Flash Fiction – Social Media Anxiety

A sweet tale for this Valentine Day’s Month.

*  *   *   *   *

Tim wants to be your friend.

Natasha sat before her computer. Sunlight peeked through the morning clouds outside her window. She sipped her coffee and stared at the screen.

Tim was the cute boy she had met at the party the night before, whose smile made her heart soar and whose shy eyes made her swoon.

Did Tim really want to be her friend?

HER friend?


Did he WANT to be her friend?

Did he want to be MORE than friends?

Natasha tucked her hair behind her ears nervously. It was only a Facebook friend request, for crying out loud. How could such simple words cause such social anxiety?

Okay. Tim wants to be my friend. So what should I do?

I don’t want to accept straightaway or he’ll know I like him.

But I don’t want to wait because he’ll think I thought about him.

I’ve got to be cool, Natasha decided.

She hit accept, pulling her finger away as if the laptop was on fire.

She rested her head in her hands. It probably meant nothing. He just wanted to be Facebook friends. It wasn’t like it was the start of something.

*  *   *   *   *

Tim sat in a cafe across town. Should he have sent Natasha the friend request so soon? He only met her the night before. Maybe he shouldn’t have sent it at all.

What would he do if she ignored him?

He shouldn’t have done it. He was an idiot. He was always an idiot.

A message appeared.

Natasha wants to be your friend.

Tim broke into a wide grin.

The day suddenly seemed brighter.

© 2016 M. C. Dulac

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Two Sentence Fiction

Two sentence stories exploring the pain of the writerly life.

Two sentence

Sally had a file full of articles on blogging, a date planner with a blog schedule, a master to-do list, a top priority to-do list, a micro to-do list, a thumbnail to-do list and a motivational poster above her desk. But the only way she was going to get any real work done, was to sit down and write.

*  *  *  *

After he began, editing his novel, Bill discovered, he had a tendency, to overuse, commas. With his neighbours bellowing Bill took out all the commas to unfortunate effect.

*  *  *  *

Richard refused to learn the rules of writing. Ignoring the warnings about unclear antecedent phrases, when he came home to his cat, he started meowing.


© 2016 M. C. Dulac

Flash Fiction – The Old Man Under the Bridge

A new flash fiction for the New Year.

*  *  *  *

She ran fast through the city streets. The first fireworks were lighting up the sky.

She found him under a floodlit bridge. He stood, hands in his pockets, gazing at the lights reflected on the flowing river. A ball of red and golden fireworks rose over the city.

“It can’t be the end of the year already,” she said, “I need more time.”

“The old year is coming to an end.”

“But it was New Years Eve only yesterday. I haven’t done half the things I wanted to do.”

The old man shook his head, “Haven’t I told you to use time wisely?”

“But there’s never enough,” she bit her lip, “Could you stop time – just for a moment.”

“That I can never do. All I can give you is this,” he reached into the pockets of his shabby coat and drew out a glowing ball, so perfect and magical, she could not draw her eyes away.

“I cannot give you back 2015,” the old man said, “But I can give you 2016.”

She took the New Year in her hand.

“Make the most of it,” Father Time said as he walked into the darkness, “I don’t want you running down here next year.”

*  *  *  *

May you all have a happy, safe and creative 2016!

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© M. C. Dulac 2016

Flash Fiction: The Undo Button

Flash Fiction returns! This week – what if life had an undo button?

 *  *  *  *

Jenny sighed as she accidentally deleted a paragraph in her document. She clicked the undo button and the text reappeared.

If only life was that simple, she thought as she closed her laptop and headed for the coffee shop.

Jenny had a new phone and while she was waiting in the queue, she began to look through the options.

Hidden among the settings was an “undo button” marked “test only”. What did that do? Undo phone calls or texts? As she stared at the button, she was aware someone was nearby. The drop dead handsome guy from the office, her secret crush, was right behind her.

“Taking a break?” he smiled.

“Yes,” she said, grabbed her coffee and scuttled away.

I feel ridiculous, she thought as her cheeks burned. Why didn’t I just say hello?

Curious, she hit the undo button. And there she was, at the counter again.

“Taking a break?” he said.

“Why yes I am,” she replied.

“Hey, I’m Jim. I think we work together.”

“I think we do.”

“Did you want to sit down?”


She couldn’t believe they were talking. Every time she said something she regretted, she tapped the undo button and started again.

The conversation was perfect. At the end, Jim asked her if she wanted to catch up on the weekend. He looked so happy, he stumbled on the step as they left the cafe.

He didn’t seem to have an undo button. Was it a function on the new phone? Or was Jenny the only one to have it?

It said “test only”. What would it mean, if everyone had the chance to change their lives all the time? What would the world be like? Should she use it? What would she miss out on if she did? What were the philosophical implications of such a power?

She should forget about it forever.

Jenny stepped into a puddle.

Maybe not forever.

She pressed the undo button, reversed a few seconds and walked happily on.

© M. C. Dulac 2015

For more quirky flash fiction tales, click the menu above.

Flash Fiction: An exercise in POV

Earlier this week, I had a post about describing places in your character’s words.

Here is a mini-flash fiction from three POVs. The scenario, the summoning of three immortals, to a well-to-do house on a bay overlooking Sydney Harbour.

*  *  *  *

The door fell open as Alexander approached. He entered the hall, taking in the oil paintings, the fine polished sideboard and the delicate chandelier. The interior was a perfect reproduction of a long-departed English manor. They lived well these immortals, wherever they found themselves, although they always pined for the time and place in which they were born. As Alexander entered the dining room, he saw the long table set for dinner. He pulled back a chair and sat down.

