03/06/2016

A WINNING STORY in 200 words

Eash month Talkback, a writers' forum to which I belong, runs a flash fiction competition - entries are prompted by a word and restricted to 200 words or less. May's word was LAMBENT - I admit I had to look it up! - and my story came first. So I decided to post it on my blog for those who like to read my stuff.


HOMELESS                                              

The harsh light of dawn heralds the clatter and clank of dustcarts and delivery vans, waking doorway sleepers from the gentle oblivion of night. I light a cigarette, cupping the match to burn its light onto my retinas – a small fire to appease the hunger.

At noon, glaring sunlight strips layers from bodies that should remain covered, while sweaty faces complain about the heat and sniff disdainfully at the street people soaking up the warmth.

Later, sunset blazes over the roof-tops – a brief, glorious vision of a town burning – but when darkness falls there are only cold neon street-lights and shop-fronts.

And of course there are candles in jars on pavement tables. I hate the pathetic, fake romance of lambent light striking sparks from polished glasses – glasses which probably hold the same wine that I drink from my carton.

It would be easy to set fire to a tablecloth. That one over there, where the bloke is struggling to eat while the girl rubs fire into his groin with her bare foot. They haven’t noticed me watching – no-one ever does.

Imagine the flames, the breaking glass, the panic, the screams.
All it would take is one flicked cigarette butt.



8 comments:

  1. I had a moment of deja-vu there, Liz! I ready the story without reading your introduction properly (I know, slapped wrist!) and I thought: but I'm sure I've read this already... duh! Congrats, again! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Susan - did you think Id been plaigerising? :)

      Delete
  2. ...I ready the story... really? Another slapped wrist for not checking for typos before hitting the publish button.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gods! I do that all the time - so embarrassing.

      Delete
  3. Congratulations Liz. I can never manage to write flash fiction - its a fine art to tell a story in so few words, especially one that is so visual.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks WAW - I didn't think I could do it either until I tried, so why not have a go?

      Delete
  4. Congratulations!

    Great take on the theme.

    ReplyDelete

Leave a comment, please - I will reply to everyone.