Timeline: FlashBack’s Third Season

Flammarion Engraving

The third season of FlashBack Fiction has just come to an end.  Little did we know what a treat we were in for when we posted our first call for submissions on the 3rd of January.  Since then, we have been inundated with the most stunning, skilful, creative, thought-provoking work, and we’ve been honoured to publish just a small fraction of it.

We’ll be back in January with the next season of stories and the opening of our next submission window.  We’re not just taking an extended holiday, however; we’ve got some exciting behind-the-scenes projects on the go, and will continue to process submissions over the coming weeks.

However, if you’re in need of a FlashBack fix before the new year, links to all this season’s stories appear below, and you can rummage through everything we’ve published so far on our master timeline.

Happy Reading and Happy Writing from all of us at FlashBack Fiction.

Season III

  • Late middle ages (or not!): The Convert by Clio Velentza

See the swamp under the bridge, how it holds its breath. Its rough skin is an outright lie.

Mama always knew there was something about that lightning, even before that old rascal Franklin tied a key to a kite.

The lady of the house pays me not to move. It isn’t enough for her to have garden statues made of stone. To have a genteel party, there must be living statues.

At the dank, doomed mine they pay money to see where I took my last steps two hundred years ago, to hear the tale for entertainment.

They took his shoes, they slipped them from his feet and placed them in the wall, beside the lintel of the door.

Your mother spreads out pitchblende from Czechoslovakia. Your job is to pick out the pine needles from the crevices of the lumpy grey-black ore, a radioactive Cinderella.

  • World War I Microfiction: 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.

  • World War I Microfiction: Ogdens by Gaynor Jones

She scoops a clump of dirt-brown tobacco from the barrel and tries not to think of gunpowder.

He’d found the stick grenade half-buried in mud in a bend of the Somme, in the days after Amiens…

  • World War I Microfiction: Casus Belli by Melanie Haws

John Haas went to war, aged twenty-three, a plumber’s helper, with a few dollars saved, and a picture of his Dresden-doll sweetheart he carried in his left breast-pocket…

After he died they put a stranger in his stitched-up shell, sewing his name into the fellow’s mud-mushed brain to keep it from slipping.

  • 1917: Gutted by Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon

She collapsed into my arms, where she belonged. We knew each other inside out, solid together since her husband enlisted.

She was statuesque with a face that could make a soulless man swoon. Or a soulless woman. Skin as flawless as fresh paint.

He says they have enough. Their eyes meet. The word “enough” sounds foreign to her, as though it has lost all meaning.

Anna crouches, wonders if the pilots can see her: if she stares right at them will her image haunt them long after this day, this raid? Will they remember the defiant German woman? Will they tell their grandchildren she had it coming?

Promiscuous, they called Dorrinda. Callie wasn’t sure what that meant. She reckoned it must mean forced down on the dirt and pushed into the way fourteen-year-old Dorrinda had been by that man.

The foetus curled, I swear, somersaulting and dreaming in my watery home. I thought, it will stop soon, lay down bone and blue, grow into the caul.

Image: The Flammarion engraving first appeared in Camille Flammarion‘s L’atmosphère: météorologie populaire (1888).