National Flash Fiction Day

June 16, 2018

This isn’t actually a blog, which, considering how long it has been since any member of WordWatchers wrote a blog, that’s rather embarrassing, however, that’s a discussion for another day.

Today, June 16th, is National Flash Fiction Day – or it is, here in the UK – and looking a the links to the flood of tweets with that or the #NFFD hastag on Twitter has been a delight to follow.

So, this all ties in rather nicely with the fact that I recently submitted 3 drabbles to a new Science Fiction magazine, The Martian Magazine and the editor, Eric Fomley, chose one of them to be included in the forthcoming run of the magazine. He’s actually paying for the stories too – 10¢ a word, so my 100 word drabble is worth $10. It’s been a while since I was actually paid for my writing and I forgot what a lovely feeling you get from the phrase ‘I’ll send a contract over’ appearing in an email. Also, because Eric is actually paying for work, he’s trying to raise funds with an Indiegogo campaign, so he can publishing more stories, more often and pay more writers for their efforts.

So, I have two ‘spare’ drabbles and I have decided that today, of all days, would be a perfectly reasonable day to share them.




I hope.

It’s a Dangerous Place


Somewhere en route between the Earth and Moon a transport shuttle transmits the briefest of Mayday calls. Two rescue ships power away from the nearest orbital station and head for its last known position.

Against the pinpricked blackness of space, a bloom of orange appears. It expands like the time-lapsed swelling of a mushroom cap. Moments later ribbons of swirling fire erupt from the perfect sphere. They are as beautiful as they are deadly.

The fires flare and fade to nothing. Sensors indicate that there is nothing left to be rescued.

The ships return to dock, crews offering silent prayers.

Life on Mars


The shutter winds noisily upwards, filling the small, metallic room with a pale, red light. I glance at the clock beside the bed noting both Earth and Martian time. The sun is already quite high in the sky, but it’s still early morning for the base as we slowly become accustomed to the length of a day here.

It used to be strange, thinking that I would die on Mars, but I look to my side, where Rachel still sleeps, and I realise I will live here, and eventually, like all humans, no matter where they are, I will die.


As ever, thank you for your time,

John Hoggard

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