Summer shorts #2: more fifty-word fiction

butterfly_flowers

Goals
David focused his thoughts for the crucial penalty kick. At the last moment, a vivid butterfly landed on the ball and the shot went sailing wide. The howls of disappointment from the fans were somehow softened by a profound sense of relief as he watched the colourful insect flutter by.

Bone idle
“You lazy shit!” she yelled, “You’re manipulative, messy and just lounge around the flat all day, eating. I don’t think you give a damn about me Tom.” He gazed sleepily into her eyes and stretched out languorously. “Okay, I’ll get your dinner. But first we take care of those fleas.”

Battle scars
As a kid I fell playing football and cut my knee. After stitches, the nurse gave me a lollipop for being brave. Now, on those rare occasions when I’m brave, I crave a reward – usually something sweet. But I’m married and the nurses seem unimpressed by my old scar.

Allergies
We strolled across the meadow this afternoon, mesmerised by the abundance of wild flowers and butterflies. Pairs of Magpies engaged in crazy aerial displays, and a flock of sheep lazed in the shade. One of them sneezed, breaking the spell. I’m not sure if the sheep laughed, but we did.

It is written
In my story, an author in a parallel universe is writing a story about a writer who imagines authors in other universes. He wonders if they are also writing about authors and writers in other universes. My head starts to hurt. Maybe I’m someone’s fictional character? Maybe you are too?

 
© Copyright Jason Lennick 2016. All rights reserved.
 
 

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Fifty shades of great

mean-nun_medFor people of a certain age, being disciplined invokes a trip to the headmaster for punishment, while for others something rather more kinky. Or perhaps both.

But I will leave any salacious discussions of corporal punishment or saucy S&M shenanigans for another time. Here I want to try and get to the bottom of the mental discipline we apply, or fail to apply to ourselves.

Self discipline: The ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses. OED

Self-discipline seems to be fundamental to success. Pretty much any type of challenging endeavour requires it, unless you join the military services and let someone else impose their discipline upon you.

I can see the potential advantages of having such a well-structured life: a clear set of rules and goals, strong motivators and the fellowship of comrades in arms. Not to mention the simplicity of wardrobe choices. But personally I would rather be skinned alive, lightly seasoned and fed to wolves than submit to such an authoritarian way of living.

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Gimme space, man

astronaut_medWhen I was young I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, apart from taller.

I showed a keen interest in science and space exploration at an early age, but sadly my eventual application to astronaut school was rejected, on the grounds of my flat feet and shortsightedness. That, and the complete lack of a science degree, flying experience, courage, or any of the usual qualities they tend to look for in potential astronauts.

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Motivation? May the force be with you

YodaWhat is this mysterious force that we hear about so often? No not the one in the Star Wars movies, the one that gets us moving and pushes us forward towards our goals. It is surely almost as mysterious as its movie counterpart, and often seems just as difficult to master.

I can speak from long personal experience of struggling with motivation and, judging by the quantity of books, blogs and speakers on this subject, I’m certainly not alone in this. Most of us have probably encountered the dark side, that voice that says ‘Why bother?’

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