Category Archives: Flash fiction

Fiction is hell

Fiction is hell.

Not one word will seep from my pitiful brain on to this accursed page. I don’t have a single idea worth the spirit-sapping monotony of 12pt Courier. My paragraphs are formatted to double-spaced lines, but you couldn’t tell – you’d need two lines.

Utter dejection.

It was all going so well. I’d read about creative writing; I even did a course.

Back then I was happy, naïve. Everything seemed sprinkled with potential; every real-life encounter manifested an event to be mastered; in every sunrise shone the promise of perfect prose.

Continue reading Fiction is hell

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Third Life – Flash Fiction

Outside, thumping relentlessly on my windowpane, the ruptured Chiba sky pours its thick, sticky summer rain. I take a long drag on a knock-off Marlboro, synth-tobacco clinging to my throat with a taste like ozone.

The sky is a cold slab of television-grey, lit by the humming neon of the Shinjuku district as it slices through the smog from over a mile away. Sixty-five stories up and I can feel it – the Biz – far below on the streets, in the alleyways. The eternal hustle; a grey lawless economy, both sustained and frowned upon by the Zaibatsus who feed off its live-or-die vitality. In the bustle, amongst these thousands of hustlers, pimps, dealers, fixers, runners and marks, a hired door punk like me can feel God-damn alone. I need to get out, just for a few hours.

Continue reading Third Life – Flash Fiction

Defender of the Corn – Flash Fiction

Matthis woke to the thump of the planet’s heartbeat. It rumbled though the earth, shaking his sod house. Daub dropped from the rafters over his bed, soiling his sheets. It was not yet dawn. Had it been, he’d have risen to plough the fields still damp with morning dew.

Instead, this rhythmic pounding threatened to level his house. He tore the bed sheets aside and pulled a sheepskin cloak over his undergarments.

Thump, thump, thump.

Matthis burst from his house. His land (as far as a peasant might lay claim to the land he toils) was swarming with soldiers. Their unified step quaked the ground.

“Oi!” Matthis cried, waving his sickle. “You bloody bastards! What are ye doin’?”

As though bidden, a horseman galloped forward. “Hail King Anders,” he said from his mount.

“Oh, bloody… Hail!

Continue reading Defender of the Corn – Flash Fiction

Trolling – Flash Fiction

Paul punishes his keyboard. He hammers the keys, as though this manifest hate might translate into binary. His yellowing teeth grind like marbles in a bag; his brow pulled taut, head pounding. How is the world so blind?

His face can’t contain his anger – it strains and twists and flexes, a nightmare of sinewed spleen. Pop!… A trickle seeps from one nostril, pitter-patters on the desk. He blinks blood-shot eyes, blistered and blurred through pink-tinged tears.

He doesn’t notice when his fingers start to bleed, worn away with hate on antisocial media, staining the letters red and muddy brown. He doesn’t stop to ease the pain when flesh gives way to bone, and thump, thump, thump becomes click, click, clack.

Why won’t they listen? Paul guffaws in disbelief. Hate spits from his lips onto the screen, glistening red, blue and green.

How are they so blind?

—————–

Submitted to a Flash Fiction competition – 150 words, taking the themes of man versus society and obsession as inspiration.

The Lucan Widower – Flash Fiction

Submitted to a Flash Fiction competition – 260 words, taking the theme of guilt, conflict between two men and the work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as inspiration.

—————–

When I arrived at the station, Deputy Bosworth handed me a letter, scrawled in blotches from a blunted quill, as though roughly plucked from some hapless pheasant and dunked hastily in ink.

Its contents read thusly:

Inspector Harding,

Damn your insolent contumely. I’ll have satisfaction, sir; and from you, no less. Call on me by noon, lest I take the matter into my own hands.

Fair warning,
Lord Lucan

“What is his grievance?” I queried, knowing full well.

Through barely obfuscated contempt, Bosworth ejaculated: “Though no aspersions have been cast, he maintains his innocence regarding Lady Lucan’s regrettable suicide, and is belligerent to any fellow he encounters. He insists the constabulary considers him guilty and whispers scandal to the townsfolk.”

I had yet to remove my overcoat; nor would I, as I turned and left for Lucan Manor.

After a lengthy drive, I arrived at the antiquated country home to find the tempestuous incumbent in a state of mad, drunken befuddlement, belching rebukes at a gaggle of geese.

The hills engulfed his clamour with silence. He was alone.

Lucan noticed me: “Harding! You filth-dribbling scoundrel! I know what you’re up to. Lies and skullduggery!” Spit speckled his beard like dew.

“You’re right Lucan – rumours were spread.” My eyes began to well. “But lies aside, you are culpable.”

An obstinate tear escaped me. “You drove her to it, Lucan… My pretty chicken.”

“I knew it,” he growled.

I drew my truncheon, felt its weight. “’Lord Lucan… vanished.’ – whatever will people think?”

I tried, but failed, to smile. “A guilty conscience, perhaps.”

Dining Out – Flash Fiction

My heart flitters, as though a moth flutters inside. Christ, was that a heart attack? Need to breathe – stay calm. Was that normal? I feel fine, but that wasn’t normal – was it normal?

Can’t eat. Can’t hold my fork! Just breathe through your nose.

Apologise to Sarah.

Well, go on! Do it!

“I’m…”

Jesus, you sound like you’re having a stroke! Stop scaring her! Pull yourself together – keep breathing!

Fingers are clamping up – body’s tingling. Pins and needles all over. My mind’s a tornado. Got to keep calm.

I’m fine.

“James? Are you ok?”

I’m losing it – I’m losing it.

Rise – Flash Fiction

Submitted to a Flash Fiction friendly. 100 words, taking the phrase “secret invention” and the image above as inspiration.

—————–

I awake to a clamour of glass smashing against stone. Hurried footsteps recede to silence, as rusty hinges squeal goodbyes. My head pounds as I open my eyes. Outside, an unseen torrent rumbles, amplifying the pain in my brain.

Sitting up, slowly, the smell of decay raises visions of illness – a blood-spattered bedpan haunts my periphery.

I survived?

I raise a grubby, skeletal hand to my temple, and notice my clothes thick with mud. My skin is cold, like a corpse. The pain in my head squirms – I pluck a soft, wriggling creature from my ear.

It’s alive.

Fallen idol

My exposé of the most insidious
deception in human history

By Thomas Harrison, reporter, Channel 4 News
Thomas Harrison, reporter, Channel 4 News
Thomas Harrison, reporter, Channel 4 News

It is with a clear conscience that I endure the world’s venomous loathing. My actions, heinous to so many of you, were made in good faith, and with pure intentions. I offer no apology for the havoc I have supposedly reaped upon our planet.

We were duped – all of us. Continue reading Fallen idol