Friday, 25 January 2013

Friday Flash Fiction - week 33

 Dreams of a Faraway Place

“I had a dream last night about my father. I dreamt we were walking around the old estate, talking. He was telling me about the plants and the birds. Something he used to do all the time when I was younger. Every morning he and I used to walk around for about an hour. It was my favourite time of the day. He always carried a notebook with him and used to write down problems that needed addressing or notes about animals or plants that we hadn’t seen before.  

“We had a large house then with several acres of land around it. We had a maid, a cook and a gardener. The cook and the gardener were married and had three children. Two of them were older than me, but Ah San was only six months younger than me and he was my best friend. Every morning Mother would make me sit in the front room, or if it was really hot out on the porch, and we would read or do arithmetic. I was always really jealous of Ah San who could run around and play as his two older brothers helped his parents with their work. In the afternoons he showed me what he had been doing and then we would play together until sundown. 

“One day, on one of our morning walks, my father told me that I was going to England to go to school. I didn’t understand at first. I thought I would be coming back. As it turned out, I never saw my childhood home again. Or Ah San. Or my father.”

“And how does that make you feel?”

“Angry. I hated boarding school. I hated England. It was cold and drab. So very drab. I wondered where all the colours had gone. Everything was either navy, grey or black. Where were the reds, oranges, yellows and greens? I missed my old life, my real life.”

“What happened to your father?” 

“He caught a tropical disease and died. Apparently from one of the local girls he’d been seeing. My mother told me this with a hint of delight in her voice. I hated her too; for her honesty, for surviving, for not being able to keep him from straying.”

“Have you been able to tell her this?”

“Yes, I told her alright. We haven’t spoken, well not properly, in years.” 

“And have you ever been back?”   

“No. Only in my dreams.” 

Laura Besley

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Flash Fiction diary

Some mornings I go for a walk in my neighbourhood. I enjoy being out at that time of day. There are always plenty of people about and one day I saw a young boy, dressed in a school uniform walking with his father. They both looked very solemn. That was the inspiration for this story, although many of the details have been altered. 

Has anyone ever had a good or bad experience with a fortune teller or tarot card reader? Personally I've only had good experiences, but this week's Flash Fortnightly was based on a story that a friend told me. Click here to see how it all ends for Carly and Hilary in Tarot Reading.

It's always wonderful when someone reads your work. Something that's also wondeful is when someone says that they've been inspired by your work. That happened to me this week when my former colleague and friend, Beth Mckinnon-Szabo, said she'd written a piece of flash fiction for her blog. Check it out on her blog: The Gallimaufry Approach to Life.

A couple of weeks ago I set up a facebook author page and I've already had loads of 'likes'. If you haven't yet, I'd be very grateful if you could 'like' the page! Click here for Laura Besley Writer

I've also stepped, rather gingerly, into the 21st century and have set up a twitter account! If you'd like to follow me, I can be found bumbling my way through this technology @laurabesley 
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Flash Fiction is short enough to read whilst you're waiting for the kettle to boil. It's fairly quick to write too, but with it being so short, every word has to count. 

On 4th May 2012 I decided to embark on a project: to write a piece of Flash Fiction every day. I'm hoping this will keep the creative juices flowing and ultimately help me hone my craft. Every Friday I'll be posting 'the best of the week' onto my blog for you to read. If you have anything to say (good or 'constructive'!), I'm open to comments.  

Thanks, as always, for reading.


  1. The "How does that make you feel?" made very good use of the psychiatrist trope to give a sense of setting and context after the monologue. Good work!

  2. It was as if talking about it all helped her come to terms with it. The descriptive writing was very vivid one could picture what she spoke of. The longing to return mixed with a deep anger for how things turned out, was very real in this piece. Well done.

    1. Interesting reading your comments, Helen. In my mind the narrator is a man, but there's actually nothing that states that, so the reader can obviously decide for his- or herself. Thanks, as always, for reading.

  3. There's a lovely sense of hurt and anguish mixed with flippancy in the narrator's tone, affecting a response of untold pain and delightful self-satisfaction.
    Adam B @revhappiness

    1. Thanks for your comments, Adam. I think you've summed it up better than I could! :)

  4. I also thought the narrator was a male. But it is true, there is no indication of this, really. Very good, very poignant.

  5. I love how it began with a dream and ended with one. Very emotional and surreal.

    1. I hadn't thought about that, but that's a good point - thanks!

  6. Dreams that return him to his childhood, and a reality that lives with the consequences of it.

    A nicely written piece that leaves me feeling rather sorry for the MC, and for the way they turned out.

    1. Thanks, Steve, for your thoughtful comment.


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