Flash Fiction: Mrs Florence and Mr Becco by Chiara De Giorgi

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to use these five words in a story/poem – esophagus, carrot, pigeon, lily, moustache.

This week’s story comes from Chiara De Giorgi. Chiara dreams, reads, edits texts, translates, and occasionally writes in two languages. She also has a lot of fun.

 Mrs Florence and Mr Becco

by Chiara De Giorgi

“Mom! It’s Lily’s turn!”

“Julie, please. Lily’s had a rough day. You can very well go see to Mrs Florence’s windowsill today.”

Lily crossed her arms and stomped her feet. She hated that task.


They had found Mr Becco, injured and almost dead, lying on their balcony just a couple of weeks earlier. Something was stuck inside his esophagus, and he had fallen from the rooftop. They had massaged his throat and managed to save his life, but one of his legs was slightly crooked and he could not fly.  They had decided to keep him and take care of him until he recovered enough to take to the sky again.

She had been enthusiastic at first: she had planned on writing a blog, called “The girl and the pigeon”; she had imagined herself becoming an Instagram star with the account: “A pigeon’s life”. She would travel the world, with Mr Becco perched on her shoulder, and magazines would pay for her trips and accommodations in exchange for articles and pictures of Mr Becco visiting every corner of the world. None of which had happened, yet, but one thing had filled their days: Mr Becco’s poop.

The bird had elected a particular spot where he’d set about doing his business, the product of which inevitably soiled their downstairs neighbour’s windowsill. She and Lily took turns to go to Mrs Florence’s every time Mr Becco pooped, so they could wash it up.


“Come on, Julie”, said Mom again. “When you have a hard time, Lily always cares for you. Won’t you do the same for her?”

“It’s different”, grumbled the little girl, “Lily’s my big sister, she’s supposed to care for me.”

“Julie, can you just stop for a moment and listen to yourself?”

Mom was becoming impatient. Julie sighed, almost ready to drop it, but not just yet.

“I don’t like going downstairs”, she whined. “It’s not Mr Becco’s droppings, I don’t mind cleaning up. It’s Mrs Florence’s house. It’s… creepy.”

Mom frowned.

“What do you mean, it’s creepy?”

“Well, you know. It always smells like boiled carrots. And Mrs Florence herself, well.”

“Well, what? Julie, Mrs Florence is a sweet old lady, a bit lonely and very deaf. You know I will be an old lady one day, right? And who’s going to take care for me and boil me carrots?”

Mom was smiling and tickling her. Julie tried to resist, but she burst out laughing.

“You won’t have a moustache, tough. No you won’t!”

“Won’t I? Won’t I?”

Mom put two strands of her hair under her nose, to pretend having a moustache, and Julie started laughing so hard, she had to hold her belly.

“Mrs Florence has a moustache, and smells like a carrot!” she cried, collapsing on the floor.

“And luckily she’s quite deaf”, considered Mom, sitting next to the little girl. “Will you go there in your sister’s stead?”

Julie sighed, then nodded.

“Of course. Mom? When do you think Mr Becco will be able to fly again?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t want to. Maybe he likes it here. Maybe he likes Mrs Florence’s windowsill”, she concluded, winking.

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