Fiction – Skimmed Milk – Laura Besley

Illustration by the amazing @LifeofHedge

Skimmed Milk

Shopping for someone else is strangely intimate.

Third on the list is a pint of milk, skimmed (underlined twice). Is she on a diet? Dairy intolerance? Or just doesn’t like the taste?

On my return there’s an envelope under a plant pot by the front door. I slip it into my back pocket and knock. I stand back and we chat about this and that before I go.

When I get home, I see that there’s too much money in the envelope. I wonder if it’s a mistake, or whether she did it, knowing I’d be back to return it.  


Laura Besley writes short fiction, which given the current situation and amount of children at home is useful. Her latest hobby is homeschooling, something she may not continue with (definitely won’t continue with) once lockdown is over. Her fiction has appeared online, as well as in print and in various anthologies. Her flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers, was published in March 2020. She tweets @laurabesley

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