At 7:00 sharp, the doorbell rang.
“I’ll just be a moment,” Martha called to the door as she zipped up her skirt.
She glanced in the mirror to check her make-up one last time and smiled. She still looked good for 50, even if she did say so herself—slim with a nice complexion and only tiny crow’s feet around the eyes—not bad at all.
This was her second date with Matt, a slightly balding, slightly overweight software engineer she had met at a party a couple of weeks ago. On their first date, they had gone to a Moroccan restaurant in downtown San Jose and had a good enough time. He seemed to enjoy listening to her, and he had some interesting stories of his own, though it sometimes took him a while to get to his point. Two nights later, he phoned and asked Martha if she wanted to go out again. He had a great little seafood place in mind. After pausing for a moment, she said yes.
Later, she wondered why she had hesitated. He was a nice enough man, certainly a respectful one. He hadn’t been condescending. He hadn’t pounced. Nothing off-putting. But it had been only two years since her divorce, and she had only gone out on a few dates. Maybe she wasn’t someone who got over a long marriage that quickly, especially one that ended with her husband running off with his young sales rep. And maybe—after all of that—she just didn’t have it in her to climb Relationship Mountain again.
When she opened the door, Matt stood on her welcome mat with a big grin and a bunch of flowers.
“It’s great to see you again,” he said.
“It’s nice to see you.”
“These are for you,” he said, handing her the flowers.
“They’re very nice. Thanks. I know we need to go. I’ll put these in water for now.”
“Sure. Whatever works.”
As Martha turned toward the kitchen, she noticed Matt fidget a little. “Are you worried about the time?”
“No, it’s not that.” He paused. “I guess I’ll just come out with it.”
“I don’t want to—to pressure you or anything.”
“If things develop tonight, I want you to know that I’ve taken my Viagra and I’m good to go.”
Martha stood silent, her face slowly turning pink. Then she dropped the flowers. “I’m sorry,” she said, realizing they had fallen from her hands.
“Here. Let me.” Matt bent down, picked up the flowers, and gave them back to her.
“There’s no pressure, but I just wanted to let you know.”
“That you’re good to go.”
“What were you expecting tonight?”
“Well, you never know.”
Martha hurled the flowers at Matt. They hit him in the face and the chest and then cascaded down his body and onto the floor.
“What’s that for?”
“You arrogant, presumptuous jerk!”
“What? I didn’t mean any—any disrespect.”
“Well, you certainly managed to show it.”
“Why don’t you just calm—?”
“I won’t calm down,” she yelled. “Get out! Get out of here! “
She yanked the door open. For a moment, he stared back at her, red-faced and pitifully confused.
“Okay, I—I’m going.”
He walked out, and she slammed the door after him.
After a few moments, she bent down and slowly picked up the flowers. If this is dating in middle age, she thought, this was even going to be worse than dating in her twenties. And she thought about Relationship Mountain, how it seemed ten thousand feet higher than it had just a few minutes ago.
At 7:00 sharp, the doorbell rang.
The Fringe is open to submissions of poetry, flash fiction and short stories of any genre. Stories accepted will be published online in our Ezine and also in the monthly pdf magazine.
We are also open to submissions from artists for inclusion in the magazine.
Submissions should be in RTF format or in the body of the email. Send email submissions only to email@example.com
Currently we only offer payment for one story selected as the feature story in the monthly pdf magazine only. The successful author will be contacted to organise payment via paypal for a $5AUD payment. Authors of other accepted stories published on the webzine and in the pdf copy will receive a copy of the pdf version of the mag the story appears in.
We are open to unpublished and previously published stories up to 40,000 words in length.
About The Fringe Magazine
Here at The Fringe Magazine we publish Short Stories, Flash Fiction, Poetry in all genres and reviews of books, roleplay games, music and movies.
Our variety seems to be hiting the mark with over 100,000 views of our Online Magazine with a good spread across all articles.
Our variety seems to be hiting the mark with over 100,000 views of our Online Magazine with a good spread across all articles.?xml:namespace>From surveys we've conducted, our readers are like most people and enjoy reading all kinds of books, both fiction and non-fiction.
With over 350 readers visiting our site each day, we listen to the voice of the masses and try and procure books in all genres to review. To date, we have reviewed over 600 books, including; non-fiction reference, music, art, photography, gardening, cooking, Self Help, architecture, design, biographies and roleplay games.
We also review fiction in all genres; Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Horror, Crime, Thriller, Comedy, Western. We also publish Author Interviews, Paintings, Sketches, Art Work, Art Work by Susie Wilson, and non-fiction articles. The only thing you won't find at The Fringe Magazine is a bad review, if we don't like something, we won't put up a review at all.
You will also find music and dvd reviews and the occasional interview with musicians and actors.
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