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Bryony Doran 
September 2017

Flash Fiction

I was drawn to flash fiction at a time in my life when I had very limited time in which to write. It has proved to be an excellent way in which to hone my skill as a writer. Everything has to be pared down to the minimum: no extraneous words!  

This story that is published in Matter issue No 3 is exactly 200 words long.


This afternoon I went shopping with my son. He hauled his fifteen-year-old body in and out of my shadow, careful to avoid my footsteps, side stepping my presence, me, seeking, suggesting, him dismissing. Two people dancing the clothes racks in every shop; the assistants hopeful seeing me, suspicious seeing him. Finally, his forehead corrugated rigid with a frown and only a box of floppy discs to show between us; no shoes to house size eleven feet, no clothes to garb his new extended body, we came into land at Waterstones. I bought him a Sherlock Holmes tape, me ‘A House on Mango Street.’ He suggested a drink, clear his head; together we sat dunking biscuits into Brazilian coffee. After that, we bought his clothes: a hooded top, a bandanna for a £1, two pairs of jeans and an unsuitable pair of trainers. When it got dark, he went off to breeze the streets, show off his new self. The streets were empty. He came home. Sat hooded on the sofa. I asked him if he wanted to come out with me. Said he would rather have his tongue tenderised by a steak mallet. Glad things are back to normal.

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