Monday, 5 December 2022

FlashFloods 2022 Best Small Fictions Nominations

 We are thrilled to announce our 2022 Best Small Fictions nominations:

 


Best of luck to all our nominees!

FlashFlood's 2022 Best Microfictions Nominations

We are pleased to announce FlashFlood's 2022 Best Microfictions Nominations.  

Best of luck to our 2022 nominees!

FlashFlood's 2022 Pushcart Prize Nominations

We are delighted to announce FlashFlood's 2022 Pushcart Prize Nominations:

 

 

Congratulations to our 2022 nominees!

Friday, 7 October 2022

FlashFlood's 2022 Best of the Net Nominations

We love every piece that we publish, but sadly can only nominate eight for the Best of the Net Awards -- two in the prose category and six that can be read as prose poems in the poetry category.  We wish all our nominees the best of luck in the next round of Best of the Net.

Without further ado, congratulations to our 2022 nominations for the Best of the Net awards: 

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Wandsworth Carers Series 2022: 'Flip flops' by Anita

This piece is part of our 2022 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.

 

Flip flops

by Anita


So this story isn’t about me.

It’s a normal March day, not really sunny and with those grey rain clouds. I’m bundled up against potential weather: black jeans, black puffa jacket, the blue scarf my mum knitted.

It’s the first day I’d felt like walking after the lumbar puncture. I don’t usually start with that, I mention the giant Co-op cake I’m carrying.

I’m walking home through the park, my legs are just starting to get tired, but I keep going. A man brushes past me, almost sends the cake flying. He’s wearing black-framed glasses, a faded blue tracksuit with the bottoms cut off, and dirty black plastic flip-flops. He’s just had his dark-brown hair cut, cos he had those red bumps you get if they razor.

Next thing, this other man’s yelling something, and he’s running. He’s blonde, wearing Saturday afternoon clothes. You know, jeans and a crumpled Homer Simpson t-shirt.

The conversation goes like this:

“Stop him!”

“Whaaat?” I clutch the cake tighter.

“That guy, stop him. He tried to break into my car!”

Running-man looks me over, and I know what he sees. A tall, Asian bloke, muscly enough to be handy. What I used to be. He doesn’t see I can’t help him, but enough strangers know my business. Those muscles don’t always work now. Luckily, my mouth does.

“Mate, I’ve got cake.” Gesture with my chin, in case he’s missed it. “But he’s just there, by the swings. You’ll catch him, no problem.”

And he is still there, you know, shuffling, not even half-way through the park. Not much faster than me now. The worst getaway in the history of crime. He edges down the slope to the sand-pit, and running-man is off. I never see either of them again.

It’s a good story, isn’t it? It’s got everything: action, suspense, cake. I tell it a lot. It helps pass the time with blood tests, in waiting-rooms, bored or nervous, listening for “Hello Iqbal, we’ve got your results.”

I don’t usually explain the cake, because if you’re ever going to buy a carrot cake bigger than your head, it’ll be after you’ve seen a neurologist. It’s a normal reaction, whatever that means.

Everyone sides with the running man, his actions don’t need explaining. But I can’t remember his face.

Sometimes I need an ending, and running-man catches up. Traps him between two parked cars and calls the police. Or punches him, right in the gut. Flip-flop man never gets away.

I could draw you a picture of flip-flop man, down to those bumps on his neck. With his ragged unravelling tracksuit and doomed way of responding to a crisis. Would I have chased him, before?

I see him now, slowly, slowly, shuffling away from his fate. Did he have a plan?

Does he think he’s going to win?

I hope the ending wasn't too painful.

 

 

Wandsworth Carers Series 2022: 'Loneliness' by Jaycee

This piece is part of our 2022 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.

