Flash fiction: The smell of a mother


Outside the library the woman is sitting at one of the tables and flicking through a newspaper. She has her back to me, but I recognise the straight hair and green mackintosh I saw through the café window.

My heart thumps in my chest as if I have been running. ‘Mum,’ I whisper. I step forward, close my eyes and breathe in the smell of her. For a few seconds she is returned to me.

When I look again, the woman is slowly turning around. She is my age, perhaps even younger.

‘Can I help you?’ she says, suspiciously.


A 100-word or so story for Friday Fictioneers inspired by the picture above (supplied by Melanie Greenwood). Click here to join in, or here to read stories from other writers.


This week I’ve written a blog post about the editing process I went through with my agent and the submission of my novel to publishers. Click here to have a read.

Short story: Home truths


Flora remembered her mother, Ingrid, sitting on the edge of Hedda’s bed telling stories about Queen Cnut of Norway who succeeded in turning back the tide, and Wilhelmina Walker who spent six years – as long as Flora had been alive – putting concrete under the cathedral so it wouldn’t sink into a watery grave. Hedda, who was twice Flora’s age, rolled her eyes at the tales and then pretended to be asleep. Ingrid always finished by saying, ‘Women can do anything men can do’.

Years later, when Ingrid left them for a new life, Flora knew that what her mother had said was true.


The picture this week reminded me of William Walker, a deep-sea diver who did william walkerspend six years underwater, shoring up Winchester cathedral so that it didn’t collapse. You can read more about him here.



For those who don’t know how Friday Fictioneers works, this picture (this time supplied by Doug Macllroy) is our inspiration for our weekly online writing group hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Each story is only about 100 words long, so why not read a few others: click here to read some more or to join in.  And please comment below with any suggestions on mine, or just to show you’ve visited.