Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #96

For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #96, where we write about this photo from Victor Moriyama at the New York Times:


It was nonsense, it should never have happened. Jarrod had spent the evening at the cinema with his new girlfriend, Davina. Ever the young gentleman, Jarrod had offered to walk her home afterwards. A wrong turn, and Jarrod recognised, within a gang of youths, some boys from school. Rough boys, you didn’t mess with them, Jarrod had learned.

Too late, they spotted Jarrod. And Davina. What’s he doing with a girl from our estate? Jarrod and Davina tried to get past, amid some taunts. Then, the wrong look, a glint of steel, and Jarrod dropped, groaning in the street, his white tee now stained with blood. Beside him, Davina was shrieking.

In the apartments opposite, lights gradually flicked on, so people could see the cause of the disturbance.

You what?

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 14 December 2020, gibberish.

I was standing on top of a hill,
Just me, with my hammer and drill,
When the giant awakes,
I will feed him fishcakes,
And garnish with pink daffodil.

I often use a site to help me compose a poem, words that rhyme with such-and-such. And on there, I often type in a word and get words back which make me think, what a brilliant word. But of course, there’s no way that word would make sense in the poem, so I can’t use it. So, today was my opportunity…

Zoomed Out

I had a “funny” with my charity this morning.

They offered courses on mental health, to volunteers. Might be useful, I thought, so I booked myself on. I made sure I asked, Is any specific software required? No response.

The meeting happened this morning. Last week, they sent out details. I learned that it was to be a Zoom meeting. I have never used Zoom, and I remember, when everybody was going Zoom-crazy at the start of lockdown, seeing an article in a reputable UK newspaper, listing issues with Zoom that were as long as your arm.

So I made a mental note to be cautious of it, to look at these issues in more detail if the time ever came.

I was a bit cheesed off last week when I received this Zoom request. Why hadn’t they responded when I had asked? To allow me some time to look into it and form an opinion? So, I backed out of the meeting.

Don’t worry about it. You don’t need to install anything, they replied. That’s funny, I thought, I had heard that you do. I request clarification. You just open up your browser and away you go. As they had obviously used Zoom before, and I hadn’t, I said that I would attend.

This morning, the day of the meeting. Fifteen minutes before, I’m on my PC, I dig out the email and hit the link. The very first thing it does is to ask me whether I want to install some software! Exactly what the charity had said wouldn’t happen.

So I hurriedly fired up the tablet. The meeting is getting close now. Guess what was the first thing it said? That’s right, install some software.

So, basically, that’s where I had to leave it. I’ve sent an email to the charity explaining that this is the reason I didn’t attend their meeting. I left out the bit about them telling me a complete pile of nonsense. Because, what’s the point?

I did do one more thing. I tried to find that Guardian link I saw all those months ago. I couldn’t, but I did find this, written just a week ago, which shows that some people, at least, still have issues with Zoom.