Response and reaction to stimuli is fundamental to how we navigate our way in the world. Sometimes it is conscious and carefully considered but other times there is an innate, instinctive reaction in our subconscious. There are commonalities and shared elements although memories and experience create a unique response for every individual.

This concept lies at the heart of a new project that a group of friends and I have launched called Flash Stack fiction. Each week one of our members will choose a prompt image. This will then be sent to the diverse collective of writers who, inspired by this prompt, will write a 300-word story in any subject or style. We are excited about this project as it is truly fascinating how the same image can resonate differently with our writers and trigger such a broad and varied response in their short stories.

Living in an era when we are faced with a constant deluge of information, Flash Fiction is the perfect remedy for those who find themselves with little time in the day but still have the desire to read or write literature which illuminates the human condition. The constraint on word count ensures that every word has real purpose and meaning, something which, with the rise of social media and fake news, appears to be diminishing in our current climate.

I will be posting my own Flash Stack entries here but if you wish to read more entries from my talented friends then head to http://www.flashstackfiction.com

Splat, bang, wallop

Gary smirks arrogantly at the salivating punters in the queue as he swaggers away from the ice cream van carrying his 99p flake. It is his first one of the summer – a momentous occasion. Ceremonial you might say. Gary doesn’t abide by the unspoken civic code that says you can only take your t-shirt…

The Traveller Folk

Heads turned when the traveller folk came to town. As the days grew warmer, they made their way north without an ounce of truth in their eyes. They refused to conform to the paradoxes around which town folk lived. Rambling men playing out their lives in realms where those of righteous standing had no place….

London Town

My parents had always instilled in me the values around which they had built their devout Christian lives. But the teachings of acceptance and forgiveness were quickly forgotten when I showed an inkling of difference. As a confused adolescent, it had been hard enough admitting to myself that I wasn’t comfortable in my body but…

The Librarian

I used to love books until the school librarian put me off them. I know, it’s as ludicrous as it sounds. He used to come immaculately dressed in the same grey jumper-shirt combination, caressing the returned titles lovingly into their special place on the shelves before school like the sort of possessive maniac who talks…

Offshore Drift

Most mornings he watches a couple, a fair bit older than he, descend hand in hand the stone steps cut into the cliffside to swim lengths in the clear seawater of the natural swimming pool built into the rocks below. They rarely utter a word to each other, comfortable after years of companionship and at…

Auf Weidersehen, Kurt.

I was in the bath when they came to take Kurt away. It was just before Christmas. A night that will never be forgotten. I’d known they were there all evening, sitting out in the black Trabant like four shadows waiting to kidnap a soul. Guardians of dark secrets. Reapers of fear. After what I…