Saturday, 9 May 2020

FlashFlood Submission Window: 25 - 31 May 2020

Flash Flood will be open for submissions from 00:01 BST Monday, 25 May to 23:59 BST Sunday, 31 May.

We are happy to read up to three 500-word stories per author on any theme, in any style.  Submissions are free.

Previously published submissions are fine as long as you retain copyright and any period of exclusivity has lapsed.  We consider all previously unpublished work for award nominations such as Best Small Fictions, Best Microfictions and the Pushcart Prize.

Full submission guidelines can be found on our Submissions page.

We look forward to reading your work!

Monday, 2 December 2019

Congratulations to our 2019 award nominees!

We love everything we publish at Flash Flood but can only put forward a selection of the work for awards and publications such as Best Small Fictions, Best Microfictions and Best of the Net.

We have chosen a selection of stories from those first published at Flash Flood in celebration of National Flash Fiction Day 2019.

Congratulations and good luck to our 2019 award nominees!



Best Microfictions

Best of the Net

Best Small Fictions

Pushcart Prize

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Thanks for joining us for NFFD 2019!



The rain has stopped, the water has subsided, and this year's Flash Flood has come to an end.  We hope you had a wonderful National Flash Fiction Day weekend!

Thank you again to everyone who submitted work, to all our authors, to our panel of editors, and to all of you who stopped by to read.

Special thanks also to Lindsay Murphy, the Programmes Manager at Safe Ground, who shared the inspiring work of Safe Ground's Flash Fiction Project with us.

Submissions for next year's Flash Flood will open in the Spring of 2020.

Finally, if you like what we're doing, please consider becoming a patron of NFFD at Patreon (for as little as £1 a month), making a one-off donation via PayPal or supporting us in one of these other ways (many of which don't involve money).

Thank you again and happy writing from all of us at Flash Flood.







SAFE GROUND: Flash by Jon P

Flash Flood is continuing its 2019 National Flash Fiction Day celebration with a day of flash written on the theme of 'epiphany' by men at HMP Wandsworth who were participants of Safe Ground's Flash Fiction Project workshops.  You can read more about Safe Ground and the story behind this work in our introduction to this series.


Flash by Jon P

And then it happened. 

‘I now pronounce you man and wife.’ The vicar smiled, showing his stained teeth.

I lifted up the satin veil before he finished speaking. Her eyes were closed. She smelled of Spring. I kissed her. It was a perfect kiss. 

The sun was high in the pastel blue sky. There was a scent of freshly cut grass as we laughed and posed our way onto film and camera.

The reception: Family, close friends, friends’ plus ones mingling, glasses tinkling, taffeta rustling, children playing, applause and laughter then dancing.



In the early hours I lay on the extremely comfortable bed, replaying the events of earlier, some in black and white, some in Technicolor. It’s quiet but for the sound of her sleeping, and the distant traffic beyond. I replace the errant strand of hair back behind her ear, and think, ‘It’s finally happened.’


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You can follow Safe Ground on Twitter @Safe_Ground.

SAFE GROUND: 'Truth and Hope' by Stephen H

Flash Flood is continuing its 2019 National Flash Fiction Day celebration with a day of flash written on the theme of 'epiphany' by men at HMP Wandsworth who were participants of Safe Ground's Flash Fiction Project workshops.  You can read more about Safe Ground and the story behind this work in our introduction to this series.



'Truth and Hope'
by Stephen H


It is now that fateful day of reckoning, the day I never thought would materialize, well not like this. The 27th of January 2017. Amazingly I had slept well the night before, thinking just before I drifted off, of the inscription on King Edward III’s shield in a jousting tournament, ‘It is what it is.’

My sister, Jill, drove me from her house, where I had been staying, to Bedford rail station. It was typical cold, dark, misty morning, visibility was poor, I recall. Was this to be my last journey of what had become a regular commute? Would I be coming back? A dilemma – purchase a single ticket or a return? I chose a single, why tempt fate?

I was in a zone whilst travelling on the train, having no recollection of boarding it. I am ordinarily a phlegmatic person, well I thought so. Today I was lugubrious.

