Flash Fiction: When it all burns down

The notification on my phone tells me this is the end. In less than an hour the internet will be shut down forever. The cause: foreign interference. Citizens can no longer be trusted to discern true from false. The influence is too strong, our minds over manipulated and our addiction insatiable. The Government is taking drastic and final corrective action: they’re flicking the switch. 

The world wide web is in a panic. Tweeters are flying off the handle while YouTubers and Influencers are crying foul – they are about to lose their livelihoods after all. Teenage keyboard warriors have taken to all platforms, protesting in the only way they know how but you can’t ‘cancel’ an off switch. 

I scroll my newsfeed with a sense of impending doom. It’s flooded with the fierce image of London’s Great Fire of 1666. The towers are being licked by flames and dark smoke rises above the burning city. It’s a symbolic gesture from those siding with the government’s ruling: burn the digital world, be cleansed and return to ‘real life’.

But my online house is burning. What do I save? My mind whirls. Photos! I haven’t saved any photos! Always preferring to upload them straight to social media, I never bothered to print any. I navigate to my account and with frantic speed start to download. The pace is slow, the load on the system too high. I hold my breath, willing my thumbs to tap faster. But then, a small pop-up appears on my screen and I know this is the end. I read the words with grim defeat, my precious memories now forever inaccessible.


Word count: 276

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What is Flash Fiction?

Flash fiction is a genre of fiction, defined as a very short story. While there’s no set word count that separates flash fiction from more traditional short stories, flash fiction stories can be as short as a few words (while short stories typically run for several pages).

Flash fiction is also known as sudden fiction, short-short stories, micro-fiction, or micro-stories.

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