Tuesday, 29 May 2012

'How it all began' by Philip Schofield

[Written as part of the Book-ish event in Abergavenny]

It is a little known fact that Flash Fiction originated in Abergavenny in middle of the sixteenth century.  Queen Elizabeth was on the throne and young men aspired to be scholars or poets.

In a quiet town called Stratford upon Avon, the parents of a lazy young lad named Will Shakespeare, despaired of him ever finding work.  He had no interest in reading or writing and, in fact, had never written a word in his life.

In desperation, his parents sent him to Uncle Oliver who lived in a sleepy town called Abergavenny.  Uncle Oliver was a strict disciplinarian and Will’s parents prayed that he would instil a work ethic into their son.
Young Will arrived tired and hungry but there was no time to eat.

Uncle Oliver appeared with quill and parchment. He was fierce and determined.  ‘First write, then eat.  You will focus lad.  Understand?  This is Abergavenny!  Focus!’

Now Aunt Cath, Oliver’s wife, ran a small business with two friends, Hannah and Emma.  They gathered mushrooms and herbs and brewed a thick soup in a cauldron to sell to travellers on the Brecon Road.

Will watched hungrily as they stirred, cackling and chuckling.  His quill scratched on the parchment but, after only 250 words, inspiration dried up.  He would finish the writing later.

Uncle Oliver snatched the paper out of Will’s hand and began to read, ‘Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble.’

Flash Fiction was born.

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