Sunday, 27 June 2021

And the Flood abates....

That's it for this year's FlashFlood!  Huge thanks again to our writers, our readers, our editors, and everyone who submitted work.  This was the biggest Flood ever, and we're grateful to everyone who took part in making it a success.

Our next submission call will be in Spring 2022.  We've posted tentative submission dates on our submission guidelines, though these are subject to change.  You can also keep an eye on the National Flash Fiction Day website for updates on NFFD 2022, including submission calls for the ongoing novella-in-flash competition and 2022 anthology and microfiction competition submissions.

Thank you again and happy National Flash Fiction Day...see you in 2022!

Wandsworth Carers Series: 'Turmeric and saffron' by Anita

This piece is part of our 2021 Community Flash series, showcasing new writing by the Wandsworth Carers Centre Writers Group. You can read more about the background to this project in our introduction to this series, find out more about Wandsworth Carers Centre on their website, and find them on Twitter @CarerWandeworth.

 

Turmeric and saffron

by Anita



Nana is cooking. The mustard seeds pop like tiny drum-beats, her cracked wooden spoon clatters, she hums to herself, something rhythmic and alien with an insistent downbeat. She’s directing me with jerks of her spoon- find the turmeric, no that’s saffron, where’s the fresh garlic?

Turmeric smells of earth, and tastes like mud-pies eaten in the sun. Saffron smells of dying flowers, and tastes of oily-eggy-expensiveness. The daal is bleaching itself, we add turmeric to bring the golden yellow back, a sunrise caught in aluminium. The steam from lifting the lid floods my face with heat and my hair with tiny creases. My ear lobes sweat. The spice mix to finish everything off is dry-frying in my mother’s heavy pan, the one that was a present from her doctor friend and that I’ve never used before. There’s a moment, a single moment, when the cumin, the curry leaves, the fennel seeds release their sweetness, when they turn from woody to aromatic and they need to be tipped into the daal straight away. Nana can sense this moment with her eyes shut, from across the room. I miss it from right next to the cooker, awkwardly twisted around the handle. 

The pan soaks in the sink, emitting burnt wisps from cremated seasonings, there are more curry leaves in a smaller, lighter pan. Nana hands me her spoon and teaches me the words to her song, and I stumble over Hindi while we laugh from our bellies.

*

Previously published in Bangor Lit.

Wandsworth Carers Series: 'Outlook' by Cheryl

This piece is part of our 2021 Community Flash series, showcasing new writing by the Wandsworth Carers Centre Writers Group. You can read more about the background to this project in our introduction to this series, find out more about Wandsworth Carers Centre on their website, and find them on Twitter @CarerWandeworth.

 

Outlook
by Cheryl


As I gaze aimlessly through my window my vision is interrupted by tall slender but powerful huddles

A clear indication of the next stage of nature’s striking clock notifying the jubilant approach of the summer months by the bursting of tightly wrapped buds awaking and stretching into symbols of beauty, elegance, strength, resilience arising from the supportive beginnings of its ‘stems’, its ‘green leaves’, guarded by sharp obstacles providing protection and growth.

Blooms in a vibrancy of colour and direction gliding tall with their fragrant sweet smell

The jubilant arrival of summer, our half year marker to embrace & review with gratitude and thankfulness, the burst of enchanting, nourished buds into open roses

Obstacles of life symbolised by the thorns, as we push through thorny experiences; growth with elegance and grace is possible and endless.

Though paths may be thorny, take time to nourish and nurture, it is attainable and worth every little effort.  Times may hold tight like a delicate bud…but with each season brings a new spray of hope, a new beginning.

Wandsworth Carers Series: 'Hope' by Aleen

This piece is part of our 2021 Community Flash series, showcasing new writing by the Wandsworth Carers Centre Writers Group. You can read more about the background to this project in our introduction to this series, find out more about Wandsworth Carers Centre on their website, and find them on Twitter @CarerWandeworth.

 

Hope
by Aleen


Hope is a sparkling silver veil
it's scent like spring wet grass
it's the sweet tang of Spanish lime
the sound of the Mbira singing out to the ancestors

Hope appears as the crescent moon
and feels like rain drops exploding on the back of my hand

Hope  lives.

Wandsworth Carers Series: 'A Life Changing Experience' by Avril

This piece is part of our 2021 Community Flash series, showcasing new writing by the Wandsworth Carers Centre Writers Group. You can read more about the background to this project in our introduction to this series, find out more about Wandsworth Carers Centre on their website, and find them on Twitter @CarerWandeworth.

