So this isn't a piece of flash fiction but it is a piece of travel writing, written after my last trip to Ecuador in 2011. Posted today on a new writing website recently set up by Cafe Aphra contributor, B.E. Seidl. Check it out for a glimpse of the Amazon:
The stranger loomed up out of the gloom. In the dank air of the alley, Price could feel the dampness of the River Thames. The cobblestones shone wetly and the gas streetlight gave out a golden halo in the smog; a deceptive illusion of warmth.
The man looked him up and down. ‘I ain’t never heard a man of no conserkence call himself no such thing. What’s yer business?’
Price turned and looked at the wooden cart he pulled behind.
‘I sell tulips. To the rich.’
‘Yes. From Holland.’
The man stared.
‘For their gardens.’
‘Do I look rich to you? Do I look like I have a bleedin’ garden? Do you see any gardens round ‘ere?’
‘Actually I was hoping I might find accommodation in your establishment for the night.’
‘Three shillings an’ sixpence.’
Price sighed, rummaged in his coat pockets and dropped the coins into his host’s grimy hand. The man grinned, displaying one missing and one gold tooth in his wide, malodorous mouth. He signalled for Price to follow.
The sun was
down. He had climbed 350 metres in half an hour, keeping pace with the late
evening shadows as they'd raked up the mountain, but finally as he stood atop
his favourite rocky outcrop it was dusk everywhere. A bee, laden with pollen
lolloped on the stone at his feet and in a moment of kinship he too laid down
his bag and flopped to the hard ground. He stared hard
at the bee, marveling at the ingenuity of nature. Often cited by intelligent
design zealots as clinching evidence of a creator God (how could something so
bizarre actually 'evolve' by itself they'd say) it struck him now as quite the
example of the opposite. How could an intelligent designer have come up with
something so utterly ridiculous as a black and yellow striped, furry, bag
carrying, stinging, non-aerodynamic, flying insect? Where was the intelligence
in that? Well, whoever
or whatever designed the world also came up with Penny he thought. Nature or
God, how was that particular concoction dre…
Today I have discovered a brilliant live online project called 'Lost in Track Changes', which is part of if:book Australia. That's the curated version of the flash fiction event, with well-known Australian authors 'remixing' each other's work, week by week.
The un-curated version of the event, however, is open to everyone - that's you and me - and is called 'Open Changes'. What it involves is reading a few pieces of flash fiction and using any part of the them that catches your (mind's) eye as a writing prompt to set you off with writing your own piece.
The maximum wordcount is 200! Ouch!
This is a seriously fun writing exercise, though. I actually made myself laugh today.
And who knows, your 'comment' might be selected and used as one of the pieces for next week's prompts for other writers. There are several publishing incentives, as well as just the fun of doing it. And there are only another six …
The drain was gone from her abdominal incision and she had her take-home pack of painkillers and anti-inflammatories. The only problem would be deciding just where was home.
For the past thirty years she had lived in Mr Kneebone’s brownstone. She reckoned she could easily walk back there if she started right after breakfast the next morning. No need at all to phone Mr Kneebone or infuriate him by arranging a taxi.
The brownstone was certainly a home. But had it ever really been her home? Everything there had been pre-determined by the two previous Mrs Kneebones, Mr Kneebone’s first wife and Mr Kneebone’s mother, and held by Mr Kneebone to be sacred to their memories and perfectly serviceable. (Mr Kneebone couldn’t tolerate change for the sake of change.) Mrs Kneebone had acknowledged the logic of that, as long as she had—propped up on her bedside table—the hand-coloured print of a wisteria-covered arch given her by her brother Daniel when she married Mr K…