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Category Archives: Flash Fiction

The Girl Who Had Everything

The Girl Who Had Everything

It was my daughters 21st  birthday last weekend. You may call me a sop for admitting this but I still get teary eyed reflecting about the little sperm and egg that done good all those years ago. From a microscopic speck to a five foot seven inch, blonde haired, hazel eyed force of nature. Part me, part The Mother (read: Ex #2), part who knows what else because she’s certainly got something from somewhere else. I love her dearly; have been so proud of all her achievements from her first words and her first steps, to her first recital and first day at college. Yet there is one thing…

Maybe I should explain. I’m a billionaire see: those fancy phones and tablets you’re always waving about, odds are in the continental US that the rare metals that make them tick came from a mine I own overseas. What this means is that my beautiful daughter never wanted for anything when she was growing up.

She was the girl who had everything.

She had a wardrobe of shoes before she could walk.

For her birthday she didn’t go to Disney, Disney came to her en masse. I tell you there were a few weird encounters in the toilets that day.

When her friends were playing with My Little Pony, her Little Pony, was well.. a Little Pony.

When I say friends, I don’t think I ever learnt the name of one. She seemed to always be surrounded by them and always discarding them. I put it down to little girls petty games. No matter what drama erupted in her cliques, she always had countless more ‘friends’ stepping up.

She didn’t just have a private tutor, she had a private school whose principal was on my speed dial and conveniently enough granted entry to our country club shortly before we enrolled her. We certainly had no problem ensuring the best education, results, for her.

Diamonds.

High Fashion.

Movie Premiers.

A ticket into space (I thought it was one way).

When people her age started sleeping around, naturally she did the naughty with the football captain and then decided she didn’t want to be like the others. So she popped to a clinic and emerged a half hour later with her halo back in place. Blame the mother.

Her voice changed over time too. No not by some kind of surgery. That sweet little voice that used to greet me when I came home asking nicely, hesitantly, for this and that, became somewhat shriller, more expectant as she grew up. She was the girl who had everything, and wanted more. Now, if you please.

Blame me for that one.

Ahead of any girls 21st birthday, the pressure builds on the parent. What do we give, what do we provide that shows our pride, our love. Something special and unique. For the girl who had everything, it was especially hard. I spent months leading up to it worrying. Oh I wasn’t short for ideas. She provided them. Daily.

Then the day arrived.  My little girl had turned twenty one. A fully grown woman ready to take on the world. The twinkle of my eye. Sharper than a draw full of knives, more beautiful than Miss Universe, and more demanding… always more demanding… than anything you can imagine. So what did I give her on her twenty first birthday?

A Porsche?

An aeroplane?

A small Caribbean island?

I gave her an envelope.

She didn’t even bat an eye lid, such was her expectation of extravagance and she tore the letter open without ceremony as friends and family watched. I sipped from my champagne, the drink she was now allowed but had supped since she was thirteen despite my efforts to restrict her. The colour drained first from her face. Her breath caught. Her eyes darted speculatively about, searching for me. Then she threw the letter and envelope down and ran off in a fit of tears.

A piece of tumbleweed drifting across the room would not have been out of place. Such was the silence and awkwardness that filled the room in my daughter’s absence. People looked at me, I sipped my champagne. I had done it, I had pulled it off.

What on earth could you get the girl who had everything?

Nothing.

So I cancelled her trust fund.

I got nothing for the girl who has everything.

It was probably the best piece of parenting I’ve ever done.

Image: Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Flash Fiction

 

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In Defense of Extinction

Imagine taking this for a walk before work...

It has come to my attention that certain groups in society are intent on preventing any of the worlds fauna or flora from passing into their rightful place in history alongside the dinosaurs and the dodo. They even rush to preserve long exhausted ideas and outmoded building styles.

Let us examine this for one moment. Who in their right mind would argue it would be a good thing if T-Rex had survived to the present day? Can you imagine the tailbacks on country roads due to Tyrannosaurs crossing? The insurance costs for keeping one as a pet (and some enterprising American would no doubt swap his Lion for a velociraptor) would be enormous. Let’s not forget the environmental impact of history’s most famous carnivore. That’s a lot of cows they would need feeding and we all know about the impact cows have with the gases they produce. At least I hope we do if we’re going to have an informed debate. When you think about it, if Mr T-Rex and his cousins hadn’t gone extinct, then the human race may not be here today. After all, it took us millions of years to work out how to create fire and use tools, we would have stood no chance in the Jurassic food chain.

