Friday, 7 April 2017

Here's my third place winner (if that's not a contradiction in terms) for Flash Fiction at the Scottish Association of Writers annual conference. 

I was about to give up on this blog when the pageviews slumped from about 300 a day to single figures and tens. But there was a welcome spike of 64 at 10 am on Wednesday (thank you, Japan), so I am encouraged to to carry on.

Now if I can just find a tasteful illustration of a skull on Pinterest - or a bonfire with dark overtones of impending doom . . .

In Sure and Certain Hope

He came in from the back garden sweating, though the night was cold.  Walking on the newspapers, he peeled off his overalls and gloves and all his clothes and placed them neatly in the middle of the 
papers, muddy shoes on top.  She’d had a thing about keeping the kitchen clean.
     The dog cowered down in its basket, trembling.
     After a thorough shower, he came back and knelt to bundle up the papers and the clothes.  There 
would be a load of rubbish to burn tomorrow.  The huge pile of fallen leaves and old cuttings at the bottom of the garden was covered with a tarpaulin to keep it dry.  She’d had plenty to say about that. 
     Funny, she didn’t say much about the text from Denise, the one confirming the flight time and the hotel booking.  Just shoved the phone in front of him and walked away with her face shut tight.
     A shoe had fallen off the pile.  But he’d placed them so carefully.  No mistakes now.  He checked the clothing.
     One blood-stained glove was missing.
     Cold air came in from the garden.  That bloody door!  Never did close properly.  He looked around . Jack wasn’t in his basket. 
     ‘Oh, Christ, he’s got the glove!  He’s going to bury it.  I’ll kill the yapping little bastard.’

     He was still in the garden, naked, digging frantically along the borders, shouting ‘Jack!  Come here, Jack!’ when frightened neighbours dialled 999.