• Roy Merchant

COVID-19 Distraction No.6








Thank you for the enthusiastic responses to some of the short stories, over the last 10 days especially "Damascus" and "The Lady In Pret A Manger". Really appreciated the comments and feedback.

These are short stories called "Flash Fiction" (the very short ones, others are a lot longer) I want to tell in a collection I am working on called "Images". I am rewriting, Proofing and editing it whilst waiting for my new book:


"20 Things I Wish I Knew At 20"

To be published in June.

"Images", is to be published later this year. I am praying that COVID-19 will go sunbathing in the sun soon. Have a blessed day filled with appreciation for what we have rather than be envious of what we have not.

This is short story 6 and is a "Flash Fiction of 400 words". See what you think. To put comments directly onto the page just scroll down to the bottom and become a subscriber then fill in your comments. Alternatively you can just drop me an email at: roy@relentless-realities.com with any comments, also that you are happy for me to put the comments on our site and I will get them on for you.




The title is:

“Is there a problem?”



“Is there a problem?”

She asked, looking at me from the corners of tired eyes that had seen too many incidences like mine unfolding in front of her, to get excited. Arms folded, she waited for some kind of response from me, while I wound down the window.


I mean, she obviously knew there was a problem. Otherwise, I would not have been sitting here in the freezing cold for so long waiting for the AA to come and get the car moving again.

I mean annoyed is not the word that my vocabulary is picking out right now. It is a new £150,000 car, only done 1000 miles since new. It is not supposed to break down. It is supposed to just take me where I want to go and wait patiently until I need to go to my next jaunt or shop.

Sorting out cars is simply not something I need to worry my head about. I get in; I push the start button; it starts. I stop when necessary, I get out, flick the remote alarm button on my way to the shop behind my back, put the key fob in my bag and head to where I am going. How dare it let me down.

Right in the middle of Kensington. Opposite Harrods of all the places in the world. It had to be there. Acquaintances that I am on nodding terms with walk pass me and give me the pity stare as if I was some homeless person selling “The Big Issue”. I have nowhere else to look, so I wind the windows up and ignore the traffic warden looking at my number plates.

“Is there a problem the AA lady repeated?” After, looking around the car, popping her head in the window, pressing the starter button and giving the dashboard a quick look.

“Obviously there is a problem; otherwise I would not have been sitting here in total humiliation for nearly two hours waiting for someone to come and sort out this damn car” I vented all my frustration at the so-called mechanic.

“The only problem I can see is that you have run out of petrol, Sir. Not to worry; I have some in my vehicle for these types of incidences. Don’t fret; these things happen all the time,” she said in the most patronising voice I have ever heard in my life.

Copyright: Roy Merchant May 2020

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