Monday, 29 November 2010

Four Times Thirty Equals Reject

There is a form of popular flash or micro fiction that is becoming increasingly popular. These are pieces with a specific word count. Some of the word counts I have seen include: 150, 50, 55 and even as low as 12 words. Sometimes the title is included in the word count and sometimes the title has to be a single word. Obviously the title become an important part of the story with words on such short supply.

The following little stories all have 30 words exactly, nothing more and nothing less. As well as a short title.


“You ready?”
No answer.
A distant shuffling.
“They're waiting. We have to go now.”
“I'm sorry. About earlier.”
A door slams.
“I'm coming in.”
The room is empty.


The Shortest Day

Home, a car park, a Chevrolet, no option other than peeing in a cup. Neighbours, a Ford, a Buick, a family in a trailer. My bed, blankets on freezing metal.


Thirty Something

Thirty heroes wondering, seeking thirty stories to tell. Searching for thirty foes to fight, thirty beautiful maidens to rescue. Unfortunately they have been through this many times, many, many times.



Granddad was snoring again. The windows rattled, the doors shook and nobody could hear the telly. I hid quietly in the corner. Waiting to emerge when the arguing had stopped.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Faded Charm

“Not him, no never, it can't be.” Fortunately the staff room was empty and no one could hear her squeal of surprise.

Annabelle really needed to concentrate on her class's homework and get it marked for following day. It was easier to work here in the staff room then in her dull bedsit. There she would suffer numerous annoyances: the screaming kids next door, the booming old lady's TV upstairs and the bustle of the main road. She yawned... one more monstrosity completed... it was all so mind numbingly boring.

Yawn. Annabelle sipped a cup of the most disgusting plastic coffee. She was fed up with Form 4C and the dilapidated St Benedict's High School for Girls. Distracting herself from the monotony she flicked through a magazine. A magazine confiscated from one of her more precocious girls. At least she could attempt to understand their silly minds. It was then the squeal occurred.

Surely she knew the person in that murky photo cascading across the centre spread. She tried to disregard the provocative pose, the shaven head, the black leather jacket and the offensive tattoos. It could be. No. Could it be? But he was such a geek back then, a positive square with rigid ninety degree corners. Could it be the Tommy she had known ten years ago? Known back in her own school days. The Tommy she had felt so sorry for. The more she studied the photo the more it seemed likely. So how did he get into such a trashy celebrity magazine? The magazine didn't say very much. To her disappointment it assumed you already knew who he was. It just hinted that his band had managed to remain together and would be giving a UK tour. This must mean he's some kind of minor pop star. Though his bands reputation apparently stemmed from their antics than any musical ability.

The staff room door was flung aside and in marched mismatched brown trousers and jacket. Annabelle pulled the next exercise book over the magazine and studied appalling scrawl.

“You still here?” It was Brian, it would be Brian. He hovered. He lingered. He mumbled. “Coffee?”

“No, I'm good.” While Brian was making his cup of plastic she shuffled the magazine further out of sight. It was not in keeping with her prim style.

Brian was single, head of department, friendly, thrifty and emblazoned with elbow patches. He was always sniffing around and never quite having the courage to hint. Could she? But elbow patches, she could not possibly demean herself with dark purple elbow patches. There were limits.

Annabelle scooped up the exercise books and her accompanying paraphernalia and skedaddled out mumbling some lacklustre farewell. Even her bedsit seemed more appealing.


This blog is primarily intended as a place to publish some of my short stories and flash fiction. We define flash fiction as stories of fewer than 1,000 words. Though we need not be too strict about the word count. More importantly they are something you can read in a short break. This is a fiction form that is ideally suited to the internet and blogging. And has become quite popular here in recent years.

There are also many sub forms of this kind of fiction. These include 55ers (fiction with exactly 55 words – often some other number is selected). Another kind is micro fiction which is sometimes defined as fiction of fewer than 100 words.

Also I intend to include a few book reviews. This will not necessarily be the latest, just published stuff. It'll just be whatever I happen to have been reading.

Occasionally I'll try to work in a bit of humour. Well, I think I'm funny, or at least other people laugh at me – though that may not be the same thing. It'll be up to the reader to work out which pieces are intentionally funny. So we'll see what takes my mood.

Those blogs that get read are those that are frequently updated. I must admit I've started few blogs before and I haven't been very good at this aspect of the art. Here's hoping things change.