Short story: Rain


The rain beats down on the roof of the Morris Minor. The old wipers can’t cut through the blur fast enough, and Flora leans forward where the headlights show the road disappearing beneath the car in black and white.

The first thump comes as she is passing the unlit supermarket. Then something hits the windscreen, swooshed away before she can even flinch. And then another. And another. There are things on the road – small, thrashing, distressed. Flora swerves, and the short beams of light the car throws out shows her hundreds more silvery creatures falling and flapping. Fish.


This picture, for Friday Fictioneers was supplied by the lovely Janet Webb. Writers from all over the world gather to write about 100 words using a photo as inspiration. Click here to read other people’s and to join in. And please comment below with any suggestions for improvement on mine.

And for all the American contributors to Friday Fictioneers, I also very excited to let you know that I’ve just heard that my debut novel, Our Endless Numbered Days will be published in the US by Tin House.

21 thoughts on “Short story: Rain

  1. You have a talent for transporting me into the action at the scene. Falling fish is actually a real scientific phenomenon. I’m glad it wasn’t raining shopping carts 🙂

    Congratulations on your debut novel! Can’t help but feel proud even as a passing stranger.



  2. I was bothered by the phrase ‘and Flora leans forward where the headlights…’ I suppose I’m looking for the word ‘towards’ but then you’d need ‘towards the point where’ . I found the description of the fish hitting the car absolutely spot on, and the idea of them being ‘small, thrashing, distressed’ was quite poignant. Nicely constructed story, taking the reader through an arc of something almost paranormal to a reasonably practical explanation. Lovely pacing.


    • I think you’re right Sandra. I think I have one word spare, so perhaps I’ll change it to ‘and Flora leans forwards to where the headlights…’ You’re good at this editing stuff…


  3. Wild, cool idea for the fish flying from the sky. Thankfully, they’re just fish and not sharks — as happened in Sharknado! A big congratulations on having your novel published! That is wonderful!


  4. Claire, I look forward each week to your story. I like the way you led us to wonder what she hit and then to wonder why the falling fish. This description was good: ” There are things on the road – small, thrashing, distressed. ” But I have to agree with Sandra that forward doesn’t really work. No matter how it’s phrased, she can’t lean to where the headlight reach anything or she’d be out of the car. She could lean forward towards where the headlights…blah, blah, blah. Anyway, congratulations on the book! Exciting stuff. What are you working on now?



  5. Dear Claire,

    Sounds kind of fishy.

    Having exorcized the bad pun in me I want to tell you that I enjoyed your story. Reminded me of the movie Magnolia. Have your seen it? Fish rain is real, as I’m sure you know and your story captured an episode of it perfectly.




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