Flash fiction: After The End


Before the end, Flora liked to dress in boys’ clothes and catch the train to the city, just for the hell of it. She wore trainers for speed, put her hood up, and slouched. She practiced saying ‘yeah’ and ‘nah’, as if she was bored by everything. Sometimes she even painted stubble on her chin using stage makeup.

She only stole small things – lighters, matches, pocket torches, one-size-fits-all gloves. She was a fast runner and never went back to the same shop a second time.

Then, when the end came, she was lucky: Flora was a boy, with items to trade.


Another Friday Fictioneers 100-word story, inspired by the picture, provided this week by Rochelle herself. Click here to read other people’s or here to join in. And do let me know what you think about mine.


Click here to find out about my novel, published early next year by Fig Tree / Penguin in the UK, Tin House in the US, House of Anansi in Canada, and various other publishers around the world.

57 thoughts on “Flash fiction: After The End

  1. Claire, this reminds me in some way of the short story you had online, the one that was read aloud. This is something different from you, it seems to me. I like the sci-fi, end-of-times feel with the unusual twist. You’re one of the authors on FF whose link I always click on with anticipation, knowing something well-written is awaiting me.



  2. Ah yes, after the end… I thought it might be the end of society, but then wondered if that was my own outlook colouring the story. In any case, resourcefulness and an ability with disguise will undoubtedly be an asset.


  3. Claire,
    This is such a unique twist on the apocalyptic fiction that crops up now and again in Friday Fictioneers. The ending caught me for a moment as I had assumed “the end” meant simply the end of Flora, and I like how you surprised me with a different “end.” Just enough of a jolt to make the brilliance of your heroine shine. Nicely handled.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail


  4. Dear Claire,

    I went much darker than the end of the world, thinking that the end for Flora was that she was caught, sent to jail and there, due to her proclivity for cross dressing, found her life a little easier through trading ‘items’ that she had.

    There is a tone in this piece that sets it apart from others. Measured and careful, it made me pay attention throughout. Another in a long line of quality stories.




  5. I’m glad I read your opening comments! I liked the story very much and couldn’t figure out what “the end” could be … but on the other hand it kept me thinking … Bravo Claire!


  6. She has an interesting name for such a character – old-fashioned and so feminine. I like that irony. She’s a survivor, and I like the understated way you’ve shown that. She does what she has to do, and uses what she has. Good story.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s