Monday, 6 August 2012

'The Ascot Murder' by Kevin Barrett

"I'm a hat woman" said the stranger seated opposite me on the train, referring to the blue and red hat perched on her knee.
"Off to Ascot then".  I said facetiously.
Thoughtfully she fingered the rim of the hat.  "No she said; but I know where you are going."  The gunshot blew the crown off the hat and I slumped to the floor.
The blood seeped through my fingers clutching at the wound.  A veil fell over the woman's face and the ruined hat fell deeper into shadow.
Then I remembered.

(Written at the NFFD workshop, Winchester, May 12th 2012)

Story from Cara Sandys inspired by a ship's horn sound-effect

Childhood holidays were spent on an unexotic caravan site, but to the girl, it was paradise.
At the end of a bumpy road, with puddles like giant's footprints, the tiny van was a door to a simple world. No electricity, gas lighting, an outside larder and communal tap.
Oak apples bounced off the roof, molehills appeared overnight and crickets chirped on warm evenings.
She picked blackberries, read comics and swam. On wet days, the rain hammered down and ran like tears down the windows. After a storm, she'd go beachcombing,
discovering cuttlefish, driftwood and bottles from faraway places. Ships glided by, their horns signalling their farewells as they sailed to somewhere warmer and more exciting.

Summers came and went. The caravan was sold and the girl grew up and travelled the world. Fourty years later, washed up and cashed up, she came back to the caravan site
and bought the biggest van with the best view.
She found the oak apple tree where the old van used to be, the blackberry bushes and the giant's footprints. But where was the girl, full of hopes and dreams, looking forward
to a lifetime of adventure. She was nowhere to be seen.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

'How it all began' by Philip Schofield

[Written as part of the Book-ish event in Abergavenny]

It is a little known fact that Flash Fiction originated in Abergavenny in middle of the sixteenth century.  Queen Elizabeth was on the throne and young men aspired to be scholars or poets.

In a quiet town called Stratford upon Avon, the parents of a lazy young lad named Will Shakespeare, despaired of him ever finding work.  He had no interest in reading or writing and, in fact, had never written a word in his life.

In desperation, his parents sent him to Uncle Oliver who lived in a sleepy town called Abergavenny.  Uncle Oliver was a strict disciplinarian and Will’s parents prayed that he would instil a work ethic into their son.
Young Will arrived tired and hungry but there was no time to eat.

Uncle Oliver appeared with quill and parchment. He was fierce and determined.  ‘First write, then eat.  You will focus lad.  Understand?  This is Abergavenny!  Focus!’

Now Aunt Cath, Oliver’s wife, ran a small business with two friends, Hannah and Emma.  They gathered mushrooms and herbs and brewed a thick soup in a cauldron to sell to travellers on the Brecon Road.

Will watched hungrily as they stirred, cackling and chuckling.  His quill scratched on the parchment but, after only 250 words, inspiration dried up.  He would finish the writing later.

Uncle Oliver snatched the paper out of Will’s hand and began to read, ‘Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble.’

Flash Fiction was born.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

3 Tiny Flashes from NFFD in Trowbridge

These were written at Josephine Corcoran's workshop for NFFD in Trowbridge:

Packing by David Birks
( inspired by Gail Aldwin's story, 'Packing')

1: Tee-shirts x3
Cardigans x2
Trousers x3
Slippers x1
Shoes x1

2: Remove pictures from wall
3: Wrap figurines in bubble wrap
4: Leave TV and TV remote
5: Remember walking frame – to return to social services


9/11 by Debra Milner

On the top floor! What a time to be on the top floor!


Lost Lake by Katherine White 
(Inspired by Dulux Paint Card - idea copyright of Calum Kerr)

Lost lake. To find it you have to dig for it. Clear the creepers, clear the jagged brambles, find the slope dipping away- excitement! Look at the size of it! Imagine it with water, ducks, dancing grebes and wistful cries of coots. Imagine boats, young laughter, picnics on the island. Imagine the water rushing in, a hidden grotto, dark with lichen.
Imagine the man hours to dig it out, the back-breaking toil it will take to restore it to its former glory. Best left.

Lake lost.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

'Definition of Anger' by Joanne Mallon

It’s our anniversary today. Our 14th Anniversary, not the first or the tenth. Just a run of the mill steak dinner at home anniversary.

But the pretty box on my side of the bed has been carefully placed while I was in the shower. Pretty lingerie, a body brush and a pot of chocolate, all wrapped in tissue and sprinkled with sparkly testicle confetti sit before me.

She just doesn’t get it. It’s not that I don’t want to, not that I don’t think she’s the prettiest lass in town; I do. I do want to, and I do want her. But I just can’t, I can’t. I don’t know why, and I hate myself for it.

'Boring boring boring' by David Dunford

He was the archetypal anorak. All he ever talked about was the perfect real ale. In all probability he was a very caring person with a wife and kids. But all this talk about ABV’s, Cask conditioning, micro breweries, good colour, nice head, fruity aftertaste on and on and on. For Christ’s sake get out with your mates, have a goodtime and drink the stuff. Get wobbly legged, tell jokes, laugh loud and enjoy a bit of all male company. Stagger home, sleep downstairs to avoid the wife, live with tomorrow’s hangover, go to work feeling rough and tell more mates about last night. Get some flowers for the wife (not chocolates with the diet) on the way home from work and make it up with her so you can do it again next time.
Get a Life!!

'Companionship' by Ray Chiverton

They sat in the pub as they always had done, every week for many years. Same time, same seats. Good friends, best friends. They were rarely maudlin and they never discussed their friendship. They just enjoyed the other’s company and enjoyed having a laugh.

“I wish I could write like Ben Elton, or John Sullivan.” Dave wished for lots of things.

“He’s very funny, Ben Elton” agreed Den. “He can use words as well as be funny. In one episode he managed to get discombobulation into the dialogue. He tried to trick Doctor Johnson with that one.”

“I loved Melchett and the rude words. Crevice was one. Brilliant!”

Den guffawed as they enjoyed the moment. “I like a good crevice now and again” he said, a bit too loud.

“Hey careful” hissed Dave, “there is a family behind you”. 

“I know I know. I saw them. One looked like a retard…..he was wearing a West Ham shirt.” 

The banal humour appealed to then both as they laughed out loud, like they always had done, every week for many years.