Flashdogs Anthology – Solstice : Dark & Solstice : Light

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Jun 212015

The Flashdogs are back with another instalment of fierce flash fiction.

Walk through our solstice portal and explore an imaginarium where fantasies become reality. Here, age-old conflicts play out in dreamscapes: good against evil, light against dark, the one against the many. Here, even mundane reality has sharp twists and fine edges.

In doses of a thousand words or less, the Flashdogs will transfix you with their deep, dark tales of the winter solstice and their hard, bright tales of the summer solstice, and leave you hungry for more.

All royalties will be donated to the fantastic charity, The Book Bus.

Click the images below to be taken to your local Amazon store where you can buy the books. Solstice : Light and Solstice : Dark are different books. Buy both if you can and help support this wonderful charity.


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Nov 052014
Photo Credit: Jean L. Hays via Friday Fictioneers.

Photo Credit: Jean L. Hays via Friday Fictioneers.


“No stepdaughter of mine is setting foot out of this house looking like that.”

“All the other girls have done it.”

“I didn’t raise you to be a sheep.”

“No, you raised me to be a you.”

“Don’t give me your cheek girl.”

“I’ve been looking forward to this all week.”

“I didn’t say you can’t go. Just you can’t go looking like that.”

“Like you’re any better. My father might not see it, but I know you’re a gold digger.”

“How dare you . . . come back here. Come back ho.”

My week in flash

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Nov 012014

29-Oct-14 Three Line Thursday Week 5

Ice blue eyes a window to your soul

Through them I see

My predecessor trying to escape

25-Oct-14 Flash Frenzy Round 41

Photo Credit: Ashwin Rao via Angry Hourglass.

Photo Credit: Ashwin Rao via Angry Hourglass.

Black and White Brendan

The day Brendan was born his mother knew something was amiss when she saw the look on the midwife’s face.

“What’s wrong with him?” the exhausted woman asked.

“Nothing’s wrong exactly – he’s got the right number of the essentials – he’s just…colourless.”

The tiny bundle was placed in her arms, and as she wiped the vernix from his porcelain skin, and stared into his wood-ash eyes, her whole world was saturated with love.

The other mothers tried not to show their dismay when they looked at Brendan.

“Oh, what a beautiful baby,” they’d stammer before retreating to their cluster of normality, each checking their own baby was still the perfect shade of pink or brown or yellow, that Brendan’s salt and pepper semblance was not catching.

He’s all the colours of the rainbow inside. Brandan’s mother wanted to shout.

She dressed him in amethyst, amber, and aquamarine, but somehow the vibrant colours highlighted his oyster hue, so she settled on battleship, timberwolf, and slate.

He was an animated child prone to melancholia, but he never failed to imbue his mother’s life with colour. Inevitably the day came when Brendan asked why he was not like the other children. His mother’s reply was tinged with sadness.

“Children come in all colours and you are no different. You are like them.”

Soon Brendan pushed himself over the precipice of a steep slope to ruin. He alienated the few friends he had, and became disruptive at school. As a teenager he fell in with a bad crowd. They would put Brendan on a milk crate like a circus freak and wait for passers-by to throw coins into his hat.

Things carried on like this into early adulthood, until one day Brendan’s mother sat him down and told him things had to change. If he wanted any more help from her, if he even wanted to see her again, there was something he must do.

Later that day Brendan dyed.

Judge, Jaime Burchard, gave me an honourable mention for this story.

24-Oct-14 Flash! Friday–Vol 2 – 46

Public domain photo by Marion Post Walcott.

Public domain photo by Marion Post Walcott.

The dragon’s bidding was to include bankruptcy.

The Art Of Keeping The Horse Between You And The Ground

Can I remember the first time I rode the horse? No, only the last time.

The euphoria is like nothing else. No one can touch me when I’m on the horse. There’s nothing more I need or want. When I’m on the horse I’m perfect and the world is perfect with me. But when I’m off, I’m in turmoil. I must think and feel pain and look in the mirror that always shows a stranger. I must listen.

“You’re a disgrace to this family’s good name.”

“You’re morally bankrupt.”

“You can sink no lower.”

So I steal and beg and sell anything, including myself. I do it all for the oblivion of the horse.

You say I can sink no lower but you’re wrong. There’s a long way for me to fall yet. You see, no one on the outside can understand the battle to keep the horse between you and the ground.

Getting any kind of recognition at Flash! Friday is always great because of the huge number of excellent writers who turn up to strut their stuff. I was delighted to get an honourable mention for this. Here’s what judge, Betsy Streeter, said:

David took that idea of failure/falling and applied it to the sometimes precarious act of riding a horse, and beautifully conveyed how our efforts not to let our world fall apart can take the form of both literally and figuratively climbing into a different place.

22-Oct-14 Three Line Thursday Week 4

Photo Credit: Soulhearts via Three Line Thursday.

Photo Credit: Soulhearts via Three Line Thursday.

I wake, I work, I sleep

I wake, I work, I sleep

I wake, I work, I sleep

I was awarded third place for this. Here’s what judge, Casey Rose Frank, said about it:

I immediately read this in the beat of a train as it rattles along the track. This perfectly captured the rhythm of the train and the rhythm of the life of the person who rides it. I felt like I was on the 7 train to work again. So simple and so brilliant.

