Flash Fiction: Friends Request

My writers group have started posting a monthly prompt competition for a piece of no more than 500 words.  I submitted this for the March competition and was unsuccessful so thought I would share it here instead.  It’s the first time I entered – it was given as an exercise at the flash fiction workshop  I went to at the end of February (as the tutor was the one who set that prompt and did this month’s judging) and I wrote it there and then typed it up and tweaked it to submit to the competion.  The prompt was “The Last Request”

Friends Request

Claire smiled when she saw the notification.  She had a friends request from Rebecca.  Years ago they had been best friends before Rebecca moved away and every year or so in a fit of nostalgia she searched Facebook for her.

 

There were lots of people called Rebecca Smith listed.  Dark haired ones like the girl she had known.  Ones with obviously bleached blonde hair.  And ones from all over the world.  Claire always spent far too long browsing the profiles.  Wondering if the girl pulling the silly face was her joker friend, gazing at the one with the shocking pink hair and remembering how Rebecca had always threatened to do that.

 

Her husband still socialised regularly with his school friends and Claire often went with him.  She enjoyed spending time with the other couples.  They were nice people and sometimes they even made her laugh.  But they were very much Steve’s friends not hers.  She wouldn’t get to keep them if she got divorced.

 

Claire had never been quite sure she had found her.  Over the years she had found a few definite maybes and even plucked up the courage to send a few friends requests.  But those had always got a confused message back asking who she was. Or worst still, been completely ignored.  And she was left still lonely and looking for the one who got away.

 

They had promised to be friends forever.  The night before Rebecca had moved away they had sworn in a fit of teenage optimism that the distance wouldn’t matter.  In reality they had lost touch within months and 15 years later Claire regretted that.

Each friends request that was declined she told herself was the last.  But until today it never had been.

As she clicked accepted and scrolled over to open the message that accompanied the request Claire had a big smile on her face knowing that this time it really would be the last request.

 

Flash Fiction: The Truth About Penguins

I recently took part in a one day workshop on flash fiction. One of the exercises we did was to write a piece inspired by a picture. The photo I got was of a penguin diving underwater. I’ve typed it up to share in this blog and would welcome feedback. I’ve not edited it beyond breaking it into paragraphs and changing the odd repetitive word.

The Truth About Penguins

 

The penguin took the fish from the trainer. She was giving the talk about “penguin behaviour” yet again. And as always she was getting it wrong. Personally he couldn’t understand how humans could be so stupid. Wasn’t it obvious? Still he played the part of the good little penguin and took his fish then dived into the water and swam away.

 

It was his turn to do the work of real penguins so he swam fo the far side of the pool. He vaguely heard the trainer tell the crowd how all the penguins liked to hide in that corner. It was typical behaviour she claimed.

 

The penguin thought they should let the humans see what they really did when hidden but he was just a child and the elders had forbidden him from sharing. It was “too dangerous” they said. But one day he would be king and his word would be law. Then the humans would allowed to see what was happening and would know just how superior penguins are.