Unrequited Love – flash fiction short story



Unrequited Love

Vector silhouette of a woman.Lucy Brannen simply adored Tommy, and why shouldn’t she? He was a handsome fella, what with his thick, jet black hair, and eyes that could entrance the most reluctant heart.

Everyone loved Tommy; Lucy’s parents, her friends, and even complete strangers too immediately took to him. It was something Lucy understood and accepted, having fallen for Tommy’s charms more than two years before. Yes indeed, Tommy was something special, even if his demands and attention-seeking sometimes made her feel invisible. She had some sympathy now for how new mothers must feel when everyone’s attention and compliments were all directed towards the baby, like the mother wasn’t even there other than as some glorified slave … where was the appreciation and attention she deserved? Whatever her occasional misgivings though, Lucy continued to dote on him, attending to Tommy’s every whim, everything from preparing his meals right down to even trimming his nails, nothing being too much trouble for her. All she asked in return was the occasional show of love and affection, to be treated as something a little more special than his personal servant.

It wasn’t entirely true of course; Tommy did treat her to the occasional glimmer of attention, snuggling up to her when she least expected it or gazing into her eyes, enchanting her all over again. But such emotional shows were few and far between, and invariably seemed to coincide with when he wanted something, like a snack from the kitchen; as smitten as she was, Lucy was not stupid, fully aware the relationship was utterly and completely on his terms, and not hers.

The truth was, Tommy treated their home as little more than a hotel, often lounging around all day while she went out to work. The least she could have expected was for him to be there for her after a hard day’s work, but no, Tommy was a law unto himself, coming and going whenever he pleased, and at all hours of the night.

Lucy often wondered if Tommy would even notice if she just left, walked out and never came back, at least apart from the need to get himself another dogsbody? She knew she never would though; Tommy meant too much to her, and besides, what would have been the point? Tommy knew his worth and would have been sure to land on his feet elsewhere, perhaps even with that little blonde next door, the one always paying him compliments and attention.

There was one person though who wasn’t seduced by Tommy’s charms, and that was Lucy’s best friend, Clara. She treated Tommy with the same indifference he pretty much treated everyone else. When Tommy and Clara were in the same room, you could almost feel a literal drop in temperature, such was the coldness between them. It was not surprising then that whenever Clara visited, Tommy would either make himself scarce all together or at best, somewhat rudely go and feign sleep in another room.

And so it was today when Clara called, Tommy just huffed his annoyance and flounced out past them when Lucy opened the front door to her friend.


“Sorry about that, he’s in a bit of a mood,” Lucy apologised.

“Don’t apologise for him, he’s always in a mood,” Clara reminded her in reply. “If he wants to behave like a spoilt brat, that’s his problem.” Lucy just shrugged, her loyalties torn as they always were.

“Look, Lucy, I’ve no sympathy,” Clara bluntly told her. “I told you at the start … if you wanted slobbering affection, undying loyalty and the rest of it, you should have bought a dog … Cats are different.”


Tommy surveyed his kingdom from atop the mahogany bookcase, having snuck back in via the cat flap. Satisfied that all was well, he looked down on his devoted human.

Even though Clara had now left, Tommy was in no mood to jump back into Lucy’s arms. No, he would make her wait for another snippet of the attention she so desperately craved and needed from him, and why not, she was after all his slave, as all humans were to their feline owners.

Clara on the other hand, she clearly had no understanding of the honour and privilege it was to belong to some feline God or Goddess, never having shown him the deference he was entitled to, not even so much as kneeling before him to present some delicious offering. Her presence or lack thereof was therefore of little interest to him, assuming her to be one of those evil creatures that didn’t bow down to their feline masters or mistresses, or worse still, she might even be … a dog person … urghh, was all Tommy could muse to himself at the thought …

Tommy leapt down from the bookcase, landing beside Lucy on the sofa. He had kept her waiting long enough, a suitable penance he thought for giving some of her attention to another. Nonetheless, he snuggled beside her, again gazing up into her eyes, allowing the soft touch of his fur to brush against her bare skin. He even allowed her the rare privilege of stroking and caressing him.

Any thoughts of replacing Tommy with some slobbering little puppy as Clara had suggested instantly evaporated, Tommy’s mastery and ownership of her once again more assured than any cage or set of chains could ever do.




Enjoyed this story? Would like to read more? Then stay tuned for the publication of Flashbulb Moments towards the end of this year …



About RuddersWriting

Middle-aged man, aspiring writer, book blogger/reviewer, and author, one grown-up son and young grandson, now retired, actively working to develop a writing career.

Posted on August 1, 2019, in Flash Fiction, Short Stories, Works in progress and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. You had me believing Tommy was a complicated man for a while… I like the twist. Cats are indeed interesting creatures. Dogs make better friends, though, but both good, both good.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rebecca Carter

    Ha ha, how true. Even though I was told something about the story first, I still missed who Tommy was. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Sarah Stuart – Romantic Suspense and commented:
    An logical but unguessable end. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved this story. Reblogging now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Being a dog person, I can say that I am completely under the paw of my little collie cross. She has me exactly where she wants me. Lovely story.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A great tale, or should that be tail? The descriptions of the emotions are really well done and draw the reader right in.
    I know it’s the first draft and you’ve got work to do on it, but I actually had it sussed at the nail clipping, so if that was moved on a bit it would keep the secret a little longer. I think the story would even benefit from losing the ‘Cats are different’ phrase, and a couple of the paragraphs at the end. Summarise quickly after Clara’s mention of a dog.
    The main thing is–the story works and will be brilliant when you’ve polished it. I think it would be appreciated by cat lovers in particular. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m not surprised you figured it at the ‘nails’ bit – I was actually going to say ‘toe’ nails to avoid that, but I think that would be taking the deception a tad too far – it’s one thing to ‘mislead’ the reader initially in a twist-in-the tail type story, but it loses its impact if you blatantly lie, and I think toenails would be just that so I shall be replacing nails with something else. And yes, I’m already working on delaying the ‘Cats’ reference so that the story doesn’t appear to be one of two halves as it is now. I was actually happy with the story overall, but like I said, it needs tinkering with hence my posting it for some fresh sets of eyes … your comments echo almost exactly the reservations/issues I had, so again, cheers for voicing them.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. michaelbillington9

    Dude – as someone who shares living space with two cats, all I can say is that you have captured the joys (?) of that experience perfectly 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lol … thanks, Michael. I was actually dubious of what an actual cat owner might make of it (or is/should that be server?), so I’m hugely relieved you liked it. As you can see from Tom’s comment and my reply, it needs a little work, but delighted too the general idea works in the meantime.

      Liked by 1 person

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