100-Word Fiction: ‘Dialogue Q [Contemporary]’

Q:

I do feel unhappy, yes, although it shouldn’t be unexpected.

Q:

Maybe the darker mornings. And television, maybe.

Q:

Hell, and it’s not even over yet, there’s next week. Tis the season.

Q:

Well they’re setting us back years. The general polemic across all of them just appals me. I don’t know what’s to be done.

Q:

Don’t start me. It’s not opting out. I’m a full participating citizen. I couldn’t escape them if I wanted to. And I do want to.

Q:

I haven’t done for years. Is it any wonder? You’ve seen them. They’re all the same.

100-Word Fiction: ‘How Will We See?’

In the future we will see
Everything in three dimensions.

What?

The robin whistling
The mud underfoot
The long journey home
Hands in gloves

The cheers at the bar
The chiming bells
The turning of a page
The plans being made

The mildness of the air
The perfume of a fir tree
The warmth of brandy
The kindling smoking in the grate

The heights of privilege
The yawning traditions
The swells of pride
The chasm between rich and poor

A mother’s slow decline
A father’s decrepitude
A child’s burden
The darkness and the light

Almost as if it were real.

100-Word Fiction: ‘The 1970s’

Four candles. A whisp of sulphur, a spark and her gleaming eyes.

Happy birthday to you.

Paul, come on, sit, you’ll have your cake soon.

Victoria was still singing, hugging the back of the dining chair, her cheeks red and glasses wonky.

After three. One, two, three. Dawn puffed out her cheeks, blew hard and clapped excitedly.

Paul slipped under the table, round the sideboard and into the porch. The door was open.

He sat on the step and let a tiny spider crawl onto his forefinger, then crushed it with his thumb.

He wanted a be a grownup now.

100-Word Fiction: ‘Open Stage Directions for a New Play’

The reporter speaks to camera from the steps, recently swept, across the churchyard where huddles of tourists peer at maps and hold up camera phones, squinting into screens.

A TV is being watched.

The camera’s banal gaze focuses on the grey flagstones. Everything is clean as if a uniformity has returned, a natural order resumed.

Laughter is heard.

[Off stage a tented green, colourful banners, cups of tea. But the cameras will not travel and the gaze will not turn. Attention is fixed on the clean stage. The question is how to depict what is not ever to be presented.]