The Black Stump – Flash Fiction

Stringybark Stories has a great newsletter and sometimes has these giveaways of their anthologies based on Flash Fiction comps. 100 words that had to include: foetid, portrait, sensitive and joyful.

I have no recollection of the inspiration for this one, which makes re-reading it, rediscovering it, all the more fun. It’s like reading something, enjoying it and thinking it’s good, then feeling that old-familiar warmth of Imposter Syndrome and Fear of Narcissism when you realise that YOU wrote it. Heh.


Lionel was always running from something as long as I knew him. I peered over the 4th-floor railing, through the foetid air of the city, and knew the question was: Pushed or Jumped?

Anna being questioned inside, a portrait of calm. An overly-sensitive teen, I knew she hated him since the day he married her mother.

A happy child, though never joyful, she changed after he moved in. I saw it. Something happened when she got older too, though I never knew what.

I looked over the railing again and realised it no longer mattered. It was over.