Flash fiction: Small Talk



Nan imagined sitting for ever in the car beside Viv. Until time deflated the tyres.
‘The weather’s been nice lately,’ Viv said.
The chassis would drop as the axles rusted.
‘Lovely,’ Nan said, looking ahead at the car park.
The rubber wipers would dry and crack, and as the months passed they would melt onto the windscreen.
‘For the time of year,’ she added.
The colour would leach from the paintwork, changing from red to rusty brown.
‘Hmm,’ agreed Viv.
Small animals would make a nest in the boot.
And Nan would find the courage to lean across to Viv and say, ‘Don’t go’.


Another Friday Fictioners 100-word flash. Click here to read some more. Here to join in. Thanks to Jean L Hayes for the picture. I’d really like to know what you think – constructive criticism, or just a hello – so please do leave a comment.


And if you like this story, you might like my novel Our Endless Numbered Days, out early next year. Click here to find out more, or here to add it to your Goodreads to-read list.

75 thoughts on “Flash fiction: Small Talk

      • Oops! I think it was the first two lines that put me in a mind-set for the rest of the piece. This is what she’d imagined would be the case, but time deflated the tyres. It’s nice though, when a piece is enjoyable enough to be pored over to extract the author’s intent. Still loved it, even if I misconstrued it.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Dear Claire,

    I love the dreamlike tone of this. “Until time deflated the tyres.” Hopefully Nan can work up the courage to tell Viv how she before all that time passes.

    In the first line shouldn’t it be forever rather than for ever?




  2. Dear Claire,

    Small Talk was a perfectly imagined and executed story that hits home for all of us. We’ve all been in the car and in both seats. Each week it is so very satisfying to read your stories. I should save them like dessert, but instead I eat them up right away. Lovely being one of your faithful readers.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Patrick. I don’t see it as healing – I think the thing that might have happened between them is unlikely to because neither of them can express what they’re feeling, but of course, I’m really happy with such a short piece for readers to take anything from it.


  3. Whatever it is you are portraying, whether two humans, two cars, or a fantasy relationship of a sci-fi/twilight zone/ or an aesthetically pleasing abstraction – it is quite moving to read, even imagine hearing, a “don’t go” verbalized by and to a loved one.
    All of us ultimately fear being left alone.
    Wow. Randy


  4. Interesting twist on the high school pastime known in the U.S. as “parking.” I never participated in it as a youth, but it seems to me that your characters are doing a lot more talking than most kids in my neighborhood ever did.

    I love the thoughts–so realistic, as though your character has some experience with aging vehicles. Nicely woven.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail


  5. It’s amazing how the invention of the car has been a vehicle (in another sense) for conversations and meaningful moments. It also goes to show that human beings will always find something as sterile as a piece of mechanics will or can have a big place in their hearts and memories. Very well done, Claire.


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