‘I Love Our Voices When We Sing Off-Key’ by Timothy Boudreau

Chosen by Gaynor Jones
This gorgeous flash piece outlines a loving, long-term relationship. Although it begins with the romantic cliché of a couple’s shared breakfast it soon becomes clear that this is no post-one night stand meal, but a well practised routine, ‘nothing fancy, but that’s the arrangement.’ Through references to ‘corny love songs’, it needing to be warm before the couple venture out and the ‘salt pepper and pepper spare tire dude.’ we learn that this a couple whose relationship has lasted through the years. And if we were any doubt, the following paragraph describes their sex life in humorous detail, swiftly followed by a section on knee surgery. Then we return to the prose which, for me, treads the line between corny and loving in such a way that you no longer care about the corniness – ‘Feel our same light, for we have light between us, I swear we do.’ I like this story because it gives me hope, and it’s refreshing to read a piece that delves way past the immediacy and urgency of first love.

Published on spelkfiction, July 2019
Gaynor Jones is an award-winning short fiction writer and spoken word performer based in Oldham. She is the recipient of the 2018 Mairtín Crawford Short Story Award and holds the title of Northern Soul’s 2018 Northern Writer of the Year. You can read her full Personal Anthology here.