Monthly Archives: March 2014



Advice on writing? Not my forte, place of expertise, or indeed something I have a full understanding of. Yet if pushed I could probably summarize my approach to writing flash fiction as in seven steps.

1. Coffee

2. Write

3. Doubt

4. Delete

5. Write

6. Acceptance

7. Wine

Thankfully Michael Arnzen has written a far more engaging and reflective piece featured by the folks at Fiction Vale. Entitled Making More Out of Less: Strategies for Writing Flash Fiction. One point that I found particularly insightful was the section Exploring the Gaps

Employing the trick ending is more common in some genres (horror) than others (romance), but most flash fiction stories seem to end with a punch in the gut that leaves you realizing you had taken something for granted all along. Short-shorts take shortcuts all the time, building their stories on reader assumptions, or leaving so many gaps that the reader must read between the lines to make sense of the story. Exploit those assumptions to create surprises.”

Hope it proves of interest/help.



So things have been manic recently, both in the personal and the creative spheres, and I suddenly realised that certain projects had been neglected recently. So apologies in the gap between posting but the current long term WIP needed some love and attention. Anyway managed to drop a submission into Flash! Friday, which got awarded an Honorable Mention! There are some wonderful submissions inspired by the prompt so if you have the time you should pop over …

Anyway hope you enjoy



The Bus Stop Slasher

The press boys have labeled him the Bus Stop Slasher. A catchy little number, I’ve been tracking this guy for weeks now, yet every Friday another dame falls victim.

The night bus turns left on 57th, engine complaining as it wallows through the slumbering metropolis. I flex my toes, my size tens aching in the shoes I bought from a perv shop down on 128th. I’m the first to admit as a dame I’m an eyesore, yet the captain was insistent. Whatever it takes we catch this guy. Another stop comes into view, no perp waiting in the shadows. The bell dings, an old dame struggling with her shopping trolley.

Likely victim.

I move quick, helping her negotiate her way onto the sidewalk.

The driver, a real prince, departs, engine retching smog.

She’s apologetic, I tell her I’m fine. I’ll call up a black and white for a lift.

I barely feel the blade she thrusts into my stomach.


Image Creative Commons photo by Kat/Swim Parallel.



Been struggling recently with all things virtual, from twitter to facebook, blogging too email all of it has felt tainted with a malady or doom laden woes. Finally the clouds lifted in time to enter the latest Flash! Friday prompt. The idea didn’t place, mainly due to there being far better stories submitted, but at least it got the old creative muscles exercising again!

Dancing at the Red Cross Fund, Brisbane, 1942. Public domain photo.

The usual deal, 150 word limit, based on the photo prompt and including a dancer. Hope you enjoy!

The Spectator

He held the photograph, monochromatic ballerinas frozen in time. He could recall that day with such wonderful detail. The hushed tones of the audience as his sister and her friends entered the hall. The rustle of fabric against skin. The apprehensive glances thrown between confident smiles.

Angels, all of them, poised and elegant.

The music filled the universe, the dancers becoming a moving constellation of wonder. He had been so proud of his sister that day, so in awe of her beauty. She had been so graceful, so wonderful.

Afterwards father had bought them sodas and ice-cream. She was still in her costume, a princess amongst peasants.

He never watched her dance again, yet he had never forgotten the moment.

Now she was gone, leaving him alone. He gently lowered himself into his armchair, watching the dust dance into the air.

If only he could recall her name.

Or even his own.

A short flash inspired by the folks at The Angry Hourglass, based on a photo supplied by the irrepressible creative force that is TheShakes72. I was trying for something different, the concept being a virus that is going to turn humanities perception monochromatic and an MC plagued by the loss of her youth. Sadly the tale didn’t quite work as I had hoped, but as always an interesting prompt and flexing of the creative muscles.



Emma ripped at the ivy, revealing the arcs of colour concealed on the brickwork beneath. She regretted the deforestation, for the plant had kept their art hidden from some tagger’s inelegant scrawl. Yet time was of the essence.

Finally, hands raw with the effort, Emma slumped down onto the grass, letting her eyes roll across the arcs and contours of the graffiti. A realm that was once vibrant had become a plateau of fading and peeling colours.

Trains rumbled to life in the yard behind her. It had been Marcus who had found the site back then. Somewhere commuters could see, yet taggers would find hard to reach. Emma pulled out the creased artist pad from her backpack. Flicking through the yellowing pages, till she found the original design sketched all those years ago. The three of them had sat in the pub that day. Heads clouded in smoke, as they sketched, argued and collaborated. The ghostly echo of Nob’s pint glass still haunting the page.

Now she was sat where they had once lain, admiring their work whilst the dew sprinkled grass dampened their skin. Listening to the sound of the city awakening whilst they passed a celebratory spliff back and forth. Unaware that six months later Marcus would be killed in a car crash.

They had returned here, after the funeral, etching his name into the wall. Nob had held her, made plaintive promises of always being there, even though they both knew he was lying, that they would inevitably drift apart. Last she had heard he now called himself Nicholas. Wore a suit, did coke, traded currency in the city.

Her phone buzzed in her pocket. A twitter update from the NHS, retweeted from the WHO. Just a hashtag, no more was needed.


She turned off her phone, lighting up a cigarette, staring at the wall that had meant so much then, still did now. She needed to remember, to keep the colours inside of her, to not forget how they looked.

Then it began. Emma let the tears flow down her face, as the world around her slowly faded into grey.


“If you do not have an absolutely clear vision of something, where you can follow the light to the end of the tunnel, then it doesn’t matter whether you’re bold or cowardly, or whether you’re stupid or intelligent. Doesn’t get you anywhere.”

Werner Herzog