 

A Life Changing Experience
by Avril


I can remember my life being unpacked from a brown cardboard box, unwrapped by noisy people, dusted, priced and put on a shop shelf where people manhandled me until I was bought and thought would be nurtured by someone who really wanted me.  Until, I was wrapped again and placed in a carrier bag. I felt unloved for a while, just a rigid frame with an uncompromising border and no-one dusting me. People forgot about me, put me in an insignificant corner waiting for the ‘right’ photograph. However realising I can be dismantled with care and a favourite photograph put in place, I become flexible with different photographs inside me discovering different emotions and feelings. All of a sudden I’m alive, handled with love and displayed in an important place. 

Wandsworth Carers Series: 'My Favourite Place' by Margaret

This piece is part of our 2021 Community Flash series, showcasing new writing by the Wandsworth Carers Centre Writers Group. You can read more about the background to this project in our introduction to this series, find out more about Wandsworth Carers Centre on their website, and find them on Twitter @CarerWandeworth.

 

My Favourite Place
by Margaret

One of my favourite places to walk is the tow path at Richmond. Being near the river makes me feel peaceful. I enjoy watching the wildlife ducks, geese, swans and sometimes even a heron.

At weekends the tow path is very busy with cyclists, walkers, joggers, people of every kind.

There is an ice cream van parked there which offers many  ice cream treats.

At full tide the river is busy with many types of boats sailing  by. If you are a rower, you can hire  a boat to take on the river. Alternatively, there are cruises running from Richmond to many destinations.

The atmosphere of the tow path makes me feel good, lifts my spirits. Yes Richmond by the river is the place for me!

Wandsworth Carers Series: 'Untitled' by Nicola

This piece is part of our 2021 Community Flash series, showcasing new writing by the Wandsworth Carers Centre Writers Group. You can read more about the background to this project in our introduction to this series, find out more about Wandsworth Carers Centre on their website, and find them on Twitter @CarerWandeworth.

 

Untitled
by Nicola


People all over the world had hopes of a hero, a champion to beat back the bad. Such a person would have the love of the people, but could anybody be heroic? Could someone, big or small, look danger in its threatening eyes and have certified courage to defeat it? Such duties are drawn to people with immense bravery and dominant prowess, no matter what they looked like. These said duties had entwined with the fates of four young women, who were on a path to destiny and would be tested in trials, and many would there be. The group of childhood friends were Earth’s last hope of liberation and survival, but could they handle the pressure was a question yet to be answered. . ..

*


Fae, Althea, Eva-Rose and Willow ran frantically for their lives from the horrid-smelling beasts from planet Algon, the Algonites. Deep-blue, hideous aliens who had inhabited Earth and had claimed it for their own for the past fifteen years. The Algonites had gone from world-to-world conquering, leaving havoc and chaos in their wake.

“Girls, step on it!” Fae exclaimed as she quickly looked behind her.

The fragrance of fear had clung to them, it all could be seen on their faces. As the girls pulled up to a clearing, they stopped to catch their ragged breaths. The Air rushed past them, urging them to continue their escape. Patches of the Earth were incinerated by the riverbed as the stillness of the Water in the river, was calmly waiting for an unnatural disturbance. Out of nowhere a blue bolt of lightning shot past them and set a dustbin on Fire, which made the friends to jump in unison and turn to their dismay.

“Shit, what are we going to do now?” Asked a worried Althea.

As they gazed upon the mass of blue beasts, they saw a larger one among them. It stood out from the crowd and looked to be five men strong. The indigo sea of Algonites parted down the middle, to leave way for their chief to pass through and advanced towards the girls. As it came closer, its features started to become clearer, the most noticeable aspect was on the right side of its face. A scar stretched from the side of its eye, down to the bottom of its neck. It stopped at the front of its troops; rooted, unmoving and in charge, determined to accomplish one goal; to spread fear and destruction. The Algonite Chief scanned the four girls with his eyes of pure obsidian, raised its thick, bulky arm out and held a ball of electric. An evil smirk formed on its deformed face and exposed its jagged edged teeth that were as sharp as knives. The girls looked at each other as they held hands instinctively and closed their eyes, praying internally for some sort of miracle. It lunged the charged ball at them as their insignias shone brightly. They shielded themselves....

And the Flood abates....

That's it for this year's FlashFlood!  Huge thanks again to our writers, our readers, our editors , and everyone who submitted work....