My co-defendants had been remanded into custody on the 18th. Fortunately I had been given continued bail, so I had hope, whilst I knew that they were doomed. One of them I cared not an iota about - no compassion. The other is a man that I had known for over twenty-five years, Simon, a former solicitor and deputy district judge. The journey to Southwark Crown Court took no longer than normal. My fate would be known by the end of the day. The peculiarity was not, I was not concerned for me. It was for my loved ones and how they would feel and cope. That concentrated my mind for the entire journey. I reflected I still had my freedom; I still had hope of being handed down a suspended sentence.

I arrived at Southwark Crown Court to the usual melee of navigating through security. The rush of unpacking and re-packing the contents of your bag, had become less stressful over the twelve-week trial period as the familiarity between myself and the security guards transcended into a more lackadaisical, cavalier attitude to inspecting what they had seen in my bag time and time again.

I entered into what was to be the last trip in one of the two elevators that ever worked. The third never worked in the whole twelve weeks I was there. On pushing the button for the third floor I wondered if the third elevator would ever work again. Why should I care?

On the ‘ding’ I turned right to be greeted by my daughter, Lucie. I had turned right some fifty times before simply to walk to Court 13.

‘Hi, Dad. You look well.’ She was always a delight, from when she was a toddler.

‘I don’t exactly feel it,’ I said.

‘The press gallery was full.’

I wasn’t surprised. I knew it would be as Simon’s position as a Judge had all the ingredients given the missing money and the lover’s tryst, with Emma, the other defendant. Embellishment by the tabloids beckoned.

When I entered the courtroom it was packed. I felt an air of silence when I entered the dock unaccompanied. I sat there alone. The door was locked behind me. My last day of freedom? There was still hope, I thought.

With that, Simon and his former lover who he had been besotted with years ago, which to this sorry ending of this tale, entered the dock from the cells below. The court room hushed, the packed gallery settled. Simon looked forlornly at his wife in the gallery. He looked ashen.

‘How is it?’ I asked, knowing he had been incarcerated at Wandsworth Prison.

‘A dreadful experience,’ he said. ‘An experience.’The next ten minutes, or was it two and a half hours were surreal. The judge entered, the hush continued. As he recapped the events leading up to the conviction, my mind wandered. This was not my sentencing. It was that of the other two. All I recall is the judges face grimacing, screwing up and growing redder as he became more vocal. And then the words, the only words that I heard – ‘Six years!’ And then the even more fateful words of ‘Send them down!’

It was now lunchtime. How had two and a half hours passed so quickly.

‘Mr. Hiseman can be released from the dock for the lunchtime recess,’ the Judge said.

‘Court rise!’ the clerk to the court bellowed.

Lucie came up to me. ‘Dad, you still have hope.’

‘We’ll see,’ I said. ‘It will be what it will be.’

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You can follow Safe Ground on Twitter @Safe_Ground.

SAFE GROUND: 'Her Smile Never Fades' by Stephen M

Flash Flood is continuing its 2019 National Flash Fiction Day celebration with a day of flash written on the theme of 'epiphany' by men at HMP Wandsworth who were participants of Safe Ground's Flash Fiction Project workshops.  You can read more about Safe Ground and the story behind this work in our introduction to this series.


'Her Smile Never Fades'
by Stephen M

Her name, her face, the colours of her hair, none of them I remember any longer. It’s been such a long time, too long to even consider counting. Time has turned its pages over many seasons and years. But her smile has never faded away, or been forgotten. Whenever I think of my childhood, she’s always there, in my mind.

The farm was big. There were plenty of olive trees, some of which played a part in my favourite climbing game with my cousin. The best part was getting to the top of the olive tree and then simply jumping down. The more bruises, the more the chances of being the winner. How funny that was; but that’s another story.

Each day, after school, I’d run home, drop my bag, grab a slice of home-baked brown bread with olive oil and tomato on it and then run again – out to meet her. I knew she’d wait for me. She always did. I was so excited and happy to see my friend. I’d run all the way through the vineyards, through other people’s farms and their olive trees. Up, down, left and right, the narrow countryside paths, when at last I’d run around the corner of a house with a water well in front of it. There she was, my friend, sitting at the side of the path amongst the flowers and various other plants, smiling at me. Most of the time, I wouldn’t eat the bread and tomato as I’d throw it away. You see, running does not go well with eating at the same time. I’d go and sit next to her and we’d talk about our day and school, and all the things we’d learned. I’d tell how I didn’t listen to my grandma, and she’d say how she’d disobeyed her mum. We’d laugh and talk more.

