Yesterday, in my blog, I gave details of a fantastic flash fiction competition, ‘Flash 500’. Winning a flash fiction competition can give you a tremendous boost and spur you on to write for other publications and enter other competitions. That’s exactly what happened to me.
The following story is the first piece of flash fiction I wrote many years ago; I was fortunate enough to win first prize in the competition I entered it into. I hope it inspires you to write your own story for ‘Flash 500’.
George was going to die. His weather-beaten face was going through the whole spectrum of Teletubbies; yellow, green, red and finally purple. His bushy brows furrowed then did a little pirouette to see how high they could go. His lips quivered, twitching before his false teeth clamped down on them. This was awful. He couldn’t take much more.
It was late September, but for some reason the string vest and best beige shorts felt like a fur coat. He clutched his chest, feeling its beat building to a crescendo like a volcano waiting to spill piping hot lava onto the unsuspecting hoards below.
He thought of Sheila. He had to fight it. He couldn’t let her see him like this. He took a deep breath, gagging as a fly looped the loop into his mouth.
Specks of spittle gathered at the side of his lips as the fly’s wings tickled his tongue. As George opened wide and the fly spluttered to the floor, he heard the kitchen door open. It was Sheila. She’d come.
George wiped his eyes. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. The day had started so well, but this was the moment he had been waiting for. But what if Sheila ruined it? And she could so easily. Perhaps she didn’t care anymore. Maybe she no longer loved him.
George stared at his sandals. They were lovely sandals, though the white socks probably didn’t show them off to their best. Neither did the earwig staggering across them. George thought about flicking it off. He couldn’t move. If he moved he would have to face Sheila.
He could feel her eyes boring into him. At least she had come. That had to mean something, surely?
His nostrils took on a life of their own. He could smell something. It was probably nothing. His hearing aid screeched in his ear. People were gathering, crowding round him. Voices chanting, breaths on his face.
His eyes blurred, a mist of tears hanging over them. This was it. He dared to look.
The crowd parted and Sheila stood before him. Her beautiful face lit up the room as she walked towards him. There was something in her hands. Could it be?
It wasn’t. The choke caught in his throat and he fought for breath. His head pounded and the room was spinning.
‘Come on, let’s get you sat down,’ Sheila said, smoothing everything over as always, ‘look what I’ve got. It’s come.’
He shoved the envelope aside, ‘don’t want it.’
‘All right, all right. I remembered. You and your chocolate cake,’ Sheila said, fetching the huge mountain of sponge from the kitchen.
George felt the tears roll down his cheek, though this time they were for a different reason.
‘To the best Dad in the World. Happy 100th,’ he read the words on the cake.
Shouts and clapping filled the room. George looked at the envelope. He supposed he had better see what the Queen had to say.