As part of Indie Authors Appreciation Week, I’m reposting this story because of its connection to Jerusalem.

They stood, she and he, embracing in the centre of a perfect garden. Flowers all around. Pinks, reds, yellows, purples, whites. Water cascading down the rocks into the pool. Maturing plums and kumquats nested by sun-frolicked green leaves. Sweet, juicy fruit waiting to be gathered and consumed.

Over there, on the same level, stood a large bald prism. One triangular end thrust out through needle-sharp pine leaves. Acute angles pointed and menaced. Inside the prism, as clear as if its walls had been transparent and its position much closer, people wandered in a daze, struggling to grasp the horrifying enormity exhaled by tragic reminders.

“It looks quite near,” she said. “Could we walk there, down into the valley and up the other side?”

“Do you want to?” he replied in question.

“How long would it take?”

“Oh, about seventy years, going backwards.”

She glanced at him with a frowning half-smile. “We’d die before we got there.”

“Just as well,” he said, without smiling.

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Explanation: The beautiful view from our beautiful garden includes the prism-shaped building that is part of Yad Vashem, Jerusalem’s Holocaust museum.

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My spot in Indie Authors Appreciation Week is at 5pm GMT today (Sunday). Do join me there if you can.

Indie Authors Appreciation Week PosterI will also be running a competition, which you can find on the event page during my spot and also on my Facebook author page. The prize is a signed copy of Neither Here Nor There, which I will send anywhere in the world.

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FLASH MOB 2013 is a hybrid blog carnival and competition celebrating International Flash Fiction Day, which is on 22nd June.

The organisers are looking for stories that take risks and experiment.

The competition is free and the details are at FLASH MOB 2013.

My attempt is definitely experimental for me:

The View from Heaven

They stood, she and he, embracing in the centre of a perfect garden. Flowers all around. Pinks, reds, yellows, purples, whites. Water cascading down the rocks into the pool. Maturing plums and kumquats nested by sun-frolicked green leaves. Sweet, juicy fruit waiting to be gathered and consumed.

Over there, on the same level, stood a large bald prism. One triangular end thrust out through needle-sharp pine leaves. Acute angles pointed and menaced. Inside the prism, as clear as if its walls had been transparent and its position much closer, people wandered in a daze, struggling to grasp the horrifying enormity exhaled by tragic reminders.

“It looks quite near,” she said. “Could we walk there, down into the valley and up the other side?”

“Do you want to?” he replied in question.

“How long would it take?”

“Oh, about seventy years, going backwards.”

She glanced at him with a frowning half-smile. “We’d die before we got there.”

“Just as well,” he said, without smiling.

I love it when the two themes of this blog come together, as they do in this flash story by Tania Hershman. Have a read. It’s short and thought-provoking – just as it should be.

And remember I’ll be posting every day in April.

The lovely Nicola Morgan (ignore everything I wrote about her before) has said that I was next on the list to win a prize in her Hotel Chocolat Halloween Competition, and although I don’t know which of the two stories I submittted nearly won, I’m going to put one of them here. The other one suffered, in my opinion, from being cut down to a hundred words. I’m going to restore it to its original state and use it for something else.

Bye for now!

Time for a Backup

I stare at the screen, horrified. Instead of my document, large letters areCOOL CHAT E drifting, mingling. Suddenly they stop. COOL CHAT E, I read. Sobbing from the loudspeaker. Drops of liquid trickling down the screen. Tears? More drifting, stopping at ETCH COLA O. More crying. This must be my computer’s final fling before…. I close my eyes and picture years of unbacked-up work disappearing down the snakelike cables. Opening them, I see, EACH LOCO T. Weeping, howling. Drifting again. CHOCOLATE. From the loudspeaker, whining. I hurriedly stuff a piece of chocolate into the USB. “Mmmmmmmmmrgrmgrmmrmgrmmrmgrrrahhhhhhh.” My document returns.