Delia’s Daughter

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As a life-long fan of the pint-sized pop princess, Delia was determined her first-born daughter would be named in her honour. Little Kylie Jones was duly monikered.

Two days in to motherhood (and having bored their family and friends senseless with endless entreaties to marvel at their daughter’s tiny eyes/nose/ears/fingers/hiccups) a letter arrived. It had an ominous air of officialdom to it.

“The name Kylie is trademarked!” Davy Jones exclaimed in horror. “We can’t use it.”

Delia Smith smarted: “Surely not? Surely you can’t do that, can you…?”

 

©Emma Baird 2016

 

OK, I couldn’t resist this story after reading about Kylie Minogue’s bid to stop Kylie Jenner trademarking the name Kylie. Go read the story – the legal wording of the opposition is hilarious…

Job Satisfaction

breadThe baker did her best. She sourced artisan flours from organic wheat. She hand-kneaded dough and left it to prove for a long time – often overnight.

She nurtured a sour dough starter, lovingly tending it and feeding it ever day so that she could produce the most delicious bread, rich and chewy its flavour fizzing on the tongue.

Naturally such bread did not come cheap. Her loaves were four times as expensive as supermarket squishy sponge as she referred to it.

Did you go into the business to make money, her friends asked?

No, only to make dough she was able to reply.

 

©Emma Baird 2016

Magic

She countered the insomnia by making up stories in her head. Thinking about her working day or her life led her down too many rabbit holes and the minutes ticked by as her thoughts kept her wide awake.

The stories on the other hand… she gave herself magical powers in all of them. Abilities to fly, to be invisible, to conjure up objects out of thin air. All in direct contrast to her humdrum existence. Sometimes, she just pretended she was rich and successful, and imagined how her life might be.

She preferred the version with magic powers, in truth.

 

©Emma Baird 2016

Killing Them With Kindness

TrollsThere’s an individual who has gained a certain amount of notoriety of late – I won’t mention his name or his website as that merely adds fuel to the publicity fire he seeks, but let’s just call him Randy.

In truth, I thought I shouldn’t write about him at all. There are a few people who choose to live their lives (and make money) through provocative behaviour. Commenting on them justifies their actions.

But I justified writing this blog to myself by reasoning that as I write an obscure blog, read and seen by very few (and by the way, I do treasure those of you who do read and follow my work) I am not adding fuel to Randy’s publicity fire and I haven’t mentioned him by name.

(According to one news source I read, his website experienced 82,000 unique visits this week. Hmm.)

Negativity, trolling and deliberately provocative remarks and behaviour online are often thought of as something that is too easy. Being face to face with someone requires rather more courage to say to them, “you are S*** and so is everything you write and everything you say”. (And that is probably one of the milder comments you can get on YouTube or Twitter.)

But actually, what is really easy is being nice. It leaves you with this warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Don’t believe me? Spend the next hour or so going through other people’s blogs. Comment on them all – hey, nice pics, or wow, thought-provoking article, I like what you have described or isn’t your cat so cute?

Feel better now? Feel like a nice human being? Mmm, me too.

You can, if you want, seek out Randy and bombard him with nice comments. I don’t mean faux nice comments (Hi Randy, I can tell you’re unhappy. Never managed to get a girlfriend hmm?) but proper ones: Hi Randy, have a lovely day! Or Hi Randy, hope you are taking very good care of yourself – which neatly steer away from any endorsement of his actual views.

And in the meantime, here’s a little bit of cheeky Friday flash fiction.

Notice Me

With a snigger that smacked of Beavis and Butthead, Randy clicked ‘Send’ and sat back, launching his latest hate-filled 140-character rocket into the ether.

Sure enough, within seconds the rocket exploded and his phone pinged once, twice… and more. The responses were coming in thick and fast.

“Randy, you in there?”

“Mooooommmm,” he whined as his mother came in, bearing sandwiches.

“Whaddya doin’ son?” She was an understanding kind of mom.

“Tryin’ to get this woman’s attention, Ma. She’s an amazin’ feminist and I dunno what else to do to get her to notice me. Wish I could date her!”

 

©Emma Baird 2016

Miami Vice circa 1985

Some flash fiction – January-themed:

Jamie’s 2016 New Year resolution was to model himself on a 1980s lounge lizard whenever at parties.

Thus, he dressed in chinos, a polo shirt with a pastel-coloured jumper tied loosely round his shoulders and deck shoes – no socks. He also magically materialised beside any woman in need of a drink top-up or a light, proffering either a bottle of wine or a lighter.

Unfortunately for Jamie, he hadn’t taken into account Dry January. Most women didn’t require a drink top-up because they were abstaining (ditto the ciggies).

Jamie’s appeal depended almost entirely on the blunting haze of alcohol.

 

If you can do better (you can, you know) why not submit a story to the FridayFlashFiction website?

Flash Fiction Christmas Competition

writing comp 2The good folks at the Friday Flash Fiction website are running a Christmas competition. Unlike many other so-called writing competitions, this one won’t cost you a single penny to enter (that’s right, nada) and you are free to publish elsewhere too.

To enter, you need to come up with a story of 100 words or fewer, not including the title. You can enter as often as you like. The suggested theme is “World In Union”, but you’re free to write on other topics, too. Entries should be in the English language and the closing date is 23.59 GMT on Sunday 20 December 2015. The winner will receive a $50 USD prize, which is sponsored by Comely Bank Publishing
How to enter
  1. Email your story tocompetitions@fridayflashfiction.com OR
  2. Use the online entry form on the Friday Flash Fiction website.

For the Sake of Auld Lang Syne

auld lang syneWorld leaders don’t ask me to write their speeches, but they should… Here’s what might happen if they did.

For the Sake of Auld Lang Syne

At this time of year, it’s common to reflect on the last 12 months – what went well and what could have been done better.

Who am I to flout tradition? I too shall reflect. The successes:

  1. The British public defied the polls and voted overwhelmingly in my favour. So, no more pandering (or just pretending to listen) to whingeing liberals. Bring on the public sector and welfare cuts!

2. Our economic strategies continue to triumph. Where there is doubt about Conservatives, we point this out.

3. And finally, I got my way when it comes to military tactics. Bring on the bombs!

Auld Lang Syne, Part 2

I’ve realised that I did not mention my… less than successes. This government has a fine tradition of openness so it behoves me to do so.

The wretched lords rejected our tax credits cut proposals. Honestly, talk about biting the hand that feeds! At least the multi-millionaire Lord Lloyd-Webber saw sense and flew back to vote in favour.

Then there was immigration – the fear of which we used to incite votes for us. Turns out, there are more people coming to this country than ever before. We WILL reduce this!

And… Oi, you at the back, shut up!

Oink!

 

It was really tough limiting these two stories to a mere 100 words each.