*  *  *  *

Katie scowled as she climbed the steps to the big house on the cliff. The door creaked open. She was barely two months into this immortality thing, but there was no way she’d live in an old place like this. Glass walls and a swimming pool, and a Ferrari in the drive, that’s what she wanted. Not stuck-up old furniture and old paintings, like they were really dead. They even had a dinner table. How the hell would she know what fork to use? That creepy vampire Alexander was here, giving her a filthy look. Stuff him. They were all equal now.

 *  *  *  *

“A Constable on the wall and a Gainsborough above the fireplace,” Victor thought to himself as he entered the hall, “Some of us are doing well.” Four centuries of immortal life had given him a keen eye for objects. He followed the Aubosson rug through the hall into the dining room, where the table was set, Villeroy and Boch silver glinting. The vile Alexander was there, and that frightful street-kid Katie, who had somehow become a vampire. Victor pulled back the Louis XVI chair and sat down, “Anyone seen our host?”

© 2015 M. C. Dulac

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Flash fiction – Hipster Hunting

Betty didn’t want to go home without seeing a hipster.

Betty had spent the previous week visiting Sydney with her husband Merv, seeing the sights and remarking on how much had changed since they had last visited the city. Before they returned to their retirement village on the Central Coast, Betty was determined to go to Surry Hills, the official hangout of the hipster.

Merv went along with her idea, as he had gone along with many of Betty’s ideas over the years. Clutching a map and a newspaper article, they headed south along Elizabeth Street.

“According to this article,” Merv squinted, “hipsters are known for their full beards, drop crotch pants and ironic lumberjack shirts. The girls wear floral dresses, leather jackets and ankle boots, or animal-themed onesies. Hipsters are commonly found in coffee shops, blogging or developing internet start-ups.”

“That’s unusual,” Betty nodded.

Although Betty and Merv followed the map, they found themselves in a maze of streets that led past old industrial buildings and concrete office blocks. Not realising Surry Hills was just over the crest of the hill, they wandered, lost, for half an hour.

“We didn’t see one hipster,” Betty lamented as they reluctantly turned around.

“Don’t worry love,” Merv patted her arm, “Next time.”

*  *  *  *   *

High above the street, the creative team at an advertising agency was desperate for ideas, fearing the hipster trend was ending. The director peered out the window, his eyes lighting on Merv and Betty.

“Polyester jackets, pastel pants, sun visors. I’ve got it! How about – ‘senior citizen chic’?”

A young woman in an animal onesie, said slowly, “You mean, not hipsters, but senior cit-zers?”

The ad executives nodded wildly. Although Merv and Betty had not found a hipster, they had unwittingly become the inspiration for the fashion’s next great trend.

© M. C. Dulac 2015

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Flash Fiction – Hipsters versus Vampires

The vampire had seen many changes over the centuries.

Born a human girl on the vast plains of Hungary in the last days of the Roman empire, she had survived the age of magic and superstition, observed the revival of Gothic architecture, been present at the birth of the renaissance and celebrated the triumph of the enlightenment. She had lived through the steam age, the belle epoque, the jazz age and the disco era, right into the dawn of the internet.

But as she looked around the hipster cafe in downtown Sydney, Australia, her heart sank. Had she finally reached the moment all vampires feared?

From the quirky typeface on the recycled paper menu, to the artisan burgers, quinoa salads and hand-foraged quail eggs, she didn’t understand any of it.

And the clothes they wore! Wild beards for the young men, plaid shirts and drop crotch pants. For the young women tight-waisted dresses, pork pie hats and yellow-rimmed sunglasses – indoors!

The vampire stared at the coffee pot in front of her, a device as elaborate as an alchemist’s alembic. A solitary drop fell into the handleless cup, nothing like the rich Turkish brew Kolschitzky had served in his coffee houses after the siege of Vienna.

Gazing at her velvet coat, that had seemed so smart a few years ago, the vampire chewed her lip. Staring warily at the hipster coffee pot, she poured herself a cup. She must not give up. Like all immortals, she had work to do in this city. It was time to join the new age.

*  *  *  *  *

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Very Short Stories

I’ve been posting some of these Very Short Stories on Twitter. Here are five, based around the writerly life.


“Leave me alone!” he cried, but his muse had dragged him to the typewriter.

*  *  *  *  *

She closed her eyes, drained, exhausted, but alive. The novel was finished.

*  *  *  *  *

“One of you must go,” he said with a heavy heart, deleting the subplot from his novel.

*  *  *  *  *

Type, delete, retype, hesitate. Yes, she had writer’s block.

*  *  *  *  *

They found him deep under papers, notes, redrafts and planners. “A writer,” the cop shook his head, knowingly.



I #AmWriting

I am now #writing on Twitter! I am also currently #wondering if it is possible to edit a tweet, or if the exclamation mark I regret typing on #my first tweet will be there for #all eternity.

Okay, I will not overdo the #hashtags. However, I am excited to be where it is @!

Last year I set myself a goal of writing a flash fiction a week, based around a number. Although the intention was to reach 52 stories, I finished the year at 24.  The “Fiction by Numbers” series may return but in the meantime I am going to post links to the stories to Twitter.

Story one is a love story for writers (if you’d like to read it again you can find it here).

To ensure you don’t miss a tweet, feel free to follow me, share advice or just say hello at @mc_dulac

Happy Valentines Day to you all!

Happy Valentines Day to you all!