Thursday, 5 April 2012

#RomanticFridayWriters - #AtoZChallenge - Flash Fiction No 5 - 'E is for Elvira...'

Welcome to RomanticFridayWriters!

RFW is about short short writing or flash fiction (usually 400 words), less for poems, with some romantic element. It's not Romance of the happily ever after variety, but Romantic, where it's about the story, the issue, with some romantic relationship involved. Our stories are edgy, sometimes dark, and often don't have the HEA ending! 

So here we go! RFW Dribbles (50 words), Drabbles (100 words) and Droubbles (200 words) and more (400 ish)...for your enjoyment - a laugh, a cry...

It's widely agreed that most fiction (unless it's solely about animals) begins and ends with human characters: their frailties, virtues, conflicts and expectations. In our stories for the A - Z Challenge the writers attempt to more closely observe the people around us...

E is for... 'Elvira...'

Elvira was hurting all over. The mattress was lumpy and scratchy; her sides ached from tossing and turning. She felt something biting, stinging her face. She groaned, clapping her hands, trying to scare whatever it was before she was eaten alive. ‘Ouch! Pesky little creatures!’ she snarled through clenched teeth. She slapped at the air a few more times, then groped around, looking for a light switch.

Her water glass fell with a clunk and a splish onto the wooden floor. ‘Darn!’ she whispered as loud as she dared.

Ha!’ Finally her fingers found an object and she pressed hard. ‘Whoops!’ She clamped her hands over her mouth. The radio blared, filling the night with foreign chatter. She felt a knob and turned...silence…

She looked around in the semi darkness, alert to strange sounds seeping in through her tiny window. She held her head in her hands, gathering her thoughts, waiting for her heartbeat to settle. 'Oh Frank you stupid fool. You should have listened to me just this once!'

The noises were back, louder and louder, the chants seeping into her room. She threw back the moist covers and staggered to the window.

What she saw both terrified and excited her. 

Thousands of people were moving into the town square, waving flags and placards. Some were in Arabic, some in bad English, but they all had the same message. A whiff of revolution was in the air. She was going to see history in the making.

But history was going to have to wait.

And so was Frank. He was going to be damn sorry he fired her.

She staggered back to bed and fell into an exhausted sleep, the strange chanting hovering around the edge of her consciousness. Just as dawn was breaking the sounds changed. She heard the call to prayer echoing across the rooftops. The city was waking up. Somewhere on top of a minaret there was a muezzin calling the faithful to pray. But did he have to use a microphone? 

She was still woozy with fatigue when her feet hit the floor. The sounds she’d heard through the night were now gaining in tempo.

She was going to get the story of a lifetime.

With bleary eyes she watched the first peep of light on the horizon. She could just make out quaint orangey rooftops crammed close together like hotels on a Monopoly board. She could see tiny figures like ants moving around the square below. A rush of excitement flowed through her body. She grabbed her cameras and did a quick check.

Rifling through her backpack, she found her mobile phone and called Frank's number.

‘Elvira, where the hell are you?’


Words 440


Denise, (L'Aussie) writes short stories, flash fiction, travel articles and newspaper profiles while working on her Great Australian Novels. She's the founder of RomanticFridayWriters. Her writing blog is L'Aussie Writing. She'd love you to visit her there for her A - Z Challenge on the theme, BLOGGERS WERE CHILDREN TOO! 


  1. Love the exotic setting you chose. But insects - ugh :-) I imagine there are many romantic places in Cairo...

  2. Packed a punch. Did she get her story?

  3. Highly atmospheric piece: lots of info yet smooth as silk on a desert breeze! ;)


  4. Hello Denise.
    You have set the scene perfectly...the heat, the sounds, even the vivid, I feel like I'm there. I think she'll get her story & Frank will indeed be sorry! Nicely done. Thanks for sharing.

    Day 5: Empty Streams

  5. Very... different. At first I wasn't sure what was going on with the room, the dark and the umm bugs or whatever those things were. This is a good one to show that there is more to romance than the expected moments. Well done.

  6. An excellent reminder that romance comes in many forms. Including a country on the brink of revolution ...

  7. What an exciting character Elvira will be. this is a good openning for a novel. Loved the name too.


  8. Jst came by your lovely blog...Never read such an thrilling story in my life...apart from the excitement of finding my name in post,wow !!!


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