Puffed up with pride following my modest success in the Pennine Ink competition, I decided to revisit my early experiments in flash fiction and discovered that the old adage, Pride comes before a fall, is an accurate observation.
The admonition that dogged me through my hapless schooldays, MUST TRY HARDER, came to mind again when I read some of these short, short stories.
There are, however, one or two that retain a certain quirky charm.
Here’s one that made me smile.
When he was born, Maurice’s worst fears were realised. Reincarnation wasn’t a myth after all. Maurice had been reincarnated. As a dog.
It wasn’t bad at first. Being a puppy was a heady tumble of warmth, fun and sweet milk. But all that was rudely whipped away. An elderly woman bought him and started imposing RULES.
Maurice had to pee on newspaper. He liked that. It was the Guardian not the Telegraph, which had been Maurice’s newspaper of choice in his former life. When he forgot and peed on rugs and carpets, the old woman shrieked like a banshee and chased Maurice, now renamed Bo-Bo, round the kitchen.
Servility was not to Bo-Bo’s liking. When he’d been Maurice, people had cowered at his feet. An alpha-male, he’d been a swaggering bully, intoxicated by power. He’d made enemies: men he’d destroyed; women he’d crushed. From youth until horny old age, Maurice had taken what he wanted and damn the consequences. He’d always had his way with women, whether they'd liked it or not.
He remembered young Jill Fowler, only sixteen yet annoyingly resistant. He’d had to force her but he was sure she’d liked it in the end. Better had, thought Maurice, she was, after all, the very last one. The next morning he’d strolled onto the golf course and Bang! Massive bloody coronary. End of story.
Except it wasn’t. Here he was again: reborn as Bo-Bo and something odd was happening.
His owner was handing him to a stranger in a white coat.
Don’t worry, Miss Fowler, the strange man said. Castration’s quite straightforward.
Bo-Bo will be right as rain in a couple of hours.