Jan/Feb 2008  •   Fiction

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This issue, we're proud to present four flash fictions generated by the Boot Camp Writers during their third annual Children in Need Writing Marathon.

The winning ($100) and runner-up ($50) pieces were blindly selected by Eclectica from 30 finalists out of almost 200 flash fictions generated by 15 authors during 27 hours of writing. The marathon raised funds for needy kids from a $10 entrance fees and individual private sponsorship. Prize monies were privately and separately funded.

Boot Camp founder Alex Keegan participated in the marathon (but not the competition). Two of his pieces are included below.

(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

Clicks, Eyes, Sparrows

Father did not return the next morning, and Mother didn't set a place for him at the breakfast table. I did not ask her where he was, and she didn't tell me. (FIRST PLACE)

Cally Taylor

Chantin's Place

What I have here I would not have touched, even a year ago, maybe less. What I have here stinks, and is wrapped in rags and wind-blown plastic scrags. (RUNNER UP)

Jason Jackson


Back then the injections were less certain; a mixture of muscle relaxants, barbiturates and other stuff. The official word of course, was that lethal injections were painless.

Alex Keegan

Squinting Against the Sun

The tracks were close to the docks, and I could recite then, what it said on the back of our exercise books, how the town imported pit-props and bananas, and sent out coal and shiny steel. And my father was part of that, a steel-man, someone who made things, crafted from night furnaces, heat.

Alex Keegan