Black Dogs (Flash)

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“It wasn’t Churchill that came up with calling depression the Black Dog, you know,” the concierge says. “It was Samuel Johnson and he was from nearby, from Lichfield.”

I picture a thickset, barking Staffie. I still feel upset that anyone could associate black dogs and depression. I suspect dogs are more likely to suffer depression than dole it out.

The concierge continues, “I like to think he … Continue reading

Me, you and the dog, too (Flash)

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I came back and you were in a bad way, which I guess is only to be expected with the news you’d just had. I could barely look at you because the thing I always loved about you was gone. Your smile is rare but you always – well, almost always – have those lines at either side of your mouth that suggest you’re amused by everything. … Continue reading

World Tree (Flash x 4)

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I

As Man got older and his children grew up and had their own, he grew to resent the gods and their rule over his life more and more.

“How is it that they are forever young while I age and fade away?” he asked. “How is this fair?”

The unfairness of it sat so bitterly in his stomach that he was unable to eat or sleep … Continue reading

Divine Twins (Flash x 4)

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I

They say the first beings in the world were the Weavers, although they didn’t have their forms – because no story exists without a beginning, a middle and an end, and the world cannot exist without a before, a during and an after. But the first two forms were the Divine Twins made of Air and Water. No-one knows who made them or what came before. … Continue reading

The Secret Ingredient (Flash)

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Rob inherited his family’s failing dairy farm sometime in our university drunken haze years. He was one of those that fell by the wayside in our quest for meaningful adulthood in the city – any city. Lilla grew up to be a journalist. She’d fallen into working at some barely existent magazine while trying to get her dream job in publishing. She didn’t get the dream job … Continue reading

Once, Upon Reflection (Flash)

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Once, I knew a girl who didn’t like mirrors.

She told me so, apologetically, when I brought her back to my room. I dragged the throw Mum had given me from under the single bed and covered the mirror that came with the room.

“It’s okay,” I said, trying to be reassuring. “Lots of people find their reflection disconcerting.”

She frowned at me. “It’s not that.”

“Sure … Continue reading

Insomnia (Flash)

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Laurie never did sleep well – and she always manages to disturb me when she’s restless. I’ve never been sure whether or not she does it on purpose. So tonight is a night like any other, then, with me dragged from the warm and comfortable bed by the creak of floorboards under her pacing feet.

I say nothing, not even wiping the early stages of sleep from … Continue reading

Ten Inch / Silent Sonata (Flash)

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The Background

This is a piece of flash fiction written following a Twitter brainstorming session (Storified here: [External Link]) as part of The Future Fire’s [External Link] ten year celebrations (Indiegogo campaign here: [External Link])

The Story

I had a love who was a vinyl collector before it was cool. Or after it was cool and before it was cool again. … Continue reading

A Hero’s Quest (or: Jen’s Homework)

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The Background

The weekend just gone, Jen had some homework from school that involved using some cut out prompts to make up stories (oral telling) with a basic hero’s journey / monomyth approach [Wikipiedia article: External Link] – not that it’s explained to seven-year-olds in those terms, of course. It goes without saying that I made a pain in the unmentionable of myself, so Jen … Continue reading

How Otter Made The World (Flash)

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In the beginning, there was water and there was Otter. Otter played Chase-Tail to entertain herself and the pretty bubbles she shed floated upward.

Otter got bored of chasing a tail that was so easy to catch. So she made fishes that she could chase and that tasted better than her tail when she caught them. Their scales fell through the water as Otter ate.

Then Otter … Continue reading