flash fiction, flashfiction, Uncategorized

Ad Hoc Fiction – A Flash Third Birthday Party Friday, 4th May 7.30 – 9.30 pm


Ad Hoc Fiction
A Flash Third Birthday Party

Friday, 4th May 7.30 – 9.30 pm
St James’ Wine Vaults
10 St James St

Free entry, free wine, free cake, late bar.

Do come and enjoy readings of superb 150 word micros and become inspired to enter this free weekly contest yourself. Read all the facts about Ad Hoc Fiction’s first three years here.

Ad Hoc Fiction winners are coming from all over the country and beyond to read their winning pieces and include:

  • Nick Black, from London, who won the first ever contest in April, 2015 and has won four times since.
  • Steven John, from Gloucestershire who has also won five times and two weeks in a row.
  • Louise Mangos, from Switzerland who has won three times and also illustrated all her pieces.
  • Roz Levens from Worcestershire who has won twice.
  • Henry Peplow from London, who was a Best Small Fictions finalist in 2017 with his Ad Hoc Fiction win ‘Zeus Falls to Earth’ and is also one of three winners to be published in Project Calm magazine this month.

Plus winners:

  • Debbi Voisey from Stoke-on-Trent.
  • Anne Summerfield from Hampshire.
  • Alison Woodhouse from Bath.
  • Andrea Harman from Nailsea.

…and hopefully John Herbert from Brighton.

It’s going to be a great evening! Let us know if you can come along to listen and we’ll save you a place.

flash fiction, flashfiction, short story, shortstory, Uncategorized

‘Assam Afternoons’



“You are far too young to be nostalgic for anything!” exclaims Arati , and everyone laughs except Siri, who she’s addressing.   Siri’s the youngest of us, fifty-eight, a juvenile in this damn place.  In good health, she wouldn’t be here.  The rest of us, of course, our families need a few hours a week respite from.  If only we could have a few hours respite from ourselves, heh!   “Tricycles,” murmurs Siri, “bottled milk”, but no-one but me’s listening, our own answers already said.

The afternoon is still and warm, turmeric sunshine staining our faces, stretching our shadows across the (barely) living area.   Arati sighs, content to have stirred the group’s amusement, her own the loudest.  Scrabble tiles click against their board.   “No, no, Sonny” says Mr Agarwal, playing, “’Discombobulated’ is spelled with a C, not a K.”  Plastic tiles click away.   Beyond his giant head, someone I can’t quite see raises a scrawny arm, waves for tea.

I sit side-on to the windows, watching Siri from the corner of my eye, lost, I hope, against the light behind me.  I knew her as a young woman.   Knew the scent of the back of her neck, where her hair fell damply.   Knew the incline of her firm round thigh, long before her family found her a husband.   I don’t think she remembers this, or me.  She worked in my factory.  She was a good machinist.   Lifetimes ago.

She’s been coming here for the last five Wednesdays.  Her daughter drops her off, points to her watch, taps the glass under her mother’s nose, Siri’s face as blank as the surface of my Assam.  As warm.   Right now, she’s playing with a pastry, pulling it apart, puts a little to her mouth.  “It is called a croissant”, I mutter.  A daring reaching out.  “It comes from France.”  “It comes from Tesco!” calls Agarwal.   Siri looks between the two of us, then at neither of us.  But I think she seems more eager as her fingers return to the plate.

I watch her eat, and drop buttery flakes down her front.   Don’t rush back, daughters, I pray to whoever.  Leave us both here a little longer today, please.

The shadows drag across the walls.