Sunday, 21 June 2009

Flash Fiction: Blitzkreig: Lightning War

It was a perfect night for it. The rain was hammering down on the windows, reminding Dylan of an air strike. The roar was deafening as the rain drops tuned to sleet and the sound intensified. Dylan could almost imagine that it was he who controlled the rain, concentrating on making it slam down even harder on the parched ground.

It had to be a dark and wet night. The bridge should be empty so Dylan could be alone. Only four more hours until midnight.

Dylan heard a rumble and then, seconds later, saw the piercing light of a lightning strike. It was just the right night for the choice he'd made.


Last Wednesday had been the hottest day of the year so far and he'd taken his niece out. They'd played among the long, summer grasses that the council had neglected to trim.

Dylan had held her pretty feet and lifted her up into the low branches of an Oak tree. She'd sat above him, amused by the antics of the curious squirrels scurrying up the higher branches. She'd asked him why there were no conkers and Dylan had laughed, telling her it was the wrong time of year. It was then that Dylan had felt some sadness and doubt. But after further, logical consideration, he was certain that it was right. After all, Sarah would benefit most. Dylan was sure that, in ten years, when Sarah turned eighteen, she'd understand his decision. As he was unmarried and the rest of his family were estranged, she would be the main beneficiary of his will.

Dylan's thoughts were interrupted by an ominous creaking sound, ear piercing screams and a cacaphonous splintering of wood and buckling of metal. Sprinting towards the front balcony, Dylan flung the patio doors open.

The Yew tree he'd cultivated for twenty years had fallen. Weakened by his over-zealous pruning and the violent winds, it had pinned his neighbours; Janet and her daughter, Susi, in their car.


It was half past eleven; almost 4 hours since the accident. The firemen had safely extracted his neighbours from their car and they were in their house, drinking tea and contemplating their luck. Dylan sat on his balcony. He didn't notice the stinging hail, nor the bright, flashing lights of the ambulance and fire engine.

The Yew had changed everything. Dylan never went to London Bridge.
Yew tree forklore

Flash fiction submitted for this week's exercise on the Internet Writing Workshop.

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