Flash Fiction · How to be British


Saturday, September 9, 2017. Daily Brit Wit.



BRITISH for candy. Also, a sweet dish forming a course at a meal; dessert.

“She’s lounging on her back out in a meadow somewhere beyond her home. The sun has decided to visit and she feels the rays piercing her skin, warming it and no doubt burning it. She stretches lazily with a whinge of protest. Then she tosses around until she’s on her tummy and her cheek is smashed on her forearm. In the new position, the wings that have been developing for a couple months now unfurl.

‘That’s weird,’ she grumbles and shakes the feeling away. Though she’s grinning.

To be honest, she never thought she’s get wings. Plenty of people do nowadays. Estella had thought she’d be apart of the unlucky few because it’s a recessive gene in her family line. Her grandmother was the only one with wings. She’s not quite over the speculation on how she got the gene. She’s ecstatic, though.

Scientists cannot clarify wings in humans like they have for centuries for avians. Every single time it appears the white lab coat wearing people have uncovered a distinct pattern in recessive genes, the same thing multiples in dominate wings families and they start all over again. What little conclusive research has been found and agreed upon is based on the same black and white and grey pigment all new wings have roughly for two to twelve months; colours once fully developed aren’t based on dominate or recessive; and complimentary patterns are liked to your soulmate.

At that thought, Estella fake gags. It drives her insane that scientists- persons dedicated to facts and logic and reality- believe in farces like fairytales! As if soulmates are real. She snorts and her wings flutter in the light breeze, spreading out tentatively in a stretch. It’s kinda amazing how they do their own thing, Estella muses. Sure, she likes to believe in true love but her romanticism isn’t practical: she’s seen what the weakness of love does to a person- with or without wings, now that she’s truly contemplating it.

She pushes upright into a sitting position and stretches to reach for her rucksack. Then she rustles through it and shoving off random pieces of sweets from a bound portfolio folder. She takes it out and digs for pencils. As she closes the bag, she hesitates and then pulls out a wrapped confectionary. Once she’s situated on her belly once more, Estella opens the portfolio to a clean page and starts drawing.

Her grandmother found her so-called soulmate years and years before she married Estella’s grandfather. He’d apparently been the love of her life. Grandmother refused to talk about it, about the man; but if the woman lived well into her nineties without her mate, then there’s no way Estella can believe a mate is necessary. Her grandmother had been spunky and vivacious, if a tad cantankerous, and her wings never lost their vibrancy.

She sketches the meadow and skyline as she thinks.

Then there’s her parents. When Estella had been younger, she fancied her parents soulmates; what child didn’t? Even without wings, her parents struggled in their relationship and time weathered them. One’s disinterested whilst the other is melancholy. She doesn’t understand.

Of course, soulmates can be platonic. Love isn’t always about physical gratification; she supposes that’s another idea that irks her, especially seeing as how the first studied soulmates had been female best friends. Why does everyone feel the need to romanticise love and wings?

Estella’s hand shakes and she leaves a harsh indent on the paper. As she groans, her wings curl back into her shoulder blades. The line has ruined the lavender stalks and wildflowers she was adding to the southend of the drawing.

‘I don’t want no silly love story,’ she mutters darkly at the paper. ‘Let me be independent and free to make my own choices!’

Her wings spasm on her back and Estella chuckles.”


8 thoughts on “Sweets

  1. There’s some really interesting concepts in this one and I like how you’ve woven them together. Something about the language or sentence structure in the part explaining the wings didn’t quite work for me and took me a few tries to read. But that could be a personal quirk on my end as I get totally hung up sometimes on placement of periods, commas, etc. I love how you sucked me thoroughly into the character though! Your writing excites me and I’m off to read more. Bye!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s got strong bones, I think. But we our own worst critics, yes?
    Hung up for me, means pulled out of the narrative, and it happens for me while reading published mega-authors too — like Stephen King and Greg Iles, two of my faves — so, I’m probably a little over neurotic about sentence structure!

    The info about the wings seemed to maybe be in the wrong order. I don’t know, it’s hard to describe. But it was the only part that stuck out to me. Otherwise, I fully enjoyed this story. It left me wanting to know more (as in most your writing) and that’s a good thing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Huh. This is excellent information to know. If I return to this story and flesh it out more, I’ll keep this in mind! Thank you for your honesty.

      I think what truly kept irking me with this one was the pictures in my head: I could envision the scene then couldn’t articulate it correctly. Also, as it was a mini I just let it write itself. Sometimes I return to them before I post them on the blog and look for these kinds of irregularities. I didn’t with this one. Nothing spoke to me. Oh well. And yes, I am my own harshest and worst critic!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been hesitant to offer feedback so far, I was explaining this to Liam (my hammer drill Sensei) while we were working together the other day. I told him I didn’t know how it would be received and that worried me. He told me that as long as my critique was coming from a helpful, positive place, I shouldn’t be too concerned whatever the outcome. I’m trying to be braver in all things. My introvert self trying to put on her big girl pants! Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

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