Flash Fiction Competition #3 – Entries

This month’s flash fiction competition was based on the prompt ‘something was missing’. As we are still a fairly new venture, we were a little shy on entries, but please support the authors below and read through the entries before voting for your favourite. Voting closes on 30th June 2014 (00:59 GMT). Results published 1st July.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE

ENTRIES:

Payback

Once upon a time, I used to tell people all about my adventures in Silicon Valley. I made noise about the racket in the Shark Tank, spiced up tales of Saturday trips to San Francisco culminating in burritos at Taqueria La Cumbre and blew their minds by describing the wind that had whipped me in Candlestick Park (way more entertaining than the game). They loved my stories. They had no way of knowing that something was missing from my tales. I didn’t recount my own experience. I rattled off bits of information I’d found on message boards –second-hand authenticity. Nobody would have known about the online places I trawled for information so I could spin my yarns. Hardly anyone knew what a message board was, never mind how to find one.

From the heart of Silicon Valley, along came Google. It made my storytelling first difficult, then impossible. Thanks, Karma.

***

Something was Missing

He sensed immediately that something was missing, something was most definitely not in its right place.  Sure sign that someone had been here.  Anxiously he checked the room, the neatly stacked files and books tidily lined up on the solid oak bookshelves, all orderly, he’d know instantly if a book had been moved or a file taken.  So no, not that.  

Then there was the scrubbed pine work table with its neatly aligned matching chairs, nothing altered there.  On top of the table, his pencils and paints still symmetrically lined up, the paper on which he was last working untouched.

In growing anxiety he stepped over to the desk.  Aha!  That was it, his gold fountain pen, the one he always used to sign cards and letters, that was gone.  Who had been here?  He shook his head in annoyance.  

From behind his ear the pen fell to the ground.

*****

Across the Waves

She wrote letters home to her mother, but something was missing. They both sensed it, across the waves, a lost connection. She hit upon an idea. She took a pair of scissors and cut a square from her favourite coat, the one she had had for so long. Her mother received this; was unsure what to do. When the second piece arrived she understood.

Inside the next letter from her mother there was a pebble from her rockery. She loved her mother’s tiny rockery, had always adored the way the pebbles framed the forest of bonsai trees that thrived in all weathers under her mother’s care.

The letters crossed oceans; a pebble going one way, a square of cloth the other. The daughter arranged the pebbles on the mantlepiece. Across the waves her mother brought down her old dressmaker’s mannequin from the loft. On it the coat was being remade; her daughter reassembled before her.

***

Tonight We Ride
My legs straddled the horse and I desperately grabbed the animal’s neck with both hands as I bobbed up and down awkwardly. Something was missing: there were no reins to hold onto. Pain encroached upon my hips and thighs. My arms stretched from the horse’s mane, as I attempted to gain control of the animal’s motions. My chest slammed against its neck as I struggled to hold on.
I ricocheted up; then back down into the saddle. I heard people scream in the distance. I wanted to help them but I passed through the sounds of their screams hanging in the air. I hung tightly to the horse’s thick neck, my neck buried in its mane, my chin upon its ear.
Strange music mocked me as I rode. Suddenly the horse stopped. The last thing I saw as I flew from the horse to the ground below was the carousel operator’s toothless grin.
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