It followed her around the whole day.

It got a few raised eyebrows on the train but it was good at embarrassing people into silence. It was almost like its special skill actually.

It waited patiently at her desk for the big meeting. And then it surprised everyone!

The stain.



The chips are down kid. Have you got what it takes?

I didn’t think so. The very essence of you is damp. Limp. Flaccid and worthless. D’ya know that?

Of course you do. You look at it every day. I’d say it oozes out of you but even that is giving you too much credit. You understand? Oozing is too dynamic for you.

Am I surprised?

No. To reiterate it’s writ large on you. A sandwich board floating on the insipid sludge beneath.

Now get the fuck out of here.

Go. Now.

‘Jug’ and ‘Backpack’

Another double header of 50 word flash as I ride the twin waves of renewed creativity and free time. The random word generator threw up two everyday objects as subject matter today. Having had the first feature directly I decided that the second would be only be implied – and it’s been interesting to see how that has impacted on the tone. Things that are great about 50 word flash fiction no. 167 – experimentation!



‘What’s in the jug?’ The youngest says. He pulls it over to look inside. Dad is mid-bite, Mum is mid-sibling-fight. It spins about itself tempting anyone to stop it, as if it knows no one can. Then the table; a lake, orange. Sighs then laughter. Lunch over.



Ideology fades, fanaticism abates. He is left with nothing in that final moment. Only then does he wonder what, if anything, he will feel. A woman smiles at him from the opposite side of the bus. She strokes dark hair back from her child’s face.

He feels nothing.




He’s saved it to last. Why this he’s not quite sure. If he’s honest he can’t even remember her having worn it.

The detritus of their failed relationship burns softly in the fireplace.

Was she wearing it the night they met? Or is it just something unworn, unremarkable, unloved and left behind in the rush; the hurried, jagged rush to termination. Like me he thinks.

Then he realises he just compared himself to a scarf. Some small part of his melancholy lifts. He smiles for the first time in a long time.


I used the random word generator again for this one – the words were ‘fireplace’ and ‘scarf’.


‘Red Kite’

Greetings to all my new readers who’ve stopped by during this first week.

Amongst them is Ben – whose great collection of 50 word short stories at his site Just Punch the Clock inspired me to try a shorter format today and allow myself only 250 words to tell a story. A ‘random creative word generator’ provided the topic – that of a kite.

It’s a melancholy little tale but that’s just the way it is sometimes I guess.


‘Red Kite’.

You know how it is right? We all have them. Those messages we have been meaning to send for ages to distant friends.

But life gets in the way. Your job, your significant other, the people you are less close to emotionally but just happen to be nearer to geographically. Hobbies. Tiredness. Boredom. All siphoning away precious, precious time.

I’ve told myself since it’s not my fault for the reasons above. I’m evenly distributing my guilt amongst all of you who are just as lazy and distracted as me.  A different kind of siphon.

The email starts cheery enough. Deceptively so. I feel relief at first. Tim has just skipped over my lack of a reply to his last message and sent me another.

But the veneer of joviality sags away like rotten wood under the barest of pressure. Sarah’s finally gone Tim tells me. She’s taken the kids. He’s going to kill himself he says.

I’m up in an instant. Keys, shoes, coat, wallet, car.

Tim isn’t home.

Across from his house is a park and there bobbing in the wind a red kite.

It’s Tim’s children’s kite. I don’t know how I know this but I do.

I find the end of its line secured into the ground with tent pegs. My gaze drifts up to the tree where the same wind swings Tim back and forth.

Too late.