• FEATURED FICTION •
Written in a flash …
or maybe not.
Some short fictions trip from the mind straight into their scenarios, but most take a little teasing to produce their full worth.
The shortest often need the most weeding out of unnecessary verbiage. And a longer time to finalise. While the longer ones, might need a subtler approach to how the words are interlaced.
The short stories expand thought and experience to more adventurous levels and the odd poem or rhyme add another dimension to creative concepts.
Here, you will find a mixture of old and new. Some works have been published on websites elsewhere or in one of my books. Others will appear here first and so be exclusive to this website's visitors, for a while.
FEATURED FLASH FICTION
Meeting the reality of a phrase.
Elephant in the room
How did the meeting go?
Fine. All sorted. Apart from the elephant in the room.
So, you didn’t get around to racism, then?
No, it wasn’t that. We covered that and agreed new guidelines and complaints procedures.
Oh, it was the general matter of colour, then? And religion?
Not at all. We were all in agreement over that. Everyone should get an equal chance, regardless, but merit must come first and we must be more transparent on how we come to our decisions.
Well, that leaves sexism?
Come on. You know the committee members are split fifty-fifty, male and female, if you balance the gays and the transgenders. And don’t forget that the chairperson, with the casting vote, is bigender. They stand no nonsense.
OK. OK. Let me guess. Pay inequality.
That hasn’t been a problem for years. And before you suggest it, it wasn’t the loos. We agreed that matter last week. One male only, one female only and two communal non-gender, on each floor, so everyone has a comfortable choice for a few moments personal need.
But what else is there?
The elephant. As I said before. A great big, lumbering beast that wanders around, taps you on the shoulder with her trunk, even lifted off Charlie Slade’s hair piece from his head once. We still can’t decide what to do with her. Or how to get her out, for a start.
What? A real elephant? Impossible!
So you would think, but the old girl has been there a long time. We’ve just got used to her. Trouble is she really needs a bit more roaming space. Even though she seems quite happy, because she’s known little else. And she’s blocking out plans to refurbish the board room.
I don’t think I really believe you. But how did she get in there?
‘Ah! That was before my time, but the story goes something like this. You know the old building was once an elite boys’ school. Well, the boardroom was originally its refectory. One day, years ago, when a travelling circus was on the common, a young elephant escaped and was chased down the street outside. She found her way into the courtyard and squeezed through the double doors of the refectory, trundled up to the servery and helped herself to a few iced buns. After the initial shock, the students decided to save her from recapture and barred the way for her owner to enter. They were especially chuffed that they had, at last, got a female amongst their midst. There had been a long running argument amongst the governors about that.
To cut things short, the school’s gardener smuggled in hay, straw and a few recently pruned branches and the kitchen supplied some past-their-best vegetables. There’s a more reliable source from a zoological supplier, now, of course. The students kept their barricade going for two weeks, by which time the circus had moved on. Then, finally giving in to the Principal’s pleas, they relented. Trouble was that their new guest was now too fat to fit back through the double doors and, like now, the powers that be couldn’t agree what to do. So, here she stayed. And the longer she stayed the bigger the problem. The solution was to move the school to a new location and sell us the old buildings, one elephant included.
And that’s where we are now, after twenty years of internal wrangling that goes nowhere. And neither does Stella. That’s her name. She was destined to be a stellar attraction at the circus, but chose freedom, only to be trapped in one large room with a host of caring, but clueless people. She enjoys the meetings, though, and has been trained to pass around the coffee mugs. Someone did try her with cups and saucers, but that never quite worked.
But what about the mess?
We’ve got a couple of retired zookeepers who deal with that. They sell the manure to the garden centre and walk her around the board room table twenty times, each day, for exercise. So, unless you’ve got any suggestions on how to extract an elephant from a small enclosure, I’d better get back to my office, to type up the minutes of what we did manage to discuss.
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