The TV quiz show audience waited. In the final round, the established champion, the homely Jessie (nurse and voluntary phone crisis counsellor) would surely beat the new challenger, the gorgeous Edwina (businessman’s wife and stunning fashion plate).

For the deciding question, the studio audience was hushed. The quiz host built the tension with his annoyingly slow read of the question. Jessie hit the buzzer first. She got it wrong! Everyone gasped in shock. Jessie looked suitably disappointed. No one would ever know she’d deliberately answered incorrectly. She had recognised Edwina’s voice as the desperate one that she’d recently heard on the crisis line. She knew that, for Edwina, the winnings could free her from a controlling husband.

Jessie wasn’t alone in having a good memory for voices. As she and the new champion left the studio, Edwina whispered to her: ‘Thank you.’

CategoryFlash Fiction

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