As I’ve never written flash fiction before, I though it was about time I started. And since today is National Flash Fiction Day, it seemed like a good day to, you know…. start.
So, here it is, my first flash fiction piece.
The Faces of Harry Slade is a flash story based on an idea I had for a short story which has now been expanded into an outline for a full length novel. This flash version is nothing like the full length novel except in the vaguest of ways. But I still think it’s good. It also appears on the Flash Flood site along with all the other most excellent entries for this years National Flash Fiction Day.
The Faces of Harry Slade
It had been a normal sort of Sunday, so far. The sun had been shining for most of the day. Lawns had been mown. Cars had been washed. Children had been yelled at. And Harry Character had lain in his bed.
He’d lain there all morning.
The sun squeezed through the closed, but gappy, slats of the venetian blind that covered the window and poked Harry in his eyes. Poke, poke, poke. Harry did not stir. He kept his eyes shut tight. Even when the heat formed a bead of sweat on Harry’s forehead, he did not flinch or wriggle or move.
The blob of sweat wobbled slightly, edging closer to the edge of Harry’s eye socket as if preparing itself. Having built up a feeling of bravery, the bead of sweat plunged off the crevice and rolled into Harry’s eye. A lesser man would have screwed up his face. Harry did not stir.
With barely a flicker, morning became afternoon and still Harry lay there.
Outside, the smell of Sunday roast being prepared filled the air. Chicken, lamb, beef, various gravies and vegetables all created the familiar scent of Sunday in a British street. Inside, the only smell was that of Harry. And his sweat. And whatever else it was that had stained the bed. It was yellowish and surrounded Harry giving him the kind of aura that even a new-age type would have a hard time enjoying.
From the dark corner of the room, where a small patch of mould had begun to grow, Harry stood and watched himself slowly dying. The stench was something he’d not expected and he couldn’t work out if it was because of the chemicals dissolving the dying doppelgänger from the inside or if it had always been there.
He sniffed at his own armpit. It seemed OK, sort of. But it was hard to tell over the stench of what was now a corpse on the bed.
A voice from behind the bedroom door caused Harry to flinch, “Christ, what a stink,” it said, “You ready? The others are waiting.”
“I’m not happy about this” said Harry pushing the door open.
Harry behind the door gave him a queer look, “You’d better come downstairs.”
Harry followed himself down the stairs leaving the stink of death behind. In the dining room four other Harrys sat in various chairs listening intently to another who was pointing at a diagram on a whiteboard. They acknowledged Harry as he entered the room which made him a little uncomfortable.
On the table was the top half of another Harry attached by wires to a machine full of dials and flashing lights which was slowly generating the rest of his body.
“Nearly done?” asked Harry looking at the half man who suddenly opened his eyes.
“Nearly done,” said the nearly Harry, “Just be sure the original Harry is safe. If he dies this whole plan is for nothing.”
“Ahhhh, bollocks!” said Harry