Flash Fiction

Have you come across this term before? Flash Fiction is the term for very short fiction which nevertheless, contains plot and character development.

The word count ranges from 100 words in a “drabble” up to  “microfiction” at 1000 words.

I recently entered a challenge to write 500 words based around the prompt of finding someone else’d diary, to be precise… “you are travelling on a train when you find a worn journal hidden between the seats. Curious, you begin to read the contents…”

Here’s my entry: you can find the original, plus a few more stories on wattpad if you click here

My Lucky Day

I hurried through the crowded train station, dodging elderly pensioners and mothers with small children. One minute left. Naturally enough, my train was at the farthest platform away from the gates. Jogging awkwardly, shopping bags banging against my legs, I flung myself inside the door. Every seat was taken. Resigned, I reached for a strap and hung on, only ten stops to go. The girls were easy to buy for but I never knew what to buy my husband Joe. The latest Scandinavian crime series DVD would have to do.  I swore that next year I was going to do all my Christmas shopping in June.

But it was my lucky day. Two stops in, a young woman stood up and gestured to her seat. “I’m getting out here,” she said, looking at me. “If you’d like a seat.”

“Thank you,” I said gratefully, easing in, and finding spots for my shopping. The train pulled out of the station and my hand brushed something caught between the seat and the side of the carriage. A book of some sort. I looked up but the young woman had gone. Damn!

I pulled out the book and opened it. Maybe she had written her name in the front.

“Nathan promised he’ll tell her tonight, about us.” Omigod, this was a diary, someone’s personal secrets. I looked around but no-one was watching. I knew I should close the book, maybe turn to the opening page to check if there was an address, but…

“He says they are separated, they have separate rooms. He’s only staying because of the children. But they are 15 and 17, surely old enough…” Silly girl, I thought, wryly. What a cliché. This isn’t going to end well. I flicked through a few pages until…

“Wonderful news. Nathan has finally told her! But it’s not sorted yet. She’s Catholic. She says won’t give him a divorce, but surely she’ll have to eventually, when she realises their marriage is really over…”

“I’m getting desperate. It’s been weeks! Why won’t the cow just accept reality and let Nathan go? I’m going to confront her myself. I know Nathan won’t be pleased, but I can’t bear this any longer. When she sees me face to face, she’ll have to change her mind.”

Hastily I turned over the next page, but the pages were blank. Damn. I wanted to know what happened. Luckily her name was in the front of the diary.

I knocked on the door, suddenly uneasy, wishing I just posted the book back. The same young woman I’d seen on the train opened the door.

I held out the diary but she spoke first, face flushed with determination. “I’m pregnant. You have to let him go!”

I went hot then cold with shock. Scarlet blotches stained my cheeks.

A small voice inside my head was reminding me Joe had never liked using his first name, even as I blurted out, “But I’m not Catholic.”

We stared at each other.

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