flash fiction, flashfiction, microfiction, Uncategorized

‘… and tied in a bow’

(my 3rd  Ad Hoc Fiction winner)



You tease my heartstrings out and tie them in a bow.  But not before you’ve YANKED with all your might, unreeled me to my spinning, naked core.  Not until you’ve run with my quick around the neighbourhood, twice, (I grab the door frame with both hands, not to be dragged after), wrapped my sweet and tenders ‘round house and lamp post and dazed-looking dog.  (The door frame’s splintering.)  THEN we get to the neat, tidy bow.

Not as light as you’d think birds alight on my wires.  After-school kids use my innards for skipping. Total strangers stumble over me.  The Special Brew crew use my elastics as hammocks in the lager-y light of evening.

I’m all out there.

Spooling through this pinhole in my chest.

That’s what you do to me.  Every single day.  And every day I come back for more.


flashfiction, microfiction, short story

‘My Wife’s Perfect Pitch’

( My second winner at Ad Hoc Fiction )



My wife has perfect pitch: flush a toilet, she’ll tell you what key it’s in.  So when she of all people said she thinks my voice is breaking again, in the other direction, there wasn’t much point protesting.  Especially in my embarrassing new falsetto.  It’s like one of those snakes in a can, leaps out when you’re least prepared.  Since she spoke up, in her even, adult tone, I can no longer ignore the way my colleagues flinch when I’m on the phone to clients.  I can’t unsee Des, at the next desk, whose right eye violently tics whenever my jaw drops to speak.

My wife runs a hand over me under the duvet.  She tries to make it seem affectionate but I know she’s feeling for smoothness that wasn’t there yesterday.  Cups here, gently brushes her fingertips there.  I moan a little, politely.  The manliest moan I can manage.

flashfiction, microfiction, short story

‘Positive and Negative’

(First story to win at Ad Hoc Fiction )




Suck on a battery (the copper-headed ones last longer. Throw in a Werthers Original at the same time to really get your teeth rattling.) Run a well-licked finger ‘round a plug socket. Feel alive.

I feel like joylessly microwaved death. My husband’s taken the kids with him to Lidl to give me a break, but they’ll be back eventually, they have to come back eventually. Our flat roars with the as-yet-unborne noise of their return, the front door trembling to be burst out of its frame. Potential energy. I wish that I had the potential for energy.

I put my cheek against the TV screen – Judge Rinder’s on – to feel the crackle against my skin. Everything flickers in the corner of my eye. I hear the door, and swallow something. Hope it was the Werther’s.