March 2019 – Furious Fiction Submission

Hey everyone,

After a another lull, here is my most recent piece for Furious Fiction, which had to be inspired by an image of a laundromat, and had to had the theme of “curiosity”.

Again, I’ve tried a genre-piece which is noir-esque crime fiction, set (in my own mind) in a laundromat in Western Sydney’s Harris Park.

Again, I love the challenge of writing pieces like this in <500 words, and given my busy schedule it’s completely doable in the middle of the school term while I am planning my wedding in just over a month.




“I swear to God, this machine costs me more than it makes me.”

“Couldn’t you just buy a new one?” I asked. This question always annoyed the aging laundromat owner. I placed my tools on the ground and began to slide the familiar old washing machine from the wall so I could access the back.

 “Do I look as if I have enough customers to afford a new machine?” said the old man, slinking off into the back room, “The only person here right now is you and you’re not even paying me!”

I sighed, and began to remove the tarnished metal panel at the back of the machine, which came loose and clattered to the floor just as the door to the shop swung open.

“—never asked questions before,” I heard one of the two figures who stalked through the door say, the dim, flickering light from the laundromat silhouetting them against the street outside. The sound of rain was abruptly cut off as the door slammed shut.

They didn’t notice me, and moved determinedly towards the counter. The silent one – a tall, slender woman who seemed to be a walking with a limp – was gripping a garbage bag tightly. In fact, she was holding it so tightly that I could almost see the bones of her knuckles sticking out from her clenched white fist.

The first of the two figures repeatedly slammed his hand against the bell on the counter until the old shopkeeper bustled out from the back. At the sight of the pair his face dropped and his shoulders tightened. For a moment I thought he would faint.

The lady slammed the bag down on the table.

“Tonight,” she said.

“Okay, yes, okay,” the old man steadied himself on the counter, “No charge.”

The man made a sound akin to a laugh.

“Tonight,” the old man said, glancing towards me. I quickly looked down, trying fruitlessly to hide in plain sight, “but…”

He trailed off and the intruders spun around, seeing me for the first time. Now I saw them properly, I noticed the blood smeared on the lady’s cheek.

“I—” I said, before unconvincingly stammering in an affected accent, “No English.”

The man kicked the old machine I was working on as they stormed out of the shop into the darkness of the street.

* * * * *

“And that’s all you saw and heard, Mr…” the detective checked her paperwork “Goon-e-ward-hayne?”

“Gunewardhane,” I said, “and yes, that’s what I saw; that’s what I heard.”

“You’re certain?”


The corner of the detective’s mouth rose slightly as she slowly stood up, her shadow stretching across the interview table. She made a signal to an unseen person and in one swift movement my hand was shackled to the table by painfully tight handcuffs.

“You should have just gone home tonight,” the door behind the woman opened. Silhouetted by the light from the corridor outside, she continued, “What is it they say about curiosity and cats?”