#SelectedFlashFiction – October


We’re delighted to present a remarkable piece of flash fiction selected with great care by our esteemed editors, Lucy Aur and Elizabeth Kemball. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, this work captures the essence of the fleeting yet impactful nature of the genre. It embodies our commitment to delivering high-quality, thought-provoking literature that resonates on multiple levels. We invite you to immerse yourself in this narrative and join us in celebrating the infinite potential of the written word.

Ronnie Smith

clear glass ball with box

‘Studying’ Mathematics at school has proved to be the single greatest waste of time and resources of my life.’

Discuss. [20 Marks]

An Allegory

During the early 1970s someone in authority concluded that the Latin and Maths Departments, holding joint pre-eminence, should be on the school’s fourth floor. The top students would certainly be inspired by the panoramic views across the Firth of Clyde to the islands of Great Cumbrae, Arran and Bute and let’s not forget the Cowal Peninsula, gateway to the Highland fastness of fabled Argyll to the North West. 

“Question!” Chalk squeaks on the board. “If X equals Y then what is the value of P…? Mr Smith!?”

I hear my name and turn my head to face the front of the classroom. I try to look alert but, you know…

“Mr Smith, shall we save time by agreeing that you are unable to solve this conundrum?”

I nodded my agreement, “I might add sir, that not only can I not answer the question, I do not understand the question itself.” The usual giggling was replaced by what P.G. Wodehouse might have called a few sharp intakes of breath.

“Would you, Mr Smith, mind telling the class what you could possibly find more interesting, out of the window, than the value of P? You may stand up for this.”

I stood, straightened my blazer and generally composed myself. Public speaking had not yet become a medium in which I was comfortable but I had a feeling on this occasion that I should give it my best shot.

“Well sir, I was watching an American nuclear-powered submarine sail down the river to begin its patrol, somewhere out there”. I waved my arm in a broad westerly arc, “carrying its payload of Poseidon Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles in its Hold.”

“Indeed Mr Smith?”

“Yes sir, indeed. And I was wondering if we are close enough to its base, in the Holy Loch, to be immediately vaporised during a Soviet first strike. Or will we all suffer a slow, agonising death?”

Now the rest of the class were no longer there, this had become a conversation between him and me which, if we met in the street, would be perfectly normal even interesting. But we were not in the street.

“Well, I’m sorry Mr Smith but we are not discussing Armageddon today. Our immediate task is still establishing the value of P to which we shall return in a few minutes, after come to the front and I administer two strokes of the belt for impertinence and disruption.”

“Yes sir.”

Katie Holloway

man and woman sitting in front of RV trailer

Tripadvisor Review: Stormview Caravan Park


The swingset’s had a lick of paint since I was thirteen. I can’t see my scratched initials anymore. My name’s different now anyway, but I still feel the swift brush of my first kiss, hidden from Mum, when I close my eyes. The on-site shop is well stocked with off-brand tins, last-month’s magazines and emergency chocolate, all at opportunistic prices. 


The upholstery billows generations of dust. The bathrooms, though, have been updated and no longer cling to the scent of lavender soap, slithers of which wedge themselves behind taps and under fingernails. By the time I was old enough to notice the flaking rust on the hobs, these had been replaced.


Their not-bothered attitudes are one of the park’s biggest assets. Those demeanours were a blessing when I was flame-cheeked buying my first stash of sanitary towels (pricey), and they still were, thirty years later, when my mother began wandering between caravans calling for her childhood dog, night after night. Their indifference was better than pity when she repeatedly called my son the name of my deceased father, and eventually, my tears spilled. 


The addition of the family disco was an earsore initially, as I dragged Panda Pop-filled children to bed too late each evening, S Club 7 reverberating around my skull. But lately, the clamour of families reminds me that life goes on, like the realisation when you return to civilisation after two weeks of compassionate leave, that nobody has missed you. The rows of lavender by the entrance hit me like a slap when I pass them now, and I find myself sniffing the powdery soap in the now larger on-site shop (still pricey) just to remember the smell of her hands.

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