This is a story that I wrote for one of the recent Bath Flash Fiction competitions. The criteria for the competition is any genre or topic within 300 words. Trying to tell this story, which is quite emotive was difficult to do.
I think the lesson I learnt is that some stories cannot be chopped and dissected so much without losing the heart of the story. It is much better to submit a story that feels finished around 275-300 words. Maybe that was a reason why I didn’t win. No, it’s not the reason. There are many fantastic flash fiction writers around at the moment and I am still learning my craft.
Today, I wanted to share with you the full version of this story. I may on another occasion share the abridged version.
At last, it’s been such an age since I’ve been able to put anything out on here.
What have I been doing?
Well, it’s taken longer than I had both anticipated and hoped to get my other website up and running. However, I’m happy to say, that we are less than a week away.
The story that I’m sharing with you today is a 150-word flash fiction story. I submitted it into the weekly AdHoc Fiction competition. There are some great writers participating in this weekly competition. I was very privileged to make it into the weekly ezine. Even though it didn’t come out top with the public vote, I was thrilled it got some small recognition.
The Tummy Tree
Jimmy’s tummy ached. Shooting pains rushed through his large intestine. He was anxious.
His father was a liar. Since his grandfather’s death, he rejected anything from his father.
“Your grandfather will come home. I promise.” Jimmy’s grandfather died within 48 hours.
Jimmy was eating his lunch alone. On finishing his Golden Delicious, an awry football struck Jimmy. The leather against bone collision caused Jimmy to choke. He retched up the trapped core and to his horror, no pips. He had swallowed them. Catastrophe!
Grandfather warned Jimmy “never eat the pips, you’ll get an apple tree in your tummy”. Jimmy’s father scoffed the ‘pip’ theory. Grandfather never lied.
Jimmy’s grandfather, 72 hours before his death, explained his life was coming to an end. He encouraged Jimmy to be strong.
His grandfather never lied. Anxiety struck. An apple tree was growing in his tummy.
What a day! I needed a stroll by the river.
The raft of ducks didn’t know the tossing of small dried bread was free therapy.
As the sun lowered, shadows caused by the bowing silver birches made the bread bits look like stones.
The mallards oblivious towards my mood focused on claiming superiority, always first to the bait as it hit the water. Catching bread bombs mid-air equalled life threatening. The bread, so dry, may lodge in its neck and turn his plumage from green to blue.
The hens looked for equality. Each time a mallard ate first, the hens would pull at the preen feathers of the male as if to quack “Oi! You greedy so and so!” Continue reading