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

The Modern Pentathlete (Flash)

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Yes, Officer. You want to know about Miss Chung.

She was much loved by our fellow citizens. She was born and raised on the Moon. Born the same minute as our Glorious Nation. Their paperwork was signed at exactly the same time, in fact. We all considered it a good omen that Miss Chung became an athlete while away at University. There will be some among our … Continue reading

Going Home (Flash)

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A front step creaked.


She blinked at the old, barely there voice that quavered from her lips and rubbed at eyes that couldn’t see. She wished Mummy and Daddy hadn’t gone away and left her.

“Hello?” she called again.

Another creak. Then another. The rhythm, the tone – the weight and stride – seemed familiar.


Another creak and an answering call. “Hello?”

The voice wasn’t … Continue reading

Baba Yaga (Flash)

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The night-watchman pauses and curses at shadows that flicker in the gas light – each causing him to use his torch. The sound of metal scraping on metal jars when he opens the flap to cast light and it only reveals the wastes thrown from the houses as the rats scatter away from the noise.

He hates to be out and would rather be in his nice, … Continue reading

Parthenogenesis (Flash)

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It isn’t so much a question as a squeak of terror. She can’t be pregnant. There’s no way she-

The screen overlay on the bathroom mirror flickers and the voice of the diagnostic program – soothing, motherly and hand-picked years ago for those qualities – says, “The blood test confirms it.”

She jerks her hand away from the palm pad as if it stings, as it … Continue reading