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Worthing Flash welcomes flash fiction from outside Worthing

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The aim of this blog is to encourage flash fiction in Worthing. However, it would be churlish to turn aside anyone from outside Worthing who wants to contribute so that is not going to happen.

Just send your flash fiction (under 1000 words - sometimes as little as 75 words) to worthingflash@gmail.com

Writers of the World unite!





Now read the stories. 

Just Impediments

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I'm going to tell you a story. Tell me if you've heard it before.
It's a story about the new 'c' word. No, not cancer, that's a forgotten word. Not climate change either, they must have solved that. It was the 'c' word formerly known as coronavirus, but that sounded too hopeful; a virus could meet an anti-virus across a crowded room and that would be that. Now they call it Covid-19. Much more impersonal, more frightening somehow. The word sounds manufactured, conjured up in some politician's lab; a word to fight off some dastardly yellow peril.
Covid-19 sounds a more fearsome foe. There could be sequels. Covid-20, -21, this could run for years. And what about Covid-18 and all its predecessors? But that's another story.
You may not know it yet, but we are the villains of this story. The elderly who are foolish enough to be vulnerable. If it wasn't for us, the young could roam free, have fun, party on, fall in love and have sex (but not always in…

4th July 2020

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The meeting for 4th July is cancelled. I will not endanger anybody's life, much as I would like to meet you all. Perhaps we'll meet again on 4th July 2021, who knows?

I suggested a Zoom meeting but there was no enthusiasm for the idea.


The number of visitors for the blog is now 15,375.

I am still using Facebook, Twitter and old-fashioned email to keep in touch.

I have been writing in lockdown and good old Page and Spine has been buying my stories. I think #worthingflash has published a few too :)

I continue with Python graphics programming, Bible study and long walks.

All the best

Derek 

Counting Words

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Packing a lot of content into a few words is what flash fiction is all about. There are magazines, online and otherwise, which set strict word limits. #Worthingflash accepts anything under 1000 words.

https://101words.org/ has a limit of 101 words which is quirky. I wrote a short story for them and then checked the word count. Open Office word assured me it was 101 words. http://wordcount.net insisted it was 95 so in the end I had to count it myself. Then I rewrote it as 101 words and Open Office word insisted it was 110 words, http://wordcount.net had it as 101. I counted and agreed with them.
I'll let you know whether it gets published or not after all that.

Derek McMillan




The Barren Wasteland

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OMG, what is going on here?

I had woken up, startled, feeling a strange numbness in my mouth. I thought I tasted blood. I didn’t feel my teeth. My tongue erred in the empty space like a creature, dashing around, lost, and exploring a barren wasteland. It was a landscape full of ridges but no peaks.

There were no two ways about it, I had to see what this empty, barren space was all about. I got up and went to look in the mirror. The sight it reflected hit me hard. Never would I have expected to see my mouth completely empty apart from my tongue either darting from side to side or sticking out. I opened and closed my mouth, resembling a fish more than a human being. No, there was no mistake. Nothing to see from my lips to the back of my throat.

What a pitiful sight. I looked so ugly without teeth. I didn’t believe it. Never had I looked like this. How did this happen? How was I ever going to smile or talk, let alone go out to work, shop or meet my friends? I would have to mumble …

Constance

I had finally gotten settled into first grade when the principal walked in with her hand on a girl’s shoulder and announced, “Boys and girls, this is Constance. She just moved to town and will be in this class. Constance, there are six empty seats, chose one.” 
The Principal turned the expressionless Constance towards the class. She looked like a cartoon figure—a skinny girl with stringy brown hair, wearing a dress made from rice sacks and lace. Her socks had slid down her legs to lie on her mud-streaked shoes.
Without looking around she walked down the aisle and sat in the empty seat next to me I nodded but I wanted to hold my nose. She smelled. I knew what sweat smelled like, but she didn’t smell of sweat, she smelled a strange soap or perfume smell that I feared was going to leap off her and onto me.
We stayed at our seats for lunch and the teacher passed out little cartons of white or chocolate milk and a straw. I had a system. I took chocolate if I had meat and white milk if I had p…

Collaboration

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So, Grace and I have been performing our collaborative piece, “Now That You’re Dead,” and it’s a big hit. It was a big hit in Modesto last Tuesday. It got us a spot in the local Peace & Justice Newsletter and an invitation to perform in Turlock next year.

Amazingly enough, it’s not even about you.

So many others have taken themselves out in these last 21 years, you didn’t even make the cut. 
Just kidding, you were probably too big and messy to make the cut. I handed all these pieces of all you dead people to Grace and she picked three others that fit more neatly into stanzas. 
Then she did a great job tying them in, sandwiched between her glimmering words.She takes the lead on this one, since she’s still trying to convince people to stay alive. I’ve more or less let that go.

Nowadays, I would sum it up by saying I keep busy with listening, leaving them alone, getting back to work on this book, or whatever comes to hand – there’s always something to help me stay out of trouble. Win…