Flash Fiction · How to be British


Tuesday, September 12, 2017. Daily Brit Wit.



A hallway; a passage along the side of some railway carriages, which doors lead into compartments.

“He shuffles down the corridor with a nervous tic in his thigh. His breathing is shallow and fast. He’s breaking out in sweat. If he’s honest with himself, he’s skirting the precipice with an off-centred equilibrium. He’s going to fall, that’s a matter of fact; just doesn’t know when it is going to happen.

The thigh wound pulses with blood and injury so he bends down to apply pressure again. His hand encounter a sticky, thick substance: blood.

‘Well, that answers that question,’ he says under her breath.

He wishes for the hundredth time in the last hour he had been wise enough to bring his medkit. He’s an idiot. Seriously, the one time he doesn’t bring it and it’s perhaps one of the most vital circumstances. He’s separated from the group and injured probably more seriously than he’s currently acknowledging. He tears off another piece from his shirt and hastily ties a tourniquet. Then he’s on his way once more.

During his stumbling, somewhere between the second bedroom and fifty feet from the supposed end of the hallway, a wisp of a low-pitched voice enters his hearing. A pause. He shakes his head in hopes it’ll dislodge. Instead, the whispering fragment dances through his eardrum up membranes until it is lodged in his brain.

‘I’ll be here from spring till autumn, driving you crazy and on your sweet way home.’

The syrupy song paralyses him and his heartbeat escalates, thrumming and stuttering higher, as his frantic eyes roams for noises and exits.

‘Too late to run, dear friend, for the time has come for monsters to play.’

He’d have snorted in derision in any other situation. He must be experiencing blood loss and he’s losing consciousness. Momentarily, he’s perplexed because he didn’t think he has lost more than an eighth pint of blood.

He struggles to move, supported by the wall, determined to find his friends and leave. Get help, too, he realises. However, as he closes the distance toward the end of the corridor, he trips and grips helplessly at the wall. Yet the wall’s slick and he can’t get a decent hold so he’s sliding sliding sliding down.

‘Welcome home, dearest friend.’ And then he sparks out.”


5 thoughts on “Corridor

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