Fashionable?  Unfashionable? It didn’t seem that long ago that we were being told 'no-one reads short stories any more.'  Then someone invented an electronic reading device, someone else invented the term ‘flash fiction’ and voilà! short stories are back in vogue.  And probably bound to remain that way for the foreseeable future.  Which is good news for writers.
Some people are natural story tellers; the words flow easily and their ideas gurgle-up from a never-ending well of creativity - concise, succinct and very very good. Some of us don’t have it so easy and have to work at it a bit, but the end result is usually pretty good - and writers’ groups up and down the country are testament to this.  Their anthologies are being banged out at a terrific rate - and what a fantastic choice the reader has!  All these shorts ready for reading, for losing yourself in, by a multitude of authors - talk about spoilt for choice!

Back in the Olden Days when the printed book was King and King alone, short story collections, anthologies, compendiums - whatever you want to call them - like reindeer - only came out at Christmas.  Now you can download (or even Buy a print copy!) of shorts/flash fiction whenever you like.  Because it's Monday.  Because it's raining.  Because you can.  Rumour has it you can even buy this stuff as an Audio Book - previously a luxury only available to the hard of hearing.  These days we seem to be consuming by any means possible more and more of the written word, more stories than ever before.  You can see why our ancient ancestors liked a good yarn, can't you.

The lipstick looked tantalizingly appealing. ‘BoHo Red’ was it’s name, and Verity decided she wanted it.  She wanted to be BoHo Red for the evening, and damn the consequences.
The photo hanging in the barber’s window displaying a young man with half his head shaved and sporting a pair of over-sized shades looked tantalizingly appealing.  His remaining hair shiny and waxed, flopped droopily onto his face.  ‘Only DoubleZedd Products Are Good Enough’ ran the slogan under the photo.  Don agreed.  He wanted to be Doublezedded, because, right now, he agreed that it would only be good enough.
He glanced past the picture and scanned the waiting room. Only two customers.  He joined them.  An hour later he was on his way home with half his head fashionably shaved, the other sporting his preened and pampered hair oozing with Doublezedd product.  Damn, he was hot.
Verity heard the click of the front door and licked her Boho lips.  The lipstick smelled faintly of flowers and oil and far away.  She liked it.  Casually she returned a length of stray hair to behind her ear and checked her earring was still in place. Don appeared in the doorway.  Verity raised her eyebrows at him, her moistened red lips slightly parted.
‘Nice hair,’ she purred, rather loudly.
‘Nice lips,’ replied Don.  She returned his smile.
'So...ready to go?' asked Don.  'The table's booked for 8.'
'We'd better get going then,' Verity said, pushing herself to her feet with the aid of her walking stick.
‘Hmm?’ murmured Don. She raised her eyes to the ceiling.
‘Come on you old fool, let’s go.’
Don slipped his hand in hers as they walked in slow silence to the small restaurant not far from where they lived.  Eventually Verity spoke.
‘Why’d you go and do that to your hair?’ she asked.
‘Same reason you bought that lipstick I expect,’ replied Don with a smile.
‘Cheeky bugger!’ retorted Verity. ‘At least mine’ll wash off before bed!’
‘True enough.  But it’s not every day a chap turns 79,’ said Don, and ran his hand over the shaved part of his head. ‘Reminds me of when I was conscripted,’ he said.
'Well you look ridiculous!' said Verity with a terseness that only older age brings.
'I know!' said Don, 'but I don't care!  I'm 79 years young!  What’s your excuse?!'