What business of ours is it if some Tasmanian devil or great white shark goes extinct? How great is that shark if it cannot ensure its own survival? I know your going to say its our moral responsibility to protect the nature around us.

I say that’s nonsense. Never before, to our knowledge has a species actively tried to engineer the natural world on a biological level. Beavers build dams, but you don’t see cats sponsoring field mouse breeding programs. Or seagulls rationing their fishing to certain waters and manageable quotas. They just get on with their lives and do their best to adapt and those that cannot do that go extinct. That is Darwin’s theory of evolution. Natural competition.

You say cats don’t drill the oil from the land, don’t bury nuclear waste beneath areas of natural beauty or fell an entire rain forest. Just because they haven’t done that yet, does not mean they wouldn’t if they could.

The real reason people are opposed to extinction is quite selfish. We are trying to preserve the world as it is to ensure our own survival. The evolutionary process be damned. Things work as they are so lets keep it as it is.

I ask you… how moral is that? Just as people get to die with dignity, so should species that are not cut out for this ever-changing world. Even humans should have the threat of extinction hovering over us. It is the very threat that has generated millions of years of innovation. What right do we have to interfere with the natural order of things?

Besides…

If you’re so worried about saving things from extinction, you may as well start with, well… extinction.

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2011 in Flash Fiction

 

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One Missed Valentine

One Missed Valentine

Spring would come early this year. There was a brightness, a smell, a feeling in the air. It would be a good spring, it would bring such promise. For now, the flowers shied away, stubbornly maintaining their concealment for a few more weeks yet. The showers from the previous night had given a freshness to the valley and vibrancy to what colour there was. For the young man and woman crossing the old stone bridge it was quite idyllic. He walked with a slightly awkward manner, dragging his left leg in a just-noticeable fashion that suggested some kind of infirmity perhaps from an accident, perhaps from a hazardous country birth. He wore the comfortable felt hat all the labourers on the farms did, accompanied by an old often repaired sack coat that was probably more than second hand. His companion wore a tidy, if plain, day dress and some blue ribbons in her hair. She politely ignored the man’s limp or simply didn’t notice. She fidgeted, a nervous smile never far from her face, as they strolled and chatted.

Below and a little way downstream a semi-naked man pulled an arrow from a quiver. He placed it on his bow and hefted the ancient weapon and pointed it towards the young man in the felt cap. Belying a hidden strength , the chubby pink skinned figure pulled back on the string all the way to his ear, and released to a satisfying twang. The sound had barely faded when the arrow head struck home right in the centre of the man’s chest as he looked over the side of the bridge. Neither one of the couple seemed to notice the arrow; in fact the only recognition that he’d been hit at all was a sudden sharp intake of breath. Rather than appearing wounded, he suddenly looked nervous as hell, as if plucking from some deep store of courage. He turned to the young woman and took her hand in his to her bemusement. He dropped awkwardly to one knee as the woman’s eyes widened.

A second arrow was drawn from the quiver. The man wielding the bow hummed a little tune to himself.  He enjoyed his work, and he thought he did a good job too. He placed the arrow on the bow again and pulled back to his ear as the young farm labourer proposed marriage to the servant girl. That twang again, and the arrow drove its way through the air, parting the currents as it whizzed at its target.

Which it missed by three inches.

The woman had her hand over her mouth in surprise at the proposal. Cupid could not hear her response but could see it. She shook her head, turned and hurried away from the poor young man still knelt on one knee on the stone bridge. Cupid sighed and shrugged to himself. Even the Greek God of Desire wasn’t perfect.  He put his bow over his shoulder and straightened up behind the bush where he had been hiding and unfurled his small but powerful wings. Think of how a bumble bee flies and you get the picture.  His wings then fluttered furiously and hefted his bulk up into the sky and away, as a broken man on the bridge tried to piece together what he did wrong.

Image: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 
3 Comments

Posted by on June 17, 2011 in Flash Fiction

 

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