SAFE GROUND: Flash by Nolan

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 Nolan


I have been all around the world, had many, many amazing experiences. Getting on long flights to far off places, to the other side of the world. I’ve met some fantastic people and avoided some of the world’s craziest animals.

There have been many, many times that my life should have ended in an instant. And when you open your eyes, your toes are still moving, your legs are shaking, your hands are twitching, your eyes are slowly opening and squirming to see what had happened. 

‘Oh well!’ you say. ‘Shit! I’m still here, so what the fuck!’ Get up and start again, OK. Lucky this time, but at least I survived. Some of my closest friends have not, and have gone for good.

In your mind you go back in time, to exquisite places, and remember the happy carefree days meditating on the isolated beaches in Sri Lanka, running for miles and swimming through the fast-flowing river coming across the beach until one day...One Sri Lankan said to me in his accented English, which I love. 

‘You mustn’t swim tru de river!’

‘Why?’ I asked.

‘Because big crocodiles. Dey eat you. Dey eat somebody four days ago.’

So sitting here in a courtroom, looking through the toughened glass at the judge and jury, and suddenly being sentenced. Some of the words I did not hear. I was taken through the door, and downstairs and handcuffed, put in a van, in a complete daze. The van drove through the gates of the court, along a few other roads and came to some more gates which opened. There was a lot of banging and clanging. The bus came to a stop. One and a half hours later, out of the van, up the stairs, photo taken. I was taken into a separate room, told to undress.

‘What?’ I said. ‘Naked?’

‘Yes,’ he said. ‘OK?’

He then handed me a pair of blue, thin boxer shorts, and I looked at him with a frown and he said,

‘OK. Put them on.’

It was then I realized I am here to experience a new way of life.


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You can follow Safe Ground on Twitter @Safe_Ground.

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