Saturday, 6 June 2020

'A Definition of Urban Geometry' by Valerie Griffin

The sun shines here by proxy, casting long shadows and murky reflections. It’s cautious, like us, peering around the next corner before leaving the corner before.

The sweet earthy smell of hot tarmac mingles with the odour of rancid oil from the second-rate fast food joints and the baked stench from the neglected gutters. It leaves an unpleasant film in our nostrils as we move around the streets. Like choreographed chess pieces, our strategy is survival.

Early evening music has no regard for boundaries as it thumps its way through the floors and ceilings of the tower blocks before escaping through open, grimy windows and dispersing in the summer heat. Shops are closing, their shutters advertising the artistic genius of our community. But Darlene’s is still open, her tattoo gun etching the skin of her last client of the day. In her shop window, breaking up the reflection of the 1960’s tenement buildings opposite, is the word LOVE, spelt out in faded cerise, four-foot high polystyrene letters, at variance with life on the other side of the glass. The surfaces are studded with small light bulbs that flicker feebly. From a distance, they resemble rivets. It’s the only love around here.

A shout. “Hey. Lennie. C’mere.” I ignore it.

“C’mon man.” I hear shuffling footsteps behind me. “Listen to me. I wanna talk.”

I keep walking, as we all do, amongst the shadows. A quick glance back, but always moving forward.

'A Definition of Urban Geometry' was published in the Flash Fiction Festival Anthology One in 2017.

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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....