Time’s arrow thuds home – flash fiction

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A confusion of blaring, screeching, shouting, screaming – then a sickening thud.

He felt himself falling, turning, falling and everything slowed, strangely slowed, and the colours, the trees, the sky, the street, the people blurred, spread like watercolour on wet paper. He thought –How beautiful! And held the thought, falling into red.

Busy road. The man stood to cross, checking left, right. A careful man, unremarkable. Then a ball in the street, a boy chasing. The man stepped from the curb, crouched to seize the child about the waist and in one movement lifted and swung him back to safety. But…

Time's Arrow Thuds Home

© TheSupercargo

I wrote Time’s Arrow Thuds Home for the Friday Fictioneers flash fiction forum curated by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The prompt: a motion-blurred photo of a bus, sky, a road, a tree. (See the photo prompt here.) If I have managed to do what I intended, you should be able to read the three paragraphs of the story in any sequence.

To see a list of links to all the responses to this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt, click here.

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25 thoughts on “Time’s arrow thuds home – flash fiction”

  1. Lots of energy and momentum in your story, I could easily imagine what was going on. The guy went from being unremarkable to certainly remarkable by saving the boy… sad what happened to him, though.

    • Thanks, Dave. Glad you liked it. I think remarkable things often are achieved by unremarkable people – in part that’s what makes the achievements remarkable.

  2. John, this is a lovely piece! I like how you showed the giving up of a life to save a life in reverse and I found these phrases particularly beautiful: ” spread like watercolour on wet paper” and “A careful man, unremarkable.” And then the open-ended ending that isn’t really open at all.


  3. The sequencing (is that a word) of this is quite masterful. And the descriptions incredibly vivid. I loved the ‘falling into red’. Well done, in fact extremely well done. 🙂

    • I’m very pleased to hear this Perry … not that you were in an accident, of course, but nice to know I got the feelings and imagery right!

  4. John,
    This is an outstanding piece, even without the art, which I thought was fantastic. I would say this is your best piece TO DATE. You’ve set the bar pretty high, but I believe the BEST is yet to come. Keep up the good work.

    • Very many thanks Russel. Now horrified by the prospect of not being able to better myself. (Joking!) I really appreciate you comments.

    • Thanks Rochelle!
      No indeed. I plan to continue participating, certainly next week. After that I’ll have to take a break for a couple – perhaps three weeks – but I’ll be back for sure in August.
      Shalom to you too,

  5. How tragic. We just had something like this near me where an eight year old boy rode his bike out into the path of a pick-up truck. He is still living, but not doing well at all. I can imagine how similar the event was.

    • I guess it happens all too often – perhaps more frequently without physical injury to anyone than we will ever know. I can still vividly remember being hit by a car when I was about eight and on my way to school. I didn’t see it or hear it, but fortunately the driver saw me and breaked so the car hit me in the most gentle way a moving car can hit anyone. I don’t remember whether I was even bruised, but I know it’s an experience I’ve never forgotten.

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