Flash Fiction: Tipping Point by Cliff Fleming

Congratulations to Cliff Fleming, winner of the Anthology Flash Fiction Competition 2023

by Anthology
Black and white portrait of Cliff Fleming, winner of the Anthology Flash Fiction Competition 2023

Cliff Fleming is a thirty-two-year-old emerging writer from Sussex, England. He has previously published fiction in Visual Verse, the online anthology, and has completed fiction writing courses at both Faber Academy and Curtis Brown Creative. The Anthology Flash Fiction Competition 2023 is his first competition win. He lives in south London with his partner and dog. Here is his winning entry for the Anthology Flash Fiction Competition 2023.

Tipping Point

Cliff Fleming

I watched the glass fall, splashing crimson over my expensive Turkish rug. Now I’m on my hands and knees, dabbing at rouge stains, scrubbing until my nail varnish chips off. These things happen, right? I’m almost apologising to them.

You’re playing the victim again, my therapist is whispering in my ear.

The glass is intact and back on the table, lonely. Sophia pours more wine into it, nonchalant, and anger washes through my veins. My eyes flicker to the embarrassed pink circle on the floor.

***

I let the glass fall. I saw it teetering at the edge of the table. The rug is ugly anyway; maybe this will make Jo update her garish decor. Judgement and jealousy mix with venom.

It was entertaining, being part of this whole charade. I apologised profusely, but it was nothing to do with me; I’m just the witness.

Sophia said nothing, raising suspicions. Something was amiss when I arrived earlier, the taste of tension on my tongue and the smell of deceit in the air.

***

I made the glass fall, edging it forwards until it reached that perfect tipping point. Jo didn’t see my smirking satisfaction, too busy in a panic to save her rug. Revenge is coloured red and my smile is white hot.

It’s just a small prick, a gentle nod to karma. It was a planned intervention, a prepared act of destruction. This is what Jo deserves. I have more planned, this is just the beginning.

  • ‘Flash Fiction: Tipping Point by Cliff Fleming’ is published in Anthology Volume 21. Read more features from this volume or buy it now.
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