Flash Clash Challenge: Day #18

Day #18 of my Flash Clash Challenge, and excuse while I blow my nose because I’m actually crying here. Yep that’s right folks, big dozy lump that I am, I’m crying as I type. The reason? That bloody Nik Perring and his incredible ability to pluck so effortlessly, yet so thoroughly at the reader’s heart strings. There’s me thinking he couldn’t possibly top yesterday’s story (In My Head I’m Venus) and he comes right out and blows me away – quite literally – with the hugely emotionally charged offering, Where Did He Go, You Wonder. The story is a rumination on aging – looked at from the perspective of a sixty-eight-year-old – and rather than dwell on what the woman has gained through living with the same partner into old age, the story looks at what age has taken away, both from the person she loves, and from the relationship itself.

As you can tell by my teary reaction Where Did He Go, You Wonder is a one hell of a sad story, and a hugely powerful one too. And as I quickly dry my eyes so that Mrs. Rob doesn’t catch me in a moment of weakness, only one question remains. How the hell can a 28 year old man tune in so profoundly into the relationship of an aged couple? Not only that but from the perspective of a woman too? I have no idea. But my one word review (complete with added exclamation mark you’ll notice), sums it up perfectly.

Are there any other honourable mentions today? Well all of the stories are of a certain calibre but David Gaffney’s uber-short story offering, Until You are Happy certainly hit the mark today too. The story plays on that whole annoying thing about photo booths, and how one can never seem to get a satisfying shot of oneself, and short as it is it brings back many ‘fond’ memories :).

Anyway, here’s how the rest of the reading played out today:

Author Collection Story Title *Comment Rating
Nik Perring Where Did He Go, You Wonder Remarkable! Rating: ★★★★★
Alex Burrett Voice Box Readable Rating: ★★★½☆
Etgar Keret One Last Story and That’s It Pleasurable Rating: ★★★½☆
**David Gaffney Until You are Happy
Rating: ★★★★☆
Rating: ★★★½☆
***Dan Rhodes Milestones
Rating: ★★½☆☆
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Rating: ★★★☆☆

*Keeping in the spirit of flash I’m limiting myself to only giving single-word comments for each story.
**As they are incredibly short in length, David Gaffney’s stories are being ‘ticked off’ two at a time.
*** Dan Rhode’s stories are even shorter than Gaffney’s and to ensure that I finish his collection in time, I have to cover three per day.

Inspired by the publication of Nik Perring’s debut flash fiction collection, the Flash Clash Challenge is a fun contest in which three four other experts in the field are compared alongside Nik. You can find out more about it HERE.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn’t bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).