I entered this story in the Bridport micro fiction competition, and it didn't win. So...it was rejected. But that wasn't a failure on my part: I successfully wrote it, entered it, and am now posting it. In the spirit of success. Or something.
This is based on an actual theatre which was part of the Brighton Festival this year, and I really didn't go there, and there really was a Balkan band playing when I walked past, too busy to join the happy throng inside...
The Hurly Burly Café TheatreI have never been to the Hurly Burly Café Theatre. I have never seen the oompah Balkan quartet with the gypsy in dreads from Dubrovnik. I didn’t buy black vodka from the pop-up bar, or sit on the bleached grass on Leonard’s raincoat with the wind in my hair. No one kissed me smoky when I scrounged a gold Soubrane. And when our lips didn’t meet, it wasn’t the real thing.
The song escaped over the addled roof-tops, the slates and chimneys and minarets. The curtains were cloud-drapes, moonlit and sun-dappled. Children ran among the giant legs. There were gryphons and unicorns and fluttering pennants. There was a pianola and roast chestnuts and a talking fish.
You were there, I expect, leaning over the table. Paying in florins and sixpences, counting the coins with rings on your fingers.