Flash Fiction – The Pigeon

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7 April 2017 by victoriaknowe

cards-627167_640For those who have been following the recent posts, you may remember me mentioning that I might share some of my fictional pieces here. In case you’re wondering about the title, “flash fiction” means an extremely short story.

Below you will find my attempt for a flash fiction contest where the maximum word count was 300 words. Another rule was that the story had to include the words “game”, “coat” and “fast”. Let me tell you it’s certainly a challenge to write something with a setting, a conflict and a resolution in so few words, but here it is anyway:


The Pigeon

Martin watched the new player approach. The suit looked expensive, but in Martin’s experience, good tailoring and gaming ability weren’t significantly correlated. The newbie grabbed a chair and turned it around before straddling it and flashing his easy smile around the table. Standard behaviour for an excellent player – or someone with a death wish. Mildly interesting to find out which.

After meeting each man’s gaze, the newcomer asked “So what’s the game?”

Martin immediately dismissed the man as a pigeon – easy game – and returned his contemplation to the fat packet sitting comfortably hidden in his coat pocket. It would give him a better month than usual.

Another man was explaining the rules to the rookie. When the game started, it became clear that the confident newcomer had no idea what he was doing. He was reckless, flinging currency around the table with spectacular extravagance. Martin’s group fell into the familiar rhythm; taking turns to outplay the smiling newcomer, allowing him to win the occasional round. Sharing the bounty from windfalls had proven to be the best way of maintaining their comfortable dynamics.

Martin was thinking about his last cigarette of the evening, when there was a change. The game suddenly became a struggle. Money piles started shrinking fast, even as the stranger’s wallet grew in proportion with the width of his smirk. Martin tried his hardest to keep from taking the nest egg out of his pocket, but in the end it was unavoidable.

Finally it was over.

“Thanks for the game, boys.”

The money disappeared into the impeccably cut jacket and the bared teeth gleamed in a shark’s grimace for the last time before the stranger disappeared into the darkness.

The click of his shoes on the concrete floor was a little sharper than it should have been.



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