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LWC Flash Fiction 2010 Winning Story

The Winning Short Story in the LWC Flash Fiction Slam 2010 written by Barry Finegan

Two of the five

It all started with the flambéed Christmas pudding. Appearing innocent enough, it did possess two of the five ingredients most common to domestic disaster, fire and alcohol. Things could have turned out quite different.

It was one of those typical white hot, furnace bright, clear sky, sluggish wind, African Christmas days. On such days every manner of creature finds the deepest shade it can and rests; all but homo sapiens. For us it was a day for friends and family; lots of friends, necessary family. A day for trestle tables on the back lawn struggling under the weight of turkeys, hams, steamed vegetables, Christmas puddings, buckets of ice bearing bottles of stein, and sweating cans of lager; many cans of lager. It was a day for streamers, and crackers, and silly little whistles, and short jokes printed in microscopic font onto tiny bits of paper, and crêpe hats that bleed blue, red, yellow and green onto dripping foreheads. Uncle Albert had his own hat; a bright red and crisp white Santa hat, 100% acrylic, made in China.

If Uncle Albert had not got distracted when Ted’s new girlfriend slopped half a glass of wine into her cleavage he would have noticed the pudding being prepared and lit. If it wasn’t so bright he maybe would have seen the almost invisible flames as he reached across the table for the last morsel of stuffing. If he wasn’t eight lagers into Christmas day he would have remembered the warning on the hat to keep away from flame. Had the unfortunate event not occurred I wouldn’t know now just how many people visit the casualty department on Christmas day, nor would I know what to get him for Christmas this year, but I do; a wig.

Barry Finegan was born of Irish descent and raised in Africa, he moved to Ireland late 2008. He is currently working on his first novel and also writes poetry as a form of ‘mind gym’ to hone his creative writing skills.


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