flash fiction #1

January 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

So I was thinking about what to post up here, and I thought of these 500-word stories I wrote a few years ago, in the summer between sixth form and university, and how I’d never done much with them. I mostly write poetry, when I’m writing – I keep attempting prose fiction but nothing about it quite works for me. I don’t understand very basic things like the pace, like how much should be covered in a page – it’s a perpetual mystery to me how anybody gets beyond page 3 of a novel. Having said that, I do like writing flash fiction – 500/1000 word bursts of story is something I can and enjoy working at. I have two of these, and will post the other one tomorrow. I don’t think they’re brilliant, but they’re quite fun, I hope.

Also, I just looked through my flickr page for photos I took a few years ago, in case there’s one that’ll work well with this story. I haven’t really progressed at all since I was like, 17. I’m just the same. Except I’m slightly less cool now, & I wasn’t even cool to begin with.

*

best of times


I light a cigarette and turn to Jonas, because there isn’t much else to do. He’s smoking, too, although he doesn’t really like the taste of Mayfair and it’s all I have with me. Our arms are touching lightly and I’m not actually sure how he feels about me as this isn’t a date but a meeting with friends. He’s cool, though, so I don’t mind him smoking one of my last cigarettes even if he doesn’t actually like it.

It’s July and school’s over forever.

“You going away this summer?” Jonas asks me. I say nah, trying to get a job, we went away last year. Jonas isn’t going away either, but I knew that anyway. He already visited family in Sweden back in April and he’s saving his money for a car. “I guess I’ll see you around,” he mumbles into his cigarette.

I’m trying to avoid making eye contact with Jonas because I don’t want him to know that I like him, but I don’t want to look anywhere else so I glance up at his face for just a second before looking back down at my hands, one of which still contains a blackening cigarette. What neither of us does is look at anyone else; our friends have just had a massive fight and as far as I can tell we’re the only ones still talking to each other.

“You found a car yet?” I ask, because I know he’s been looking for a while. Jonas says nope, still looking, and anyway the insurance is going to cost him everything he earns so he needs a new job as well. Our friends are still ignoring everyone.

“I’m glad school’s over,” I say.

“I never went in anyway,” Jonas points out. Jonas is eighteen and has somehow managed to get four A Levels at grade E. It’s impressive considering how low his attendance record has been for the past two years. What’s even more impressive is that he actually got five A Levels; he got an A for his fifth, Medieval History, despite never going to any lessons for that either. I don’t really understand Jonas.

My other friends never went to school either. I went because there was nothing else to do.

Christina has started to cry. She’s sitting on a bench by herself and she’s holding an almost empty bag of cold chips, but I don’t think that’s why she’s crying. She keeps flapping her free hand in front of her eyes and mouth as if that’s going to hide something, but she’s doing a rubbish job of masking her racking breaths. It’s too hot for chips, anyway. Jonas and I bought ice cream.

Christina’s like the elephant in the room, except we’re in the park and she weighs less than my arm (and I’m not heavy either). I don’t look over.

“Shall I walk you home?” Jonas asks, and I say yeah, why not, not doing anything here anyway, it’s too hot to think.

*

(photo from here)

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