Fiction · Flash Fiction · How to be British


Wednesday, August 9, 2017. Daily Brit Wit.


Noun, vulgar slang

A contemptible person (used as a generalised term of abuse).

“She has been anticipating his proposal for weeks now: by weeks, of course, Moira means the last four months, one week, and five and a half days if she’s being precise. Not that she’s counting consistently or anything. It’s just a tentative guideline for the acceptable time-frame for Gregory to pop the question, as they say.

Despite the jitters and the fanfare (is it still considered fanfare if nothing has taken place?), Moira isn’t certain if she’s ready for marriage. Or if marriage is for her. Don’t doubt her commitment to Gregory for a second: she loves the berk to America and back. Only, she never thought she’d get hitched; settled down; made into a housewife, whichever phrase fits the description. She grew up in children services more often than not: relationships aren’t really her expertise. Oh, how she adores that man, though.

By the time nine weeks, six days, and fifteen hours have passed, she’s convinced herself it doesn’t matter when or if Gregory plans to ask. They’re good where they’re at in their relationship. He’s not rushing her, for which Moira could never uncover the gratitude this provokes deep inside her tummy. Even if she’s kept on counting.

They’re enjoying hols at the coast. When he first approached her with the request, she’d examined him curiously and he’d been floored to learn she’d never been any farther than two hours north.

‘No, not even during or after uni.’ She had addressed. At his dumbfounded expression, she shrugged self-consciously. ‘I dunno. Nothing ever interested me. And it wasn’t like I was made of money. Stop looking at me like that!’ And she swatted at his forearms, side-stepped from his pitiful need to embrace her at every new revelation of her past.

They’re strolling along the beach. Upon first stepping barefoot in the sand, Moira’s face contorts and she jumps up in surprise. Gregory laughs at her, though kindly loops their arms and guides her farther until she’s gained her balance as well as used to the grainy texture. (Once acclimated, he still doesn’t release her.)

She’s only just becoming used to sand clinging to her feet, ankles, and lower calves when Gregory makes a new suggestion.

‘Do you wanna walk along the shoreline?’

She side-eyes him speculatively before turning her attention toward the other beachgoers, specifically the ones in or near the water. ‘Um…dunno,’ she mumbles.

‘Oh, c’mon,’ he cajoles and bumps her shoulder good-naturedly. ‘The water’s not going to poison you. Or dry out your hair.’

Her neck gets a crick from whipping back to glare icily at him. He’s hinting at more than walking. She doesn’t retort back that he doesn’t know it won’t dry out her hair (hullo! It’s salt water. What’s the idiot think it’s gonna do? Rejuvenate it?). Instead, she does precisely what Gregory intended by goading her in the first place: she clasps their hands and drags him along, grumbling the whole way.

The water is a surprising temperature: a cross between warm like lounge-worthy bathwater and crisp like autumn rain, enough to send a jolt of excitement up her spine. She giggles. Gregory smiles adoringly at her and she doesn’t mind the extra attention because she’s revelling in it. When he bends slightly, Moira meets him halfway for a chaste kiss.

She’s still not accustomed to wet sand between her toes by the time she’s talking Gregory into renting a jet ski. (They compromised. He’s chuffed she wants to go out on the water, but hesitant about Moira having her own in case of…something; and for the sake of the day’s ambience, she doesn’t dwell on it and agrees to share.) They’re standing in the ocean, the strongest tides lapping three inches below Moira’s knees, waiting on their jet ski to get prepped, when a startling noise from behind catches their attention.

She turns and espies a semi-circle surrounding a couple, but more specifically the male kneeling in the sand, with a tell-tale black box in hand. His fiancΓ© nods rapidly and they embrace, while their friends catcall, cheer, and clap in celebration. Moira smiles and an exponentially light feeling settles over her. She watches for another mo before turning away.

And sucking in a breath.

Gregory grins cheekily up at her, kneeling in the water, holding up a brass key.

‘Oh, you utter wanker!’ She laughs and shoves at his chest playfully.

He doesn’t lose his balance. Instead, Gregory’s visage stays positively radiant as he hands the fallen key back to the man prepping their jet ski then reaches over to clasp her hands. Moira fights him half-heartedly, shrieking and giggling and taking a couple steps backwards. He can’t follow as quickly, so rights his posture and in three strides he’s before her. She feints left. Gregory doesn’t fall for her ploy; simply grasps at her middle and hauls Moira into his chest.

She’s giggling steadily now and buries her head in his clavicle.

He nuzzles her ear, hot breath fanning down damp skin and sprouting gooseflesh to rise in its wake. ‘Soon,’ he vows, pressing a barely-there kiss to the place behind her ear but not quite her neck.

She’s not quite certain why she’s so pleased, but she hides her smile in his chest for another beat before pulling back. Their eyes lock. ‘Just for that,’ she says, ‘I’m driving.'”


14 thoughts on “Wanker

    1. heh! I suppose that this is an excellent introduction. A bit wordy, but that’s who I am. Glad you’re enjoying it thus far! πŸ™‚ I look forward to seeing more of yours, too. The one today especially ought to be enlightening since I recently graduated college.

      Liked by 1 person

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