My Stuff: Flash! Friday–Vol 2 – 45

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Oct 212014

Here’s my entry to Flash! Friday Vol 2-45. The prompt photo was two dudes playing chess. Hmm. The dragon’s bidding was to include a nemesis. A bonus challenge was to not use the word chess.

Public domain photo.

Public domain photo.

When Aretha Met Elvis

Did the black Queen of Soul ever meet the white King of Rock and Roll? Hell yeah! I’m proof. I got me them monochrome chromosomes.

‘Course I can’t remember them. I grew up in Hunger’s Nemesis Orphanage, Memphis, Tennessee. It’s long gone now. You won’t find it even if you look.

I recall the first time I saw my Daddy dancin’. Boy, could he move them hips? I jumped right up out of my chair and started dancin’ just like him. Sent the checker board flying! And Mama’s voice? Well, she could charm the angels down from heaven then scare them right back up again.

I’m told Mama is doing well and still sings, though she can’t tempt the angels down no more. Daddy, they tell me, went and took up them drugs and died. I don’t believe it. I still see him sometimes.

My Stuff: Flash Frenzy Round 39

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Oct 212014

Here’s my entry to Flash Frenzy Round 39. The photo prompt was a pumpkin. That’s it. I thought out outside the box a little for this one.

Photo Credit: Ashwin Rao via CC.

Photo Credit: Ashwin Rao via Angry Hourglass.

Trudy’s Carer

“Another piece of pumpkin pie sweetie?”
“Lay it on me.”

John sat on the edge of the bed next to Trudy. He took the last slice of pie from the plate and held it while Trudy devoured half the slice in one mouthful. John licked his own lips.

“That’s real nice.”
“Yeah, it is.”

John popped the tab on a Coke and tipped it into Trudy’s mouth. He wiped her lips with a napkin. He looked at her beautiful face and her gorgeous body and was amazed with the progress they’d made. Only two years and she’d done so well.

“Sponge bath honey?”
“Oh yeah. I am sweating like a pee eye gee.”

John reached into one of the buckets by the bed and retrieved a wash cloth from the tepid water. He wrung it out then began wiping down Trudy’s body, prising apart the folds of flesh and wiping out the sweat and grime.

“That feels real good.”
“Yeah, it does.”

They’d had some trouble with bedsores. Angry, weeping wounds that made the air smell of cheese even when it wasn’t cheese night. Now John was careful to turn Trudy regularly and make sure her skin was dry and moisturized.

“Ready for a turnin’ dumplin’?”
“Sure am. Getting a little hot on my lower back.”

John slipped his hands under her side and buried them deep under her body. He was amazed and thrilled at the weight bearing down on his arms. He started a little rocking motion.

“You roll with me angel cake, I can’t do this on my own.”
“Sure thing.”

When she was lying on her side, John wiped down her back with the washcloth, dried her with a towel and rubbed emollient into the skin. He adored her skin, so soft and warm.

“You in the mood baby pie?”
“I am if you are.”

John began to undress, all the time eying Trudy’s body hungrily. She must be 420 pounds, maybe even 430. It won’t be long till we reach that magic 500.

My Stuff: Flash! Friday–Vol 2 – 44

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Oct 212014

Here’s my entry to Flash! Friday Vol 2 – 44. A great prompt photo this. Four clowns visiting a sick boy in hospital to cheer him up. I turned things around a bit! The dragon’s bidding was to include surgery.

Photo Credit: Boston Public Library via CC.

Photo Credit: Boston Public Library via CC.


Mendin’ the Clowns

The clowns followed the nurse as she squeaked and clopped along the corridor. She stopped abruptly outside room 5318008.

Zig bumped into Zag, then from out of his bag
Soupy took flowers and hit Bozo.

The nurse tutted and shook her head.
“In this room is little Tim. He needs a heart transplant and he is feeling very low today.”
She led the clowns into the room.

Zag tied his lace, Bozo fell on his face
and Soupy poked Zig in the eye.

Little Tim watched the performance from his bed. His lip curled upwards then his face melted downwards. Tears followed. The nurse ushered the clowns from the room.
“How are we feeling?” she asked, when they were back in the corridor. “A little sadder?”

Zig blew his nose, Soupy pulled Zag in close
and Bozo just stared at the ceiling.

“Good. Next we’ve got Beth. Now Beth is a particularly unfortunate case…’


I was delighted to get first runner up for this. Here’s what judge, Craig Anderson, thought about it:

This one stood out with a fun role reversal, as the clowns were brought to the sick kids’ hospital as treatment for their overabundance of happiness. It cleverly tells the story from two points of view, everyone else and the clowns. The clowns are represented by rhyming verses, which gradually transform from clowning around to a more subdued tone as the clowns are slowly ‘cured’. These rhyming verses also contrast with the standard text, they are fun and playful in comparison to the more utilitarian verses representing the sick kids and the sterile hospital. It’s a great way to highlight the differences and make the reader question whether the clowns truly need to be cured. Finally, the title was perfect and a great little pun to wrap up this entry.