Monday 23 August 2010

ONE WISH by David Barber

David's back, flashing with this impressive pair...

One Wish

“If you had one wish, what would you wish for?”

It was a question that, for some reason, she was always asked. As if people were compelled to ask it as soon as they struck up a conversation with her.

“Well? Come on, what would it be?”

“You don't really want to know,” she said.

“I do, I do. You know what I’d wish for? I rich man’s lifestyle: money, fast cars and big houses. The whole shebang.”

A vision flashed into her mind. A mangled red car wrapped around a tree. The dead occupant slumped against the steering wheel, its decapitated head barely visible on the dashboard through the broken windscreen.

“Well, what would you wish for?”

She studied the man asking the question, his kind face smiling as he waited for the answer.

“I’d wish that I couldn’t see into the future.”

To A Better Place

“I’ll vouch for her,” he said, striding towards the desk, his eyes firmly fixed on the police officer, “she was with us all night.”

Her eyes opened wide when she turned and saw who it was. The tall thin man, wearing a black pin-striped suit, looked up from the policeman and glared at her from across the room.

“I think you’ll find all is in order with the paperwork, officer."

"Yes, all looks in order, erm...Dr Schimberg."

The officer looked over to where she was sitting, "Miss Jane Wild, you're free to leave now."

Dr Schimberg held out a hand, "Come now, Jane. Let's take you home."


Walking her down the deserted hospital corridor, he said, “The servitude we have bestowed, and you repay us this way. Well, I assure you, this will never happen again.”

He took out a bunch of keys and unlocked the door to her dingy room.

Pushing her into the gloom, he said, "Never again, Jane. I will personally see to it that you never get out of here....ever!"

Jane heard the key turn in the lock, followed by his footsteps echoing on the tiled corridor floor. She slumped down on her metal bed and opened her handbag, lifting out the very thing she had left for.


The lamp that sat on the table in the corner was flickering, as if waiting for the bulb to blow. On the floor, a piece of burnt aluminium foil laid next to the dying body of nineteen year old Jane Wild. There was only so much physical, sexual and psychological abuse a body could take, and her frail body could take no more.

She would soon become just another statistic on the social services computer system. Another victim let down by the failure of the very authority that was supposed to look after her.

The syringe hanging out of the crook of her arm had administered the lethal overdose that it was meant to, and was now taking Jane to a better place. A peaceful place where she would come to no more harm.

Manchester born and bred, but now living in Crieff, Scotland with wife, Lisa, and our two daughters, Imogen & Melissa. Recently inspired to write again by an old and good friend (Col Bury) and the beauty that surrounds me up here. Always reading - when not entertaining my girls and working - crime and horror…and now writing. David has numerous pieces on ezines and blogs here,
where he's recently embarked on a challenge of writing something every day!


  1. Quality flashes with great endings.
    Nice work.

  2. Both very well done David. I liked the first one the best I think.

  3. Yes, both very nicely done David; short, sweet and cut lean to the bone.

    Kind regards.

  4. Cracking duo that Dave, nice work.

  5. A familiar little flurry of flash David ;) Very well-written, both atmospheric. Good ones.

  6. Really enjoyed both pieces - the first mostly, it said so much in so few words I think!

  7. I enjoyed them first time round - and once again, they don't disappoint! Well done, young man!

  8. The first is my favourite here, David, but they are both certainly excellent!!

  9. Great job Dave. Flash is tough and you really nailed it on both stories. The first one was especially incredible. Keep it up!

  10. Tasty indeed, #1 is particularly twisted.

  11. Thanks guys. You are way too kind. :-)

  12. #1 is fantastic David - great last line.

    #2 is powerful stuff too.

    As much as you've lamented not getting the time you'd like, what you're turning out is great!

  13. Chris - Thanks, mate. I'm enjoying my writing at the moment and, even though time is a problem sometimes, I do find a quiet period when I can get some writing done. My problem seems to be editing. I maybe need to spend a bit more time on that side of it.

    Thanks again, mate.

  14. Loved the first story. The second one is good too, but a bit of a bummer for a Friday afternoon!

    Writing every day makes all the difference. A couple of years ago I tried writing a 100 word story every day, with the aim of having a hundred 100 word stories. I'm afraid I wasn't up to the challenge, but it's a good target if you have limited time.

  15. The first one was utterly brilliant, David.

  16. You have a way with endings, David. O Henry would be proud.

  17. Eugene-Thanks, mate.

    Gavin-Thanks a lot. I've drifted off track the past week but I'll get back on it this week. I'm enjoying writing at the moment and I'm trying different takes on things.

    Ceka-Thank you.

    David-Thanks, mate. Who's O Henry? You've got me with that one.

  18. David - O. Henry (aka William S Porter) short story writer, with a twist!