Friday Flash Fiction: Between the Breakers

29 05 2009

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Between the breakers
By Neil Beynon

He wobbles across the uneven rocks, scattered like broken teeth across the beach, until he reaches the smooth compressed sand beyond. He pauses for a moment, turns to look back at the cliffs behind him. If he is looking for something he does not find it on those rocky peaks looming large.

The tide is out and it takes him a little while to reach the edge of the ocean. He walks between the twin rows of breakers that line either side of his path like watery sentinels. He does not pause as he steps into the water, heedless of the cold saltwater on his shoes and trousers: it is not the first time he has done this. He wades out further into the water, ignoring the persistent slapping of the waves that almost push him back and his breath coming in short sharp breaths…

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Friday Flash Fiction: Silverlight

31 10 2008

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Well, I promised you flash this week and flash you shall have. I think I mangled this one by drafting too much of it in my head but as ever feedback is welcome.

By Neil Beynon

Awake. Something’s wrong: my tongue feels like worn carpet, head feels like it was used to wear the carpet down. The floor is too close. The bed the wrong shape: too small, contorted and whose voice is that.

I’m in the living room, not a good sign.

I unfold from the couch, the television prattles on at me incoherently, the presenter’s monotone merging with the noise of my headache. What was I drinking last night? Where’s the bloody remote?

Something bites my foot.

I hop clutching my wounded limb, there is a piece of sharp plastic that looks like the corner of my television remote sticking our of it. As I sit down again to remove the splinter I notice the chunk of plaster missing from the wall, I should fix that…later. God damned it hurts pulling out the plastic.

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Friday Flash Fiction: Turn

29 08 2008

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By Neil Beynon

The tavern is almost empty.

He sits on a wooden chair near the back, eyes where he can see the exits. He draws the occasional stare from the scattering of customers. He does not look like he used to: he has grown pale and clammy, his skin run with sores and his shaking hand raises a dirt encrusted pipe to his lips. I am unsure what he has done to himself. There are no bite marks and so my hand drops from my sword hilt. I am appalled.

Appalled at what has happened to this person I once knew, or thought I did.

The barman eyes the weapons on my belt: the flintlocks and the sword. His hands drop below sight, it’s probably just a piece of wood he’s fingering under there but I reassure him with a nod and a wave. No one much likes outlanders these days. It’s understandable.

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Friday Flash Fiction: Dick and Jane

8 08 2008

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The British Fantasy Society recently sent me a copy of A Dick and Jane Primer For Adults. As the title suggests, the thread that links the stories together is that they all use the style of the American reading primers, Dick and Jane, but with stories designed for adults rather than children.

There were some really good stories in there and I wanted to have a go. The idea seemed custom built for flash.

By which I mean to convince you I haven’t gone mad by posting the story below…here goes:

Dick and Jane go to the woods
By Neil Beynon

See Dick run. See Jane run. See Dick run after Jane. See Jane cry. See Jane run and cry. See Dick chase Jane across the field.

Spot does not run. Spot does not understand. Spot watches them from the long grass. Spot sniffs. See Spot sniff. See Spot drop low in the grass. See Spot’s fur stand on end. Spot can smell something bad. There is someone else coming from the woods. See Spot bare his teeth.

See Dick and Jane run. See Dick run. See Dick’s face. See the past, gone forever and etched in eternity in young Dick’s mind:

See Dick crawling through the forest undergrowth. See Dick behind the tree. Hear the whispering. Hear the strange sounds. Hear the voice you recognise and the words you do not.

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Friday Flash Fiction: Talking Apes

1 08 2008

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Slight change of pace this week, here’s today’s flash:

Talking Apes
By Neil Beynon

Dear Xthranir the third of the fourth Kranian Empire,

Thank you for the opportunity to read your manuscript Talking Apes Must Be Subjugated. Unfortunately we will have to pass on it this time around.

It was very kind of you to deliver the manuscript by your own battle group and even more thoughtful for you to keep them around until we had finished reading it. I can’t begin to tell you the postage it saved. As requested by your battle group commander I am including feedback.

The premise of your story, that somewhere in the universe primates developed sentience, is a slightly over-used trope in our genre. Although you clearly attempted to bring something new to the idea, it did not entirely succeed for us. It is important to think these ideas through logically – if primates could think would they really spend their time watching electromagnetic pulses trapped in a box?

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Friday Flash Fiction: The Climb

11 07 2008

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Here’s this week’s entry:

The Climb
By Neil Beynon

The wall lay at the end of a long, dusty road down which he had been walking for what felt like an eternity. It was large and smooth and black like a sheet of night that had been polished. It stretched as far as the eye could see, his reflection staring back at him in silent question.

The surface was warm to the touch but relatively devoid of defect and so, at first, he tried to walk round it. After three days of walking he realised that the wall went on forever or at least as close to forever as to render this a stupid exercise. Next he tried calling over the wall in an attempt to see if he could obtain help from the other side. There was no answer.

The man did not like heights. Had disliked them since childhood when he had, quite by chance, seen a man leap to his death. The jumper had exploded leaving a crimson smear on the slate grey pavement and a green wobbly bit of indeterminate origin. He’d never forgotten it. The point being he did not undertake the climb lightly, it was not a short wall.

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Friday Flash Fiction: The Cold Glass

6 06 2008

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Ok, here’s this week’s offering. Feedback- as ever – appreciated.

The Cold Glass
By Neil Beynon

It started on a Thursday. It was a strange feeling in Nick’s chest that grew steadily throughout the day and continued through Friday. He felt, alternatively, like a large weight had been rested across his torso and then, at other moments, like his torso was entirely hollow, as if his insides had been extracted with a giant syringe.

It was unsettling.

On Saturday matters came to a head and he could no longer hide it from his girlfriend. That morning a shriek rudely woke Nick from his slumber. Startled he saw Susan, his girlfriend, back pressed against the wall clutching a sheet to her front, masking her curves as best she could.

“Susan, what the he..?” Nick began; his throat raw and parched. He tailed off as he followed he horrified gaze back to the bed, there was another figure laid out on the bed next to him. Nick slid from the bed as if ejected by a giant spring. Susan made strange noise in the back of her throat, here eyes darting from the figure in the bed to Nick.

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