Tuesday, 18 June 2013

SJIBFS Flash Fiction competition entry

To celebrate this year’s National Flash Fiction Day 2013, a friend of mine, Susi Holliday collaborated with The British Fantasy Society (BFS) to create the very first SJIBFS Flash Fiction competition.

I wrote a piece for it, and was lucky enough to get Longlisted (down to the last 20). 

This was the photo that inspired me. 

Everyone said it couldn’t happen, they said, ‘We’ll be fine’, living in their ignorance as they always did with their blinkers on. Annihilate other species, destroy the environment; ‘It’ll be fine, we’ll find a way, someone will save the day. It’s not that bad, is it?’

And even when the fires started no one thought much of it. ‘We’ve had bush fires before, we can manage them, it won’t be a problem, you’ll see. The weather will change, the drought will break, and it’ll be over soon.’ And even when people started dying and homes were ravaged, and everyone thought it was awful, they still went about their day-to-day business.

But then the fires started to get bigger, started to spread into the nice neighbourhoods, burn down the well-to-do homes and that’s when it started to hit the news. And slowly every day people started tuning in, panic started rising, the rush started.

The weather didn’t break and they spread to the cities, and cropped up in places in the world that hadn’t experienced them before. Things started to get out of hand. People started to get out of hand.

Jonas looked up into the night sky. He could just make it out on the horizon, a faint dusty ball of light. It seemed incredible and ironic to Jonas that at this distance it could still be a threat, but that’s what they said.

He was lucky; he’d been one of the lucky ones to know the right people; to already be involved with the right organisations and have the right credentials to be part of the crew. He looked back at the bubble they were now living in through the visor of his Space helmet, and although it wasn’t much, he couldn’t be more grateful for its existence.

Prior to the fires the public had been so obsessed with celebrity, with social media and talking politics and religion, they hadn’t been aware of what had been going on in Space. Space travel was considered ‘passé’, so ‘last decade’. Life had been all about technology, the miniature electronic kind; Smartphones, Tablets, iPods, MP3 players, all about accessing, creating and sharing content on the Internet, and getting whatever they could for free. They weren’t listening to, or watching what was going on in Space.

And when the fires had started to get out of control the decision had been made to take it out of the public forum, to pull it back from the public eye and move it into the secrecy zone. And thanks to the distractions no one seemed to notice.

Life on Mars wasn’t as lively as the TV show, but it was certainly better than no life at all. Jonas just hoped they were wrong and that the burning ball that was once their home wasn’t going to lose its orbit and swing their way. 


  1. I like it. Bit worried now about all the distractions that I am obviously being party to on Twitter now though. And it does feel a little humid today...

  2. LOL! Indeed, gives you something to think about! ( ; >

  3. Loved reading it again and seeing it here accompanied by a fab photo! Great story, Miranda x

  4. This is cool...or rather not, lol! Nice piece of writing Miranda. I'll keep a look out for their next Flash Fiction contest, I must have been too distracted this time, he he!