 

Loneliness

by Jaycee

 

They say “no man is an island”, maybe it’s more of a truth to say everyman is his own island. How often it is in the depths of loneliness, that we reach a deeper understanding of what is truly needed in order to nurture ourselves fully? There can be no clearer truth than to look in the mirror and see the reflection standing in front of us. How often are we looking on the outside for our needs to be fulfilled? when the things we seek the most can so easily be sourced from within. Often it is the things we seek most from others that holds a clue to the things we deny most for ourselves.

It’s a sour pill to swallow, feeling on the outskirts, invisible and alone even if surrounded by physically people or in a group. To hear the Soul, scream out to be seen and heard and to belong has been a common thread throughout my life. Yet where I have felt it the most has been in my role as an unpaid carer where I’ve struggled most with the empty void of loneliness. Somehow, it felt easier to cocoon myself in a bubble of self-protection, rather than face the risk of not fitting, being seen and not heard, judged or misunderstood. So, I kept myself to myself and purposely cut myself off.  It was only when I enquired within?  I realised that it was “I” who was casting the finger of judgement towards myself. “Could it be that the situation I was in, was mirroring my internal environment?”

I wanted to be included, yet how much of myself was I including in the world around me? How present, curious, proactive was “I” being? How often I was I picking up the phone and reaching out? Was it that I felt so disconnected to myself that I lacked confidence and felt resistance connecting with others?  If this was so then surely it was “I” who held the key to the solution.  

I wanted to be acknowledged. Yet how much was “I” acknowledging my strengths, qualities, successes? I wanted to be heard? Yet was “I” really listening to myself? my needs, my desires, my boundaries. I wanted to be seen, yet what was the self-image “I” was creating? I want to be loved? Yet in what ways was “I” creating a loving relationship with myself?

The formula was simple - change the way I think, change the way I feel. And do it with a full heart. When the heart is full it gives and receives unconditionally, without expectations or the need for validation from external sources. And so, the answer came “think love, give love, be love” Love is nourishing, kind and forgiving, where love exists there can be no fear. The homework now, was to put it in practice. 

Wandsworth Carers Series 2022: 'Summer 1981' by George

This piece is part of our 2022 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.

 

Summer 1981

by George


Summer in Riakia, a small village outside Katerini in Northern Greece (near Thessaloniki) in 1981 was both blissful and idyllic. The days were long and sunny, but tempered by the gentle breeze rolling and strolling from the multitude of mountains surrounding the peaceful and sedate village. My uncle was a sheep farmer, and I helped him with his flock on a daily basis. We also harvested the hazelnut trees, an event made more memorable by my mother's frantic, frenetic, frenzied dance (due to being stung several times inside her blouse).

The other reasons for these memories being firmly entrenched in my mind were the cafe society of men drinking strong Greek coffee, playing both backgammon and with their komoboli; and, the cold bitter nights made comfortable by heaps of hand-woven blankets being plied high on my bed.

However, the most enduring memory was the food- simple, rustic, nutritious. For 2 whole months, I literally lived off 4 staple foods: hot, fresh, crusty, delicious, home-made bread; scrumptious, juicy, mouth-watering watermelon sold for 10 drachmas a piece; shop-bought strawberry thick-set natural Greek yoghurt — a pure taste of Heaven. So much so that I would lick the inside of both the lid and the pot. However, the piece de resistance was number four, home-made (by my aunt) Greek feta. It was tangy, salty, zesty. You could almost taste the sheep and the goat. It was to die for literally.

Speaking of which, it was the Summer of no meat. I had become a voluntary or involuntarily vegetarian depending on your viewpoint. The only time that I ate meat was to celebrate the huge country-wide festival of 15th August (the Assumption of the Virgin Mary) when copious amounts of pork and pitta bread did pass my lips. 

Oh, how I long for those unforgettable days and nights of Summer 1981. The memories will have to suffice.

FlashFloods 2022 Best Small Fictions Nominations

 We are thrilled to announce our 2022 Best Small Fictions nominations:   A girl by Melissa Llanes Brownlee   Detached by Anika Carpenter ...