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  • steven holding


“There’s a tiny gap between the stories we tell ourselves and those we tell others and that’s where you’ll find the truth”

In the Wake of My Father by Ray Cluley.

I tend to have lots of different books on the go as I battle to whittle down the precariously balanced piles of novels, short story collections and magazines that seem to be scattered everywhere around my office, and it was while I was working my way through a back issue of the superlative BLACK STATIC that I stumbled across a fantastic short story called IN THE WAKE OF MY FATHER by the author Ray Cluely. I highly recommend the piece, but what really resonated with me was the line quoted above. I think that ‘tiny gap’ is the place that I am constantly striving to reach with my own writing, yet I doubt that I have ever successfully managed to get there! I was already familiar with Cluley’s work, but now I am devouring his collection PROBABLY MONSTERS which has quite a few of his earlier stories that I had missed, and I have lined up the novellas WATER FOR DROWNING and WITHIN THE WIND, BENEATH THE SNOW to follow. Those teetering towers of books show no sign of diminishing any time soon…

In my last post I presented a flash fiction called UPON A PEDESTAL. I chose that story as it felt vaguely relevant to some of the events unfolding in the news at the time, despite the fact it was written way back in February of 2018. In fact, the tale was part of a mini trilogy made up of that story and two others, LEAVE TAKING and SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF. LEAVE TAKING was published by Friday Flash Fiction (check the credits section of the website for a link) so it felt only fair to present the final flash. I would hate for it to feel left out, so here it is…


The truth is, everyone just seems to walk all over me. I bend over backwards to please them, offering them my support and still they don’t notice me.

Even when I’m getting underneath their feet.

It’s tough at the bottom; all those people up above you, using you, going over your head all the time. Taking you for granted. It’s best not to moan about it and just get on with the job.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a few perks when you’re just another part of the landscape. You get to see and hear everything.

The secret poetry of foolish young lovers, softly whispered upon a frozen night. The last muttered prayer of some desperate lost soul, hoping the rainfall will wash away all their sins.

Oh, they come and go, believe me, but I’ll still be here long after they’ve gone.

Spanning two rivers; water and time.


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