Tag Archives: Gunpowder Plot

Flash Friday – and Flashversary!

Red Sunset, by Petteri Sulonen.  Image sourced at: flashfriday.wordpress.com

Red Sunset, by Petteri Sulonen.
Image sourced at: flashfriday.wordpress.com

Gunpowder Treason and Plot

‘Penny for the Guy!’

‘Please, mate. Penny for the Guy?’

An elderly man stops, smiling. ‘Comes around quick, eh?’

‘Hopin’ we’ll raise loads this year,’ says John. ‘For the new statue, an’ that.’ He wipes his running nose on his sleeve.

‘Good lads. I’m sure St Fawkes would be proud.’

He’s barely turned and gone two steps when the air shreds with a boom. Then a gust of flame, like a dragon awakening in the bowels of the city, gushes along the skyline. Faintly, we hear screaming.

‘My God,’ says the old geezer, stumbling back. ‘My God. Virgin preserve us!’

‘What’s goin’ on?’ John gets to his feet. ‘Is it –’

We spin as another explosion cuts off his words. All along the river, we watch London burn.

‘The Recusants,’ whispers the old man. ‘Finally. We are repaid in our own coin.’ Orange flames dance in his wide, wet eyes.


So, er. Nothing like an image of a burning city to make one think of an entirely different (Catholic, Virgin-preserved, St Fawkes’d) England, wherein the original Gunpowder Plot wasn’t foiled and things developed in an entirely different way. Right? Is it just me?


This week’s Flash! Friday challenge is even more special than normal. This week sees the start of this year’s Flashversary, which means that massive prizes await the lucky winner (check the site for all the details, but this year the prize pot is pretty darn impressive), and if you’d like to take part, you are more than welcome. You don’t have to be a regular competitor; you don’t have to be a ‘member’ (if such a thing even existed). You certainly don’t need to pay any sort of entry fee. You’ve just got to look at the prompt image and find the story behind it, and be able to tell it in 150 words exactly. There’s no Dragon’s Bidding this week, and there’s no leeway with the wordcount, either. Write a piece of flash based around the burning city, above – as loosely or as closely as you like – and make it a Flashversary to remember. The more the merrier, and who knows but you could be one of the lucky people chosen to go through to the next round. Wouldn’t that be something to boast about over Christmas dinner? Sure it would.

I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar names among the entrants this week, but even if you don’t compete I hope you take the time to check out the entries. Even if you’re not a fan of writing flash fiction, every week Flash! Friday dishes up some of the best flash fiction reading on this here interwebs. Please do support the cause (penny for the Dragon, anyone?) and whatever you do, spread the word.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday Write-in #82

This week’s words were:

signal  ::  resolution  ::  aggressive  ::  gunpowder  ::  fashion

Read on for what I made out of ’em…

Image: mattcornock.com

Image: mattcornock.com

Eyes Only

Autopsy commences 07:05:22 a.m., November 8th 2067. Subject: Prisoner #874431

Inscription found on sole of foot, left: ‘my name is sarah pinford and i had no choice i had to be part of the new gunpowder plot and if i had to i would do it again’

Inscription found on sole of foot, right: ‘i had made the resolution to do whatever i could before i was 15 y.o.’

Inscription found on inner arm, left: ‘this govt and its aggressive stance toward anyone not ‘Pure’ is the reason why we are doing this they have to be told that a human being is a human being and their laws cant crush humanity no matter what they think’

Inscription found on inner arm, right, partially obscured: ‘the signal was done by someone on the inside i wont say who but it was an act of heroism for which they shall always be remembered and when we heard it we knew it was time’

[NOTE: investigate these claims with immediate effect]

Inscription found across lower abdomen: ‘they can not tell us who to be any more they will not tell us we are Less than them we are not we are not we are not and i am not sorry’


The subject (female, non-Pure, c. 25 years of age) is in an emaciated condition, significant tooth damage (probable cause gnawing, see below); evidence of parturition [NOTE: check for offspring/mate and apprehend]; organs Pure-equivalent in relation to size, weight, function [NOTE: recheck this data]; skin abraded with some skill. Subject managed to fashion a crude blade from the handle of a plastic spoon, used this to mark herself with her propaganda, which was exposed post-execution.


No more plastic cutlery to be supplied to non-Pure detainees. Backlog in eliminations to be worked through – no non-Pure detainee to be permitted more than two days in cells. Root and branch examination of the Parliament, all leaks to be plugged. Purges to be stepped up. Prisoner #874431 to be cremated. This report eyes-only.

Dissent to be quelled at all costs.