National Flash Fiction Day news

I have just learned that a story of mine called ‘Empty Promise’ will be featured here http://flashfloodjournal.blogspot.co.uk/ on Saturday at around 6:50pm as part of NFFD- exciting!

Please try and have a look at some of the stories which I think will be posted about every 10 minutes throughout the day.

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Ad Hoc Entry- Private Arrangement

Here is another unsuccessful entry to last week’s Ad Hoc competition. Would love any feedback on this.

I’ve been a bit quiet of late as just so busy with work, life etc.  It’s so hard to find the time to write anything more substantial than flash fictions and easy to feel despondent.  When life pressures build up I find my thinking time for writing becomes squeezed more than I would like.  Hoping to redress the balance at some point soon.

The women that came to her all had one thing in common. Other than that, she knew little about them. She didn’t ask, they didn’t volunteer.

They would telephone, asking for Rose. She would make an appointment, take payment. The arrangement was simple. She never advertised. Her reputation preceded her. She never saw the same woman twice- there was no need.

When they came in and revealed their faces, they all wore the same desperate expression. They left calmer, lighter, happy.

There was only one she couldn’t help. She came back under a different name a few months later.

‘It didn’t work,’ she said simply.

‘I’m sorry.’

She stood in silence for a few moments. Then she took out a long knife from under her robe and raised it up to her neck.

‘Wait! Wait. You don’t have to do that. You can work for me. I need an assistant.’

Girl Alone

This was my entry for the ‘bark’ prompt week in the Ad Hoc Flash Fiction competition if anyone is interested.

A girl walked home alone at night. She was barefoot and wore a thin dress, her long dark hair hung loose down to her waist. To any passer-by, she seemed to be walking aimlessly, without a care in the world. She should have been taking more care. She weaved slowly backwards and forwards across the pavement, sometimes stumbling and then regaining her balance. She was making very slow progress to wherever she was heading.

Occasionally, a car or taxi would pass her in the darkness, temporarily illuminating the white skin of her bare legs in their headlights. She paid them no attention. The night was silent as the graveyard, but then the bark of a lone dog momentarily drew her attention away from the path ahead. This was the moment I had been waiting for. I stepped out from behind the wall.

Ad Hoc Flash Fiction update

Hi there,

Inspired by Ceri on her blog: https://pieintsky.wordpress.com, I entered last week’s Ad Hoc Flash Fiction competition with the prompt word ‘bark’ and was pleasantly surprised to see that my piece is among the ~50 pieces up for the vote this week! So thank you for suggesting it, and I’d encourage everyone else to have a go too.

This week’s prompt word is ‘note‘ so I’ll try and come up with something again.  I’ve found it really useful having a prompt word and a short deadline to focus the mind, but with only a 150 word limit I thought surely I’d be able to come up with something in the time-frame? Why not give it a try, if you don’t think your piece works for the competition you can always use it as a starting point for something longer.  Good luck!

SWF radio exercise

I wrote this story for the course exercise where you had to use an extract from the radio as a prompt, but never posted it on the course site.  Therefore nobody has ever seen it, any comments welcome! Thank you.

Melanoma

There it was again. That word. Taunting him again like an ex-girlfriend walking past with her new lover. Melanoma. It even sounded like it could be a woman’s name. A woman with no sense of decency or tact, a woman who did as she pleased and then moved on to the next unwitting recipient of her affections, leaving a wreck of a man behind her who barely comprehended what had happened to him, yet couldn’t forget, couldn’t ‘move on’, no matter how hard he tried. Nigel exhaled loudly, shook his head slightly and switched the radio to a different station. Even on his journey to work he couldn’t escape being reminded about it. Couldn’t there be some place of sanctity, of privacy, that a man could call his own without unwelcome intrusions?  He thumped the steering wheel angrily, inadvertently sounding the horn and making himself jump and the driver in front look back at him quizzically. He was proud of his car. He had earned the right to buy himself a decent motor after everything he had been through. But now his enjoyment of the driving experience was tainted. Like biting into a sandwich and finding a hair inside, he couldn’t enjoy anything that followed.

So now they were saying all these lives had been saved, all these melanomas avoided because the hole in the ozone layer was repairing itself. The Montreal protocol was ‘an amazing feat of international collaboration and cooperation’. Well hooray for mankind, hooray for future generations of ignorant teenagers who could go on getting their suntans with impunity. It was too little too late as far as Nigel was concerned.

What had started out as a perfectly good day had now been ruined, Nigel concluded. He knew from experience that he would find it extremely difficult to put the topic from his mind and focus on work. Bitterly he reflected that it was true what they said, once you’ve had cancer once, you never really rest easy again. It’s always there at the back of your mind, like the face of a menacing predator from a bad dream you wish you could erase from your mind. When will it come back again? Not if, but when?

As Nigel pulled into the car park of the Force HQ, he recalled that first trip back into work a year ago, after he had been on sick leave for the previous nine months. That sense of anxiety and apprehension returned to him once more and he felt himself begin to sweat slightly in his cotton shirt sleeves, and his palms grow moist. He pulled down the sun visor to glance briefly at his reflection and ran his fingers over his thinning hairline and across the back of his neck. He pulled slightly at his collar and loosened his blue tie slightly. He rubbed the palm of his hand over the left side of his abdomen, where the skin graft still hadn’t completely faded, maybe it never would. Taking some deep breaths he stepped out of the car.

Theresa from HR took him by surprise with a cheerful, ‘Morning Nigel.’ She clopped past him confidently in her black stilletos and cherry red lipstick, her long black curls swinging carelessly from side to side as she bounced along, all thoughts of Nigel leaving her mind almost as soon as he had entered it he supposed. He stood still and watched her enter the building and the door close behind her, before approaching reluctantly, fumbling for his key card and swiping ineffectively at the reader. Eventually, the door opened again, then closed. Nigel decided he wasn’t going to go in today after all.

Hello world!

Hi there,

I’ve started this blog after the end of the Start Writing Fiction Futurelearn course.  The main reason for this is to keep track of some other writers from the course whose writing I have enjoyed.  Hopefully we can all continue to inspire each other.  I haven’t posted any of my work on here yet but I will do so! The prospect is a little daunting but I know this will help as getting feedback from others is so useful.

Happy writing everyone!

Rebecca