Monday 10 December 2018

FlashFlood Advent Calendar 2018: Day 10

Day 10

The 10th of December is International Human Rights Day, marking the day that Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, and 2018 marks its seventieth anniversary. The Nobel Peace Prize is traditionally awarded on this day.


Write a piece inspired by one of the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  (If your browser doesn't support the fancy version, Here is a plain-text copy of the UDHR; scroll down for the text version.)

For an extra challenge, you could commemorate the UDHR's 70th anniversary by...
  • Making your story 70 words long...or, if you're up for a micro challenge, 70 characters
  • Write a flash in which 70% of the words are in one language and the remaining 30% in another language or a mix of other languages
  • Span 70 years within the space of your flash
For more background on International Human Rights Day, have a look at the Resources provided by the United Nations.

Interested in doing something for National Flash Fiction Day?  Support your writing community!  If there are people, programs or publications doing great things in your local area or online neighbourhood, consider letting them know how much you value what they're doing, or perhaps even volunteering if you don't already.  If they are flash-related, we'd love to hear about them!


Find out more about National Flash Fiction Day at our website or get in touch if you'd like to learn more about how you can get involved.


  1. Article 26: Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.


    Her legs could barely move. She was sure she wouldn’t make it in time. She had stayed up late into the night, reading her book and making notes by the light of a single smoking candle. Then, after just a couple of hours’ sleep, she had risen before the sun; helped her mother prepare the bread for breakfast; walked to the river and filled the container with water and carried it back on her head. Then she’d fed her grandmother, washed her and made her comfortable. Finally, she had waited quietly by the door until her father noticed her and solemnly inclined his head to signify she was free.

    Then she had left the hut at a run, her old linen bag strapped across her shoulder, banging against her hip each time she jumped over a hump in the rutted path. She reached the cross roads just in time to see the old bus blasting diesel fumes from the back as it disappeared over the rise.

    She slumped to the ground with a wail. Too late. All that preparation wasted. She was going to fail; and all her plans for the future would come to nothing. Her friend Ndola would be so disappointed in her. But then she thought: Ndola! He would be going to town today for market. Maybe he could help.

    She set off at a run once more, heading for the old man’s hut. It was empty! She’d missed him too. She sighed and shook her head. But then she stood up straight, pushed back her shoulders, pulled her scarf up over her head to protect herself from the sun, and began walking. It’s what Ndola would have wanted her to do. And it was only ten miles. If she kept up a good pace, maybe, just maybe, she could get there in time.

    And now, finally, she reached the rise in the path and looked down on the old shack with the tin roof that had been her joy and salvation during the worst times in the past five years. She had no watch, but a glance at the sun told her it was a little before noon. If only her legs could carry her the rest of the way.

    She stood in the doorway, blinking and waiting for her eyes to adjust to the gloom. The effort final caught up with her and she crumpled against the wall.

    “Chisi, you made it! I was so worried about you,” cried the teacher, running forward to take her arm. “Come, sit and rest for a while. There’s plenty of time.” She took the water he handed her and drank greedily.

    One hour later, as Chisi turned over the exam paper and started writing, her exhaustion disappeared. This was it; her chance to win a scholarship to the national secondary school. A chance to finish her education. A chance to do something great for the rest of the women in her village and across the country. She smiled to herself and started writing.


The Water Levels Are Rising...

There's less than a week left before National Flash Fiction Day 2024 when we'll share another veritable flood of flash fiction here ...