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New Flash Fiction: Glint
I flatter myself you'll all want to read this very short fiction piece I wrote.
You may remember in last week's newsletter, What Derbhile Wrote Next, I mentioned a piece of flash fiction I'd written called Glint, which I was sending in to journals.
I've now been turned down by all three of the journals I sent Glint to. I know I could persevere with sending it to journals and polish it to a brilliant sheen. But I'm pure mad for an audience, so I thought I'd post it here instead.
I also mentioned in What Derbhile Wrote Next that publication isn't the only way to distribute your writing. Plenty of writers are doing so through their Substack newsletters, so I'm following their leads.
This newsletter has around 550 subscribers and 2-300 of these subscribers read the newsletter regularly. Many thanks for that, by the way. I reckon that's about the size of audience I might reach if I had been published in one of those journals.
And I am pure mad for an audience, so why not post the piece here.
Anyway, enough waffle. Here's the piece for you. Glint is a piece of flash fiction, or very short fiction. It's an offcut from a novel I wrote a number of years ago, The Pink Cage.
Flash Fiction: Glint
Astrid's glasses pinch the bridge of her nose. They're new glasses, tinted, to banish the glare. Clouds blanket the sky. Sheep clouds, the same colour as her hair. Glints of sun break through the cloud, through her glasses, strafe her eyes.
At the bus stop, Astrid adjusts her glasses. Two women sit on the bench, shopping bags at their feet. On days like this people are shadows, but Astrid can make out grey hair. Older women. They're the worst. She sighs, leans against the outside wall of the shelter, closes her eyes.
She hears a whirring sound. Shadows appear on her eyelids, figures circling. When she opens her eyes, she is surrounded by a group of boys. Early teens, all pushing scooters, the source of the whirring noise. Their stares are open.
'Are you a vampire,' they ask.
'Are you a poltergeist?'
'Wooh, wooh,' they cry, in chorus. They all laugh.
Astrid doesn't respond. She knows they will soon lose interest.
Photo Description: This is a pic of a girl with white hair, the shade of hair that Astrid in the story has.
A bus comes. Not her bus. The teenagers pile onto it. They leave a vacuum, which fills with the hum of grey voices, leaking through the shelter wall.
'Wicked, isn't it, the way they made fun of her like that.'
'No manners the young ones have these days.'
'Hasn't she lovely fair hair?'
'She's white as a ghost though.'
Astrid feels their eyes pierce her, harder than the sun.
'Ah, she's not a ghost. D'you know them albino wans?'
' Oh, I'm heard of them, yeah. You'd see them in the films. Or no – what's them wans in Japan with all the white muck on their faces.'
Astrid turns so that she is side on to the shelter, facing the women.
'You mean gay-shas,' she says.
The women jump, swivel their heads.
'If you're going to insult me, at least pronounce it correctly.'
'Ah, don't be like that, love,' says the voice nearest to Astrid. 'We were only admiring your lovely hair. '
'You don't be thanked for kindness these days, do you,' says the other voice.
'Indeed you don't.'
Another bus hisses to a stop. The women shuffle towards it. It's her bus. She lets it go.