Plum Jam

2018 FlashBack Fiction Microfiction Competition
First Place

Plum Jam
by Frances Gapper

From our ladders we can see the plum-blue Malverns. The army’s bought up this harvest, still on the trees. We pickers are a crew: boy scouts, gypsies, PoWs, refugees, us girls in our mackintosh skirts and hurden aprons. Blue for canning and bottling, yellow to Ticklers jam factory in Grimsby. Tommies eat plum, our Joe says. ‘What d’you want with eggs and ham when you’ve got plum and apple jam?’ Sergeants get the raspberry, higher up the strawberry and blackcurrant. We’re feeding our boys, helping the war effort. Lots goes to waste, though – fallen, smashed, rotting where it lies.

In the Wild Wood, Frances Gapper’s third story collection, was published in 2017 by Cultured Llama. It followed The Tiny Key and Absent Kisses. Her mini collection Married to a Carrot was a finalist for the 2017 Calvino Prize. Other flashes have appeared in e.g. The Cafe Irreal, Spelk, Meniscus, Ellipsis, Wigleaf and Litro.

Audio recording read by Deryn Guest.