Flash Fiction Competition #2 – RESULTS

IMG_0802The winner of our second flash fiction competition is

Underway by Bart Van Goethem

Congratulations to Bart – his piece will be included in a special iPamphlet to be published at the end of the year. More of his work can be found in Issue 2 of our recently published iPamphlet.

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The Test of Time

She had always been tall and skinny although, even in her early days, was never considered beautiful. Those she worked alongside had inevitably attracted more admiration than she could with her awkward, angular frame.

Yet, as the years had gone by, people around her had gained a certain appreciation for what she did have to offer. After all, a towering physique was exactly what was needed in her line of work and what she lacked in aesthetics she certainly made up for in strength. This recognition had allowed her to power through life, stacking up accomplishments. On reaching the glass ceiling she’d simply smashed it up and thrown it on the scrapheap.

But now her lengthy working life was drawing to a close and as the sun sank below the skyline she downed tools for the final time. Peace descended over the construction site. Tomorrow a newer, more modern crane would take her place: she was officially ‘out of service’.

Madeline Bennett

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Confessions

The vacuous hum of the compartment is familiar to him and so are the cold blue lights, their flicker more discernable in the draining light of the autumn day.  He is on his way to see a stranger, in an unfamiliar room.

It was time he spoke to someone, they had suggested. He recalls the tilted heads weighed by sympathy.

He wanted to tell them that it comforts him to talk about the peacocks from his childhood, his visits to the zoo and the long hours he spends climbing trees, nestled amidst the rustle of autumn leaves. But he knows they won’t understand, that he will find them engaged in hissing whispers when they think he is not listening. That they will give him a gentle pat on the arm and expect him to confide, to confess. Confessions that will comfort them, more than him.

Meanwhile outside the train window, he catches the day’s last glow.

Belqis Youssofzay

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Underway

“I’m on a train and this is the end. It’s quite fitting, actually. All of my life I’ve been underway.”

The woman next to him was praying, mumbling words and swallowing tears at the same time. Her hands were locked into each other, her nails so deep in her own flesh, blood was trickling down her sleeves. He just sat there, looking outside.

“I’ve never really engaged in something meaningful. I’ve never settled. Just ask my ex-wife. She always said I was a very detached kind of person.”

The woman next to him had now buried her head deep into her hands. But the light of the explosion in the sky was so intense it detached the retina in her eyes anyway. He had been blinded before her. He couldn’t stop staring outside the window.

When the shockwaves reached the train, he was still smiling.

Bart Van Goethem

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Direction

It all depends which way you’re travelling.

Simon sat and drank in the sun. The train had paused in the station and he looked at its blinding rays, spilling onto everything they touched. It reminded him of a filter on Instagram, changing a dull, grey picture into a coloured vista of laughter and hope. The sun was rising on a new life for him, a future of possibilities and dreams.

Rachel glanced at the man opposite and observed a small but determined smile on his face. He was bathed in sunlight and had closed his laptop to sit back and stare from the window; a picture of serenity, he seemed utterly content. She envied him.

Shifting her gaze, she looked ahead down the track. Dusk was invading and the rails clung to the beams of orange before they became shadowed and lost. There was a tunnel ahead, but she could not see a light at its end. Just darkness.

Ben Maurice

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