Flash fiction: Sleeping


She lies on the sofa dreaming of librarians and love, naked Swimming Lessons and Ottolenghi. Envelopes fall through the letterbox and the telephone rings, the dinner needs cooking and the cat is hungry, still she sleeps on. Behind her closed lids a garden grows beside the sea.

‘What did you do with your life?’ A higher-being asks, turning the wheels and handles of its population-sized filing cabinet. The machine clunks and sticks on F.

‘I was working on my novel,’ she says.

‘Pah!’ Higher-being replies. ‘You were sleeping.’

She wakes, sits up and begins to write.


This week Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and our Friday Fictioneers host has selected one of my pictures for people to write to. And for those who don’t know, the picture is of the stacks in the university library where my husband works. The stacks is a system in the basement for storing books and documents. Click here to join in or here to read other people’s stories. My story this week is true.

If you’re so inclined it would be lovely if you would vote for my novel, Our Endless Numbered Days in the Edinburgh First novel award, and you’ll have a chance of winning a copy of all 56 novels nominated. (Scroll to the bottom of the page.)