The bus, the buns and the detour

‘He’s bought a London bus’.

‘How d’ya know? And I’ll have those two bath buns, make a nice change for their tea’.

‘She was in here, buying her bread.’

Monica pulled the string tight around the cake box. The red and green ribbon frayed out at the ends. She has a manicure every week, more often in the summer.

‘One of those big red ones?’

‘Yes. That’ll be one seventy.’


‘She couldn’t say, just said he came back with it, last Wednesday, parked it up their front garden. Then she left with her two sliced white.’

It wasn’t far out of my way. Mum and Dad would be watching Ready Steady Cook, then the Weakest Link. The bus was there. It didn’t leave much of a gap between the gate and back door path. They’d have to watch for the bin men. The house was a drab looking semi. I don’t think anything had been done to the paintwork since they moved in, eight, no, ten years ago. Just after I left school. I do our every two years, but then I would, wouldn’t I.

Our Simon got to know him first. A man like that, I wouldn’t have met him otherwise. I remember the Jubilee street party. We got together to do the decorations. She was busy or ill, or something. He said the way I coiled the wires they looked like snakes taking a well earned rest. I thought it was a shame he was married.

Turned out for the best. If he’d been free, and if he’d fancied me, what would I have done? Simon would’ve said go, just go. Would’ve turned on me with his big brother voice.

It’s been there a year now. The paint’s started to flake. 

I could sort that out in no time. 

by Marilyn Hammick


  1. Love the mixture of quirkiness and ordinariness in this piece :)

  2. Great Marilyn, I love how you intertwine very effectively the conversation about the bus and the exchanges with the baker. Well done. I like a story that ends openly but maybe you could expand and let it go further towards a resolution of the plot : why did he buy the bus ? I noticed a small typo too (do ours i.e. painting).
    flash fiction definitely.
    have a pleasant week-end and a pleasant flight.

  3. I like the fact that though it's a very short piece, you get a real feel for the life and character of the narrator. So, for example, we know she's fussy because of the reference to her painting the house every two years. Thank you, Marilyn.


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