by Helen Carmichael

It was a Monday, and the desk stared back at him, unblinking. The spreadsheet also looked at him and did nothing to add or balance itself or to respond appropriately to the emails pinging in the background. Thinking back to an ancient gorse-strewn hillside very far away in distance yet close, held so close in memory, he noticed that the coffee had no flavour, at all. A vision of his father’s ashes carried up above that landscape and held by the wind tenderly for a second before falling away across the vale like a sigh diminished and overrode the desktop documents affronting him with their arrogant claims of urgency. Pulling the computer’s power socket from the wall and crashing everything with a desperate, meaningless finality he backed away from the desk. Shifting uncomfortably in their office chairs, his frozen colleagues still had nothing to say.


Helen Carmichael is a British freelance science writer and editor who has also had her poetry published in The Goddess Pages. Her blog of flash fiction insights into life as an immigrant in Vancouver, Canada is here.