Friday, 17 April 2015

"The Alchemists" by Elaine Marie McKay

I'm a kind of 'lost and found' guy. I mean I don't give anything back, so I guess I'm just a- 'if you've lost it, I'll keep it'- kinda guy. I look after stuff, though, repair it, tend it.

My front room is an eclectic mix of inanimate objects- my girlfriend moved out, said the place was starting to smell of other people's lives, said she felt claustrophobic in a place full of stolen stories. Nothing was stolen. I might've engineered this and that, maybe made sure I'm the last passenger out of the train carriage, maybe memorised different streets' bin collection days so I can salvage the best of someone else's rubbish or maybe conducted a late night scout round the changing room in the gym. But nothing is stolen.

I do make stuff into stories, display them as artefact. The lost umbrellas take turns on display at the front window, their swirling patterns spread like peacocks' tails. A mismatched arrangement can be made for lonely singletons: a leather glove can go hand in hand with a woollen one, a silver earring can hang out with a gold and an ankle sock can be a knee high's sidekick.

Although it did sometimes serve to highlight my own loneliness, then this wonderful thing happened. I had waited until the very last moment to leave the train I was travelling home in. I'd been up the coast. I casually eyed the empty seats and luggage racks as I made my way to the exit, and in the last stretch of my search, there she was: my ideal, my soulmate, spurned by some fool who had no idea of her worth. I reached up and took her long sleek frame in my hand.

I knew this was the one, what I'd been looking for. I took her home immediately, our shared  ideals blatantly apparent, our common purpose screaming our connection.

Now, time spent on walks along beaches, her just out in front, bleeping her excitement at our latest find makes me a very happy man.

FlashFlood is brought to you by National Flash-Fiction Day UK, happening this year on 27th June 2015.
In the build up to the day we have now launched our Micro-Fiction Competition (stories up to 100 words) and also our annual Anthology (stories up to 500 words).  So if you have enjoyed FlashFlood, why not send us your stories?
More information about these and the Day itself available at

1 comment:

  1. What a great character. I love the surprise and subtle not-spelt-out ending, especially 'bleeping her excitement', which made me go 'ah!' Good stuff!


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