2013 Imagine, Write, Inspire Flash Fiction Competition. ‘Flight’ by Laura Lovelock

Good morning everyone. So how’s the weekend been for you all so far? I’ve had a very social one out gallivanting around the big smoke with some lovely people.
I had the pleasure of eating in One Pico just off Molesworth Street in Dublin last night. Food was incredibly good. The diet had a much earned holiday for itself and thank goodness for that, because the Chocolate Fondant was exquisite and had I missed it, t’would have been a travesty. My SIL threw down the gauntlet and told us all that she could make a pretty darn good fondant too, so there will be a queue of expectant Harringtons at her door later today to see if the proof really is in the pudding 😉

For now, who’s ready for another slice of flash fiction pie? This one is beautifully written and will draw you in, leaving you pondering what happens next. I love it when a story does that. Enjoy!

Flight by Laura Lovelock

She felt the cold, wet sand between her toes. She heard the waves crashing repetitively into the shore. The only light provided was by the crescent moon. She pulled her shawl tighter around her shoulders and kept walking.


‘Are we nearly there yet?’ Nathan’s tiny voice punctured the silence.

‘Almost buddy, we’ve only got a bit longer to go. Hey, do you want me to put on your Muppet’s CD?’ I asked my son, watching his little face in the rear view mirror.

‘Yes daddy!’ He replied, a smile reaching both eyes.

Nathan sat singing along to his CD; his mildly tuneful voice in time with the music. I focussed on the busy road ahead of me, watching the changing speed of some cars and the reckless driving of others. My thoughts quickly drifted to my wife, Claire. It had been a week since she’d left for her trip and I still hadn’t heard from her. Claire worked for an aid charity that helped developing countries build new schools, increase the number of children vaccinated and ensure there was a clean supply of water. I was extremely proud of her work but I was always on edge when she was away.

The M25 was turning into a car park. Friday evenings were always bad; the rush of tired businessmen making their way home for the weekend, eager youngsters on weekends away, excited families making their way to weddings; the road was full of them. As I sat behind a campervan waiting for the traffic to pick up again, I saw a plane fly overhead, coming into land at Heathrow. I wondered if Claire was on that plane or if she had already landed. She had been due to land half an hour ago and I was kicking myself for not leaving early enough to get to the airport in time.

Nathan started to cheer as we pulled into the car park by Heathrow and he quickly squirmed his way out of his booster seat and was eager to get out of the car.

‘Hang on a minute Nath, I just need to park the car properly. Sit back down please.’

Nathan did as he was told and climbed back onto his seat. I reversed the car into an empty space and put the handbrake on.

‘Ok buddy, let’s go and find mummy!’

I carried Nathan across the lumpy tarmac of the car park and walked into the shiny white airport, making my way to the arrivals section. The busyness of the airport hit me at once and I felt my knees wobble at the sight of all the people. Sitting in a car with my son had been lonely but now to be surrounded by hundreds of people made me feel uncomfortable. I weaved my way through hugging couples and impatient taxi drivers and found a spot for Nathan and I to stand in. I placed Nathan onto the floor and he immediately grabbed onto my leg, holding on for dear life. I scoured the arrival boards and noticed that Claire’s plane had arrived an hour ago. I scanned the room but couldn’t see her striking ginger hair. Nathan took my hand as we walked to a quieter section of the airport and I fiddled with my phone until it dialled Claire’s number. It didn’t even ring, it went straight to an automated message saying the number I was trying to call no longer existed. I tried again and the same thing happened.

‘Daddy, where’s mummy?’ Nathan asked innocently.

‘I’m not sure yet, I think she is probably waiting for us somewhere and we just have to find her.’ I replied, trying to mask the anxiety in my voice.

I took Nathan on a tour of all of the restaurants, coffee shops and newsagents in the airport still searching for a mop of ginger hair. When our search returned no Claire, I made my way to an enquiry desk. A woman in her late fifties sat with a look of exasperation on her face.

‘Yes, can I help you?’ She asked, her voice deep and croaky.

‘I hope so,’ I started. ‘My wife was supposed to be on a plane coming back this evening but I can’t seem to get in contact with her. Would you be able to let me know if she got off the plane?’

‘I can try and help you sir. Do you have any ID and the flight number?’

I stood waiting as the woman typed frantically into her computer. Nathan was getting restless and he kept asking the same questions.

‘Where’s mummy?’ ‘Can we go home yet?’ ‘Can I have a McDonalds?’

The answers to all of the questions were the same. ‘I don’t know.’

The woman stopped typing and looked up at me.

‘Sir, I think you’ve got the wrong information. No Claire Woods was ever registered for this flight, in fact, I’ve looked at the flight you said she took last Sunday and she wasn’t on that flight either.’

‘What?’ I asked, not processing what she had just told me.

‘What do you mean she wasn’t on the flight last Sunday?’

‘Just like I said Sir, she wasn’t on the flight. Now, if you don’t mind could you please move out of the way so I can help another customer. Good night sir.’ She motioned for me to move.

I picked Nathan up and carried him out to the car. What did she mean? Of course Claire got on that flight last Sunday. Why was she lying? I put my head in my hands and tried to piece it all together.

Nathan asked for a McDonalds again.


She stopped walking and bent down to the ground. The wind blew her ginger hair in front of her eyes, obscuring her vision. She pushed it behind her ears and picked up a silver shell. She thought of Nathan and held it close to her heart. She knew she’d done the right thing.

Laura Lovelock is a (nearly) 20 year old ex psychology undergrad who quit university to follow her dreams of becoming a writer. She is currently working on her first novel which is currently untitled but would fit perfectly into the chick-lit genre. She enjoys writing short stories for competitions too but her ultimate goal is to be able to walk into a bookshop and she her own book on a shelf. Laura hopes that this day will not be far off and is excited about what the future has in store. When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading and reviewing, taking walks along the beach and eating!
Laura lives on the south east coast of England with her parents and four lively cats! To follow Laura’s writing journey you can visit her blog:http://lauralovelockbookreviews.wordpress.com/ , follow her on twitter: @LaurasReviews or ‘like’ her facebook page: Laura’s Book Reviews



  1. Oh I need to read more of that story

  2. Can I just say you have a fantastic writing style! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and want to know how the story ends 🙁 lol

  3. loved it and look forward to reading what happens next.

  4. Pingback: And the Winner of the 2013 Imagine, Write Inspire Flash Fiction Competition is …. | carmelharrington

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