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National Flash Fiction Day story: "Touch Wood"

Since today is National Flash Fiction Day in the UK (the rest of the world apparently has a longer attention span), I have whipped up a story.

Well, I say story. It’s just under 300 words of dialogue, and as with most things I produce very quickly, it’s a bit on the puerile comedy side. But I find it strangely endearing, so I’m going to expose you to it anyway.

Sorry, it has nothing at all to do with the TV series Torchwood.

Touch Wood

By Nick Bryan

‘Hey, Brian, did you see that?’


‘That twitchy guy just dashed all the way across the bar to touch the wood panel by the window.’

‘Yes dear.’

‘I think he’d just said “touch wood” to that girl he was talking to, and thought he’d, y’know, try and be cute.’


‘But he probably didn’t factor in that this place is so fashionable, all glass and metal and Ikea furniture, so there’s no wood anywhere.’

‘No, there isn’t.’

‘So he ended up going on a two minute walk, and then having to shove back awkwardly around everyone. I think she’s about to try and get away from him, to be honest. People are staring.’

‘I see.’

‘Really, if he wanted to make that play, he ought to have gone to an old man pub where there’s wood all over the place.’

‘Are you bored, Mary?’


‘Because you said you were fine with checking your phone while I finished this chapter.’

‘I am. Carry on.’

‘Okay then.’

‘Brian! The guy with the wood is leaving now.’

‘How are his chances looking?’

‘Like the panel by the window is the only wood-touching he’ll get today.’


‘So you’re interested in this now?’

‘No, Mary.’

‘Wow, he’s just tripped and smashed his head open on the wooden doorframe!’


‘No. But it would’ve been amazingly ironic.’

‘That was the problem, sweetie. Too obvious.’

‘It was either that or “I think he’s trapped his erection in the closing door!” though.’

‘That’s just stupid.’

‘Tell me about it.’

‘Want me to put the book away and go to dinner early!’

‘Oh, can we?’

‘I think it’s for the best.’

Copyright me 2012, no stealing, email me here or comment below with any thoughts, all the usual. And yes, this does probably mean no Friday story on Friday.


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