Thursday, July 8, 2021

“First Date Magic” • by Sylvia Heike


The waiter’s smooth voice soothed both my nerves and ears. “My name is Ernest, and I’ll be at your service this evening. What would you like?”

My voice was dreamy, not quite mine. “Flowers when it’s not my birthday, walks in the rain. Someone who likes animals.”

“And you, sir?” he asked my date. 

“A lady who knows what she wants. If it’s me, great. If not, I’ll keep looking. I’m tired of playing games. Unless it’s with my dogs.”

After Ernest (I’m pretty sure he wasn’t our waiter) poofed away, I was afraid to open my mouth again, so I just smiled. And couldn’t stop smiling.

¤     ¤     ¤

Sylvia Heike is a speculative fiction writer from Finland. She likes hiking, nature photography, books, bunnies, and birds. Her stories have appeared in Flash Fiction Online and elsewhere. To find out more, visit her website,, or follow her on Twitter @sylviaheike


And now, a few words from the publisher…

Bruce Bethke here. This week The Pete Wood Challenge is bringing you seven new flash fiction stories, all of which key off some slight variation on the phrase, “I’m pretty sure he wasn’t our waiter.” In an ideal world we’d like to see you express your appreciation for these stories by taking a closer look at our other magazines, chapbooks, and original novels, probably starting with STUPEFYING STORIES MAGAZINE

But if you already have all the books, ebooks, and audio books you could ever possibly use, then I’m going to switch to my old public radio on-air voice and tell you that STUPEFYING STORIES and Rampant Loon Media are supported by the generosity of readers and listeners like you. If you appreciate the kind of programming we’re bringing you, please show it by clicking this link or the button below to make a donation today. All major credit cards are accepted, and all donations go directly to paying the authors and artists who create the content you’re enjoying on this site.

Gee, that really does look like a giant ibuprofen gelcap, doesn’t it? 


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