Tag Archives: Flash fiction

Writer progress: I am no longer a slush puppy!

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been sending short stories out to magazines this year, in the hope of building up a portfolio of credits, not to mention to validate my assertion that “I am a writer”.

You may remember my frustration at receiving so many rejections. But what are rejections, if not slightly painful stabs of encouragement? Rejections are just psychologically damaging bullets of motivation, right? Sure, they hurt, but they drive you to improve.

This is shit – try harder.

Stop sending trash – learn to write.

What the fuck is this? – Go back to school.

REJECTIONS ARE GREAT, SEE?

Continue reading Writer progress: I am no longer a slush puppy!

Ideas in a Flash – the benefits of micro-fiction

I enter a flash fiction competition every Friday. I do this for a variety of reasons:

1.) It’s fun.

2.) I meet other writers.

3.) I hone my craft

4.) It generates ideas.

My latest effort was limited to 150 words. That’s not a lot if you hope to include compelling characters, potent plot lines, convincing dialogue and rich descriptions all in the one piece.

Therefore, often, you have to focus on one or two aspects of a story – the idea, the conflict, the character, the prose.

Last Friday’s prompt was inspired by the Iliad, which I studied in my sixth-form Classics A-Level. I’ve always loved Homer – I’ve got old drafts of “Modern Odyssey” story ideas that I was toying with as a 17-year-old fiction smith.

Continue reading Ideas in a Flash – the benefits of micro-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.

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