Friday, 24 September 2010


The deadline was upon me, and I had nothing!......NOTHING!

I stared at the blank screen in despair, the shame of certain failure weighing heavy as a rock.

I leaned forward and rested my forehead wearily on the keyboard.

And then the tears came.....

Trickles of them....

Streams of them....

Rivers of them....

Floods of them....

As my body shook with great racking, heaving sobs, the salty deluge soaked the keys, seeping through the tiny gaps, and into the circuitry below.

Tiny blue sparks and arcs lit up the underside of the keyboard like a miniature lightning storm....

I became aware of the screen flickering, a white lightning mingling with the blue...

I looked up.... words were appearing on the screen, faster and faster, too fast to read....

And suddenly, they stopped.

I wiped my eyes dry, and began to read, my heart lifting more and more with every word....

Before me was the wittiest, deepest, most meaningful short story I have ever read in my whole life.

A miracle had happened, I would hit the deadline.

And more... It was a gem... an absolute masterpiece... a piece of such literary genius that the whole of the writing world would be taken by storm.

Nine hundred and ninety nine words of supremely perfect eloquence.

It would make me famous.

Visions of all the awards and accolades that were certain to come my way filled my ecstatic mind...

I reached toward the mouse to save the story to the hard drive....

But before I could grasp it....

There was a final staccato spiderweb of blue arcs across the keyboard....

A small tendril of grey smoke curled upwards from the computer tower....

And the power went off.

©2010 Stephen. J. Green.


  1. AUTHOR'S NOTE:- I'm going away to sunny Whitby for a couple of days, so I'll be unable to either read or post comments until Sunday.

    Have a good weekend everyone.


  2. Oh, the pain! I'm sure all of us can relate to this one - I can, in more ways than one.
    Normally I don't care for so many adjectives and adverbs, but for this, it works.

    Good work.

  3. Yes, I'm pretty sure a lot of us can relate to that one. Hope you enjoy Whitby, if the weather holds out it's lovely this time of year!

  4. I love it! made me laugh out loud. :)

  5. I just got back from Whitby, Thank you for reading and commenting.

    The weather was horrible Placebythefire, heavy winds and showery, but we had a fantastic time anyway.

  6. You know what they say. Fate is a jester. What a cruel trick.

  7. Now that is the ultimate writer's nightmare. Really well told from the viewpoint of someone who clearly has been there in the trenches with the rest of us.

  8. Thanks for reading Ganymeder and Rachel.

    I think the moral is that there is no such thing as a free story.

  9. A fate much worse than no words at all... ;)

  10. Ugh. What every writer fears. To say this would ruin a day would be an understatement. Good story!

  11. Thanks guys, If I don't have anything for this Friday, I may try crying into my own keyboard to see what the short circuits produce.

    (Probably succeed in frying my face:-D )

  12. Oh I love this!! It really made me laugh... a fun read.

  13. LOL with my deadline looming I totally relate! Hope this doesn't happen to me!

  14. Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it Rebecca,

    Katie, there is nothing like a looming deadline to spur the creative juices, (so I've been told)


  15. This is fantastic! Just love the tension and of course the ending was predictable but such fun..:)

  16. Glad you liked it L'aussie, it was written very tongue-in-cheek. Thank you for reading.

  17. Lol! Oh, I can identify only too well with all of the phases here. Well, except the masterpiece part. ;) I'm working on a way to strategically induce electrical shorts in my computer that will not then crash it. (I'll also set up a video camera directed at the screen just in case.)

  18. Melissa, thank you for reading and commenting, I was going to post a different short that day, but I was new to #Fridayflash and I wondered "what if I didn't have anything?" and that is where the idea came from.

    I have often thought about pouring a bucket of water into the keyboard when the damn thing is playing up though. :-D

  19. Loved this one. And may be just a little twisted but I laughed and laughed. Perhaps too close to home? :)

  20. Hi Lauren, thanks for reading, yes I think many people can relate to this, Ha Ha. :-)

    And as you say it is a little twisted, I think you may find that just about everything I write is a little twisted. (Some things more than just a little :-D )

  21. hehe, this is why I write my stories in google documents - I figure the big brains at Google will have better backup strategies than I'll ever manage on my home PC!

  22. Hiya Maria, thanks for reading. I'm sure your stories will be perfectly safe, just don't go crying into your computer, that's all. :-)