Flash Fiction: Add but don’t subtract

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Her body sank to the cobbles, each bony vertebra grazing skin against whitewashed wall. In slow motion she slid sideways into the shade, eyes glassy and the taste of dirt and leather in her mouth from a million sandals that had trod the alley before her. It was empty now, everyone indoors – away from the midday sun. As sleep, or something greater overtook her, she saw her mother pouring homemade lemonade from a pitcher she had never owned.

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This is a Friday Fictioneers story. A re-run (because it’s summer and we’re all busy) of an FF story I wrote in 2012. It became a (much altered) crucial scene in the novel I was writing at the time, which became Our Endless Numbered Days, and when it was finished was bought by Penguin (and others), and published in 2015. Just goes to show that these pieces of flash fiction sometimes go on to have much longer lives than we ever imagine when first writing them. Join in, or read others.

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Last week I revealed the UK, US and Canadian covers for my next book, Swimming Lessons. Click here, for the big pictures.

 

 

43 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: Add but don’t subtract

  1. I could feel, sense, see, touch this:
    “… each bony vertebra grazing skin against whitewashed wall. In slow motion she slid sideways into the shade, eyes glassy and the taste of dirt and leather in her mouth from a million sandals that had trod the alley before her. ”
    What a great fragment of a story. I’ll have to check out the longer version at some point soon.

    Like

  2. Really enjoyed hearing about the evolution of this piece – fascinating insight!
    The ‘pitcher she had never owned’ has aroused interest. I often dream of houses where I’ve never actually lived – apparently quite common.
    And that cover is beautiful – very striking.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Claire, I’m so incredibly excited for you, with your 2nd book coming! It seems like not long ago at all, that we were exchanging messages about getting published, being mid’ish aged 😉 and the challenges of both. You know I’m a huge fan of OEND; I can’t wait to read the next!

    While I understood most of what was happening here, I found myself a bit lost–– something that rarely happens when I read your work. Not sure what it was, but the first line had me stuck a bit. Is it cobble stone? Or, does cobble refer to something I’m missing? The final line “she saw her mother pouring homemade lemonade from a pitcher she had never owned” is perfection.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wonder if ‘cobbles’ is a British word. We often shorten cobblestones to cobbles. Funny how I didn’t even think twice about it, but some English words don’t always work across all English speakers. Something for me to think about more…

      Liked by 1 person

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