Whenever thirsty, we’d walk up the narrow path and get some fresh cool water from the well. The metal bucket was small; the rope attached to its handle was very long. The well was deep and there was a technique to get water from the well. I’d always get her to drink first from the bucket. Full face in.

The all of a sudden, a loud voice would come through the trees, calling her to go back home. A quick goodbye till tomorrow and off I was, running back, so happy. I’d always look back and see her smile. I’d wave goodbye, so happy.

Tome passed and the time came when I had to go away and my grandma was very upset about it. You see, she never called me grandson, just son. I left and never got to say goodbye to her and see her smile again, ever.

Thirty years later, I got to visit my cousin and his family. He was still at the same farm where he grew up. Time had stopped. Almost everything was exactly the same as I remembered it. The main topic of discussion was the olive trees and the jumping down game. Everyone listened with amazement, but not my cousin and I.

There was a man at my cousin’s home. He’d just popped in to pay a visit. After the normal introduction, he turned around and shocked me with his next words –

‘My sister has never forgotten you. She always talks about you and smiles she mentions your name; even to this day. We all knew she’d come and meet up with you after school. She thought it was your secret!’


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You can follow Safe Ground on Twitter @Safe_Ground.

SAFE GROUND: 'The Manuscript' by Chris

Flash Flood is continuing its 2019 National Flash Fiction Day celebration with a day of flash written on the theme of 'epiphany' by men at HMP Wandsworth who were participants of Safe Ground's Flash Fiction Project workshops.  You can read more about Safe Ground and the story behind this work in our introduction to this series.


'The Manuscript'
by Chris


‘It’s all gone through.’ The words I had been waiting for confirmed the purchase after weeks of near misses. I felt relief where I expected joy, though that returned as I drove through the gates. The large, old stone property, a secluded town north of Inverness, the view over the sea, the peace away from neighbours and enough parking for the whole team and many more were the magnets that brought me here to buy this dream.

I had a week to clean the place before the new furniture arrived. Easily, each room in turn, done and dusted clean. Ahead of schedule, I reached the last at the top. I had never noticed the entrance to the eaves, hidden by the shadow of the wardrobe. Inside, a cave, tidily arranged but full.

The last night I stayed to clear the final boxes before the morning’s rush. Amongst them an ancient wooden chest, rope handled, sporting a very faded crest above initials beginning with a G or a C perhaps. As was my wont, I kept the best for last.

The coffee had allowed me to work but this was slowing rapidly. I needed sleep but I wanted this done. I was alone, cold and tired and had let the winter fire go out. The box was locked. Of course, I should have waited but my brain was not in gear. Finding a chisel by the sink, I broke the lock, cutting my finger as the lid flew free. Blood dripping everywhere, I was back there, cold water pouring from the wound. No plasters, so kitchen paper had to serve. Freezing and finger-hampered, I picked up the papers from my box. Six scrolls in ribbons sealed by wax, four of them now with drops of blood, stabbing me with guilt.

I relit the fire, placing the bloodied scrolls to dry. Of the other two, one fell open as the wax on the seal broke. I read with awe a deed of gift granted by a king, his initials now clear, G II R or George II, and sealed three hundred years ago, now worth millions. My finger dripped again. In my fuddled rush to staunch the flow, my weary leg knocked the small table, tumbling the two remaining documents onto the others drying by the fire with the open one on top. The rush of air this caused set up a spark. As I reached the doorway, I turned and watched the flame as it licked into my manuscripts.


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You can follow Safe Ground on Twitter @Safe_Ground.

FlashFlood Submission Window: 25 - 31 May 2020

Flash Flood will be open for submissions from 00:01 BST Monday, 25 May to 23:59 BST Sunday, 31 May. We are happy to read up to three 500-...