Since writing for Vocal+ I’ve written three pieces of flash fiction, each under 2000 words and inspired by separate word prompts. The process has ripped me out of writers block and put me back on the path of writing online again, and I’ve never had so much fun doing it. Instead of creating separate blog posts for each one and clogging your feeds with my ugly mug, I figured why not share with you the three stories all in one post, and give you a little excerpt and rundown of each one as I go! So here goes nothing.
This is by far my favourite piece of writing to date, telling the story of a man receiving a mysterious package. He is immediately whisked back into the memory of a time where he first met Danny, the son of the woman his father started dating. I leaned into this piece fully, with humour and characterisation, slowly revealing the difficulties of their history through dialogue and interaction. I’ve had nothing but amazing feedback on this one, and really hope you take the time to give it a read.
I examined the box before me in a trance, with the breath caught in my lungs. No return address. No label. No branding. Just a brown paper box with ‘BARNACLE CLUMPERSNATCH’ scrawled shakily in its center. My mouth dried up in the low hum of tense silence.
Those words… that name… The package could’ve only come from Danny. But why? And more to the point, how? I felt the colour drain from my skin.
Death By Chocolate
This piece was a response to Vocal’s ‘Death By Chocolate’ challenge, and had me feeling experimental. The story chronicles the morning of a rather depressed young insomniac being woken up on his birthday, and I really had a chance to play around with language techniques and humour. It’s a little Neil Gaiman in style, and I loved stepping outside of my norm in an attempt to emulate that. Where it truly crosses the boundary into experimentation is in its false endings. I don’t want to give too much away, but you’ll see when you get there. Some loved it, some didn’t, but the story itself was very much enjoyed and I had a blast writing it!
When Jonathan finally drifted off to sleep after hours of wrestling insomnia, the last thing he expected was to be awoken at 7am by his younger brother.
BANG! BANG! BANG! Lurched him into a dizzy, semi-awake, consciousness, with panic and confusion dancing in his chest. In the exact same second the door swung open and the family burst into his room. “Get up! It’s your birthday!” They squealed in an imperfect unison. Or words to that effect… I’m paraphrasing, of course.
Cries Of The Barn Owl
This was the first piece of fiction I’d written in a long time, and it came in response to the Vocal prompt: Barn Owl. The piece is somber, reflective, and emotional, and I truly got to lean into the darker aspects of love and loss while stretching out my ‘descriptive muscles.’ Are those even a thing? I guess they are now.
Anyway… blowing the dust off my creative side felt good and got me right to where I am now, having already earned Top Story for Vocal and building a portfolio of over 10 pieces so far.
He watched as smoke twirled upward from the glowing tip of his cigarette, twisting and turning against the silhouette of tall chestnuts that lined the back of his garden. He filled his lungs with the rich, heavy warmth of tobacco and exhaled a large cloud, swallowing up the spiralling streams as they danced toward the night sky.
It was cold out. Ice had already claimed the decking beneath his feet, and the black felt-lining of the shed roof glistened in the blackness of night. Dense, entangled, branches glowed white against the fullness of the moon, and somewhere, shrouded in the shadows, the unmistakable call of a barn owl echoed out from beyond the tree line.
Well there you have it! Of course I have written more than just fiction during my time on Vocal (which you can check out here) and am fully back in the world of content creation from here on out.
If you liked any or all of those stories above, let me know in the comments. Or, you know, if you hated them. You can tell me that too…
Now that that’s out the way, I solemnly swear to no longer inundate you with fresh posts after a year of radio-silence. I’ll update you on new posts as they become available, frequently update my on-site portfolio, and start building out my “To Himself” journal right here on WordPress. Damn it feels good to be back!
Now I’m gonna go make a cuppa, I’m exhausted…