Timeline: FlashBack’s First Season

Printing Press

Timeline: FlashBack’s First Season

We launched FlashBack Fiction on the 29th of January 2018. Since then, we’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the number and quality of submissions we’ve had the honour to read, as well as the support and enthusiasm we’ve received from writers and readers around the world.

To celebrate our first quarter, we thought we’d share a couple little treats with you.

First, we’d like to formally announce the release of two new recordings from our back catalogue. You can now hear Christina Dalcher reading Tilda Always Did Love Her Flowers and Lee Hamblin reading Red Eye.

Second, in case you’ve missed a piece or two, here’s a timeline with all the pieces we’ve published this quarter, listed in chronological order.

Remembering the stories he’d heard about her: the face, the ships, all that. That first time he saw her, his idiot brother smirking by her side: That’s her? All this, for her?

My parents consign my eldest sister, Paola, to Venice’s Santo Spirito convent. There is no dowry for Paola and so her duty is our salvation.

“I’ll come home,” he said, taking on the face of a soldier. Serious. Focused. “We’re fighting for independence. Liberty.”
He liked to repeat things I already knew.

I thought about what had made the orange bleed. Was it hurt when it was picked, when it was cut? It wasn’t special, it was tainted and I didn’t want it.

Perhaps there are actors, however lowly, however unrecognised in the world, who are born to act, to take on other names and others’ words. If they cannot — well, possibly they end up here, in a grubby boarding house in miserable London.

  • 1800s: Tyn by K.B. Carle

Tyn, a man the color of the coals that collected under his mama’s good cooking pot before turning to ash when the fire got to them, digs his hands deep into the earth, letting every bit of pain loose through the tips of his fingers.

A miracle became—
“Necessary,” said the midwife.
“Imperative,” insisted the father.
“A thing best left to God,” thought the mother, meaning the miracle, not the baby, but possibly meaning both.

I’d have his bath waiting for him, the water warmed by the same coals he blasted and carved from the earth, the same coals they paid him with. A bonus, they called those coals. A pitman’s hearth should never go cold.

Somewhere outside Jacksonville, Illinois, the train slows to a crawl. Clara cups her hands and peers into the darkness but sees only the rail bed stones and the ragged edge of a sorghum field.

With this same rifle he learned to shoot at Cemetery Ridge, taking Confederate soldiers from a distance of two hundred yards. In those three days of slaughter he knows exactly how many men he killed. At night, each pallid face comes to visit.

The heat made her an inch shorter as she watched the dust devil tread toward her down the only road in this not-even-a town. Her hands rested at her hips. No—her palms hovered, brushing the grips of her pistols.

Mother’s pinkie draws away from the teacup, reaching towards our glorious past. The footmen have been drafted, the maids soldier on in factories, but the afternoon tea is holy in our house.

I last saw my big brother Charlie laugh in 1937, the day after George VI’s coronation. He nearly wet himself when I asked him about a word in the National Anthem. Why were we supposed to send the King Victorias? They weren’t in season.

First time in New York; first time in Brooklyn. Johnny P has a bit of blow and some weed he needs to dispose of on account he doesn’t indulge during the week. Would be rude not to help him out.

They say Noah died, 350 years on from the Great Flood, as a naked, purple-lipped drunk. But some know better.

We have many new stories lined up for summer, and we’re always looking for more.  We’d love to fill some of the gaps in our timeline, and expand the dates that are already represented with stories from different places, different people and different perspectives.  Given the volume of submissions, we are likely to close submissions for a few months this summer, so if you’d like to be considered for publication in 2018, we recommend getting your submissions in soon.  We will give advanced notice of closing dates on social media and our submissions page.

Finally, huge thanks to all our writers and readers for making this project what it is.

Image: A flatbed printing press with two feeders designed by Hippolyte Marinoni. This fast machine was particularly suitable for printing newspapers and was in use between 1847 and 1878.  From Nouveau dictionnaire encyclopédique universel illustré, under the direction of Jules Trousset, published 1885 by La Librairie Illustrée, Paris, courtesy of Old Book Illustrations.