April 19, 2018

Flash Fiction

Sunil Ganu: Fiction in fifty-five words:

From where he was, he really couldn’t tell if he was on the right track. His frayed jacket was at a distance, his goodbyes tucked in its pocket.

He shut his eyes. It would be quick, perhaps.

With a screech, the heavy locomotive slowed, stopped still, briefly, then moved carefully away, in the opposite direction.


What would happen, the boy asked himself, if he did step on the pavement cracks? For years - and he was only seven - he had carefully avoided them. Well, it was time to change.

He walked, eyes riveted to the cracks.

The coconut whistled as it fell. The 'thunk' was muffled by black hair that turned red.


The nylon ropes cut into his spindly legs, chafing, lacerating. He struggled bravely, flapping about. But his strength ebbed. He turned sluggish. His eyes started to flutter shut as his vital signs slowed.

He opened his eyes, looking around piteously.

His eyes finally closed, and the poacher had netted another fat pheasant for dinner.


“I shan’t,” declared Emily, turning away from the wrinkled face resolutely.

“But darling, look what Grammy brought you,” reasoned her mother, pointing to the packages wrapped in coloured paper.

Emily considered. Sagely, I thought.

Relenting, she turned her face and accepted the sloppy kiss. One more innocence had been destroyed at the altar of consumerism.


He looked at the huge jet through the glass window, its nose close enough to touch. People milled around - normal, pre-departure flurry. He could hear several languages and children shouting. He thought of all that he had wanted. A smile creased his lips.

“Let’s go.”

And the deportee was led down to the waiting aircraft.

About the Author:

Sunil Ganu is a French teacher. He lived in France for several years, then returned to Pune, where he continues his profession. He is from Loyola High School, Pashan, Pune, where "education beyond text books" was usually encouraged, and he volunteered to set Timetables for all periods of all secondary classes.