nothing we can do about it, is there? It’s the bloody jet stream.” As if we COULD do something about the weather at any other time. I though it was amusing anyway. Moving on then.

I didn’t waste those hot, sunny days in Spain you know. Far from it. I took my notebook along for the ride and have decided to put together a series of flashes inspired by my trip. Here’s the first, which, logically enough, occurs entirely at the airport. Comments, as always, appreciated.

Swami Knows Best

I always thought you knew everything there was to know about someone once they had their clothes off, but my friend Sue (who used to date a Swami, so has a rare insight into these things) would say you only see the real person when they’re out of their comfort zone. For most of the men I’ve known this pretty much amounts to the same thing.

‘What’s taking them so long?’

‘There’s a lot of people in front of us,’ I say, ‘the other desks are empty.’

‘They charge twice as much.’

‘Ergo, we’ll be queuing twice as long.’

‘What? Did you just say “ergo”?’

I look away. Getting to know someone’s sense of humour is supposed to be half the fun. I don’t think he enjoyed that.

We inch closer; I kick my bag forward.

“Pack light,” he said, “they charge for baggage.”

The golf clubs don’t count, presumably.

‘Couldn’t run a bull fight in a bull ring.’

‘It’s called a “corrida”.’ Did I tell him I spoke Spanish?

‘It’s called barbaric. Not that they care.’

His nine-iron has lost its fleece jacket and Brian’s head is reflected on the surface, sweat shining on his gargoyle pate.

‘Some start to a holiday this is.’

We’ve only been here ten minutes.

My mother would not have been impressed: “Such impatience is unbecoming in a fortunate man,” she’d have said. His impatience with the crew on the plane would be unbecoming in any man.

‘She probably doesn’t even speak English.’

I look at Brian, his red face now streaked by viscous sweat. I’d been feeling fortunate myself only yesterday when he surprised me with our tickets.

‘They’d better bloody have a convertible left.’

“Do you think that’s wise?” I want to say, “to expose your head like that?”

‘I was rather hoping for air conditioning,’ I say instead, diplomacy being one of my stronger points.

‘It’s probably best if you leave me to deal with the car, Fiona.’

So that’s what it feels like to smile compliantly.

‘At this rate I won’t even make a six o’clock tee time.’

‘You’re playing golf this evening?’

‘Well I didn’t bring these along for the hell of it, did I?’

No, but he appears to have brought something along for the hell of it.

‘Your turn,’ I say. I smile as kindly as I can at the agent, hoping to lay a cushioned barrier between her frazzled exhaustion and his acid glare.

‘And will your wife be driving the car?’

‘No, the “wife” will not be driving.’

I couldn’t feel any cheaper if he’d said “whore”. Thank God I keep my driving licence in my purse.

‘The “wife” will be driving actually,’ I say, pushing his clubs to one side, ‘and she’ll be needed her own wheels. Espero que es posible, señorita. No tengo una reservaciòn.

Later, from the air-conditioned comfort of my car, I watch him drive away from the airport. He turns to his clubs which are strapped into the front seat and I swear he smiles at them. He’s better off with them anyway: at least that shiny nine-iron’s smiling back at him.

© flyingscribbler 2012





20 comments on “‘Swami Knows Best’. A new flash fiction.

  1. Oh boy, that’s some holiday they’re going to have. I tend to agree with her – smart woman! Nice to see you back Justin ^_^

  2. adampb says:

    Glad to see you back. Love the opening paragraph, sassy, cool and a little bit fun. Great rolling conversation.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  3. gailaldwin says:

    Terrific build up to the moment of confrontation – love the ending!

  4. Steve Green says:

    Great humour at work here, Justin.

    I think the guy has more personal problems than he has golf clubs. 🙂

  5. Icy Sedgwick says:

    I’ve met men like that. Not good.

    But brilliant to have you back! I’ve missed you.

  6. Chuck Allen says:

    Good for her! You got me laughing with the banter in this one, even though my favorite line was an internal quote.

    “No, but he appears to have brought something along for the hell of it.”


  7. jackkholt says:

    Great stuff, Justin. Made me smile, that’s for sure! Thanks!

  8. Nicely done Justin. People who complain about every single thing can be so annoying. I like how the club smiled back at him at the end. Nice touch.

  9. So much inspiration in an airport, full of outrageous and entertaining characters, many oblivious to themselves, watched by others. You’ve captured two excellent types and given one a freedom they’d rarely experience. Love the use of the reflection in the head and the parallel with the convertible. Well done.

  10. ergo she should dump his sorry a***. Good fun tale

  11. Larry Kollar says:

    Sounds like Brian found a “companion” with a little more depth than he expected—or wanted! It’s OK to have diverging interests, but he seems to think she has no interests at all.

    Clever portrayal of a short-lived relationship here.

  12. JC Rosen says:

    “And she’ll be needing her own wheels.” I am woman, hear me roar! Enjoyed this very much, having plastered on the compliant smile and forced diplomacy too many times. You captured the happy twist beautifully. Thanks!

    Take care,

  13. Sonia Lal says:

    Loved that ending. LOL

  14. Hey Justin.. great to read another of your shorts..(I know I’m a week late!!!) Snappy dialogue that zips along with your usual slice of hilarity.. Loved it!!

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