Flash fiction: Nadia


The first time I saw Nadia she was shouting on one the backstreets in the old quarter. A boy on a scooter had snatched her bag and she was begging passers-by for help. I didn’t stop; like everyone else I thought she was part of the scam. Two days later I saw her at the airport when I was leaving. She turned and smiled at something and her full lips, painted red, stretched to reveal the gap in her front teeth. I knew we would be seated next to each other, but what I didn’t know was that within a year Nadia would be dead.


This is a Friday Fictioneers story. 100 (or so) writers writing 100-words (or so) inspired by the picture above (supplied this week by Sandra Crook.)


It’s been a while since I’ve written a Friday Fictioneers story because I’ve been on holiday and life suddenly became very busy. On 1st July Our Endless Numbered Days won the Desmond Elliott Prize – an award for debut fiction, and I’ve been doing quite a bit of promotion including writing this article on being a debut author over 40, for The Guardian.

78 thoughts on “Flash fiction: Nadia

  1. Cracking 100 words. Sounds like the first paragraph of a novel i.e. what happens to Nadia etc? Oh, and congrats on winning the Desmond thingy prize. You are an inspiration to us all…no, really 🙂


  2. Intriguing start to a story. It reminded me of a book I read recently which started in a similar fashion with two women being seated next to each other on a plane, but I can’t for the life remember the title. The touch of reality, thinking she was involved in the scam too – that’s exactly what onlookers might think. Good one. I enjoyed your article and congratulations on your award.


  3. Dear Claire,

    You left me wanting to know more. We never know where life’s path will lead and your little flash is a good reminder.

    I’m halfway through your book and I’d say it deserved the prize. Captivating. Peggy and her father stick with me throughout the day.




  4. Even though it would make a good longer story, I think it can stand alone, too. The few phrases mirror the distrust, and (forced) lack of compassion towards strangers we’re faced with today. Who knows what an interesting friend/aquaintance/person Nadia could have been–but the connection was only superficial, and now she’s dead. Congrats on your award.


  5. Dear Claire,

    I’m so thrilled for you with the success of your first novel. I hope this leads to even more success in your future.

    It’s good to have you back in the ring.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail


  6. I could someone’s bag being snagged from someone riding a scooter such a street. Such a lovely spot, but all kinds of bad things going on for poor Nadia. Great story. Congrats again on your success!!


  7. Howdy – I think It’s a really engaging start of a story… But not a complete story in itself (unless I’ve missed a clue here – entirely possible :)).


  8. Congratulations. I read the article and I’m curious why there is an age category for authors, for readers, yes, but authors? As for this week’s FF, it tugs at the reader to know more of Nadia’s story as well as narrator’s. Nicely done.


  9. I think she died trying to figure out if she could work the roof pattern in a jumper she was knitting.
    Jokes apart fine writing as always and congratulations on your well deserved award.


  10. Intriguing. Very engaging characters and I want to know more about their relationship, and whether Nadia really was part of the scam. Congratulations on your book success.


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