A piece of flash fiction


photographerA candle flickered before him as he sat at his desk recording the events of his extraordinary day. Scratch scratch, quill on vellum.

“I entered a darkened room whereupon I was made to sit perfectly still whilst retaining breath in my lungs. A fellow stood behind a three-legged contraption, flung a black sheet over his head and bent forward. In one hand he held a peculiar device on a stick. Suddenly, the wretched thing flashed brightly billowing acrid smoke into the air. I was near blinded and almost choked to death”.

He paused briefly to ponder the future.

“Will the artist be no longer be required? Are machines to replace his brush and palette? If so how is he to earn his shilling? Perhaps in time, we will no longer be required to think for ourselves, calculate or investigate. Maybe even my trusty pen will become redundant”.

He sighed, and a drop of ink fell from the quill as if shedding a tear for the present which would too soon become the past.



Word count 172


photo-20180305154610240Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers which is hosted by Priceless Joy. The photo is provided by Goroyboy. I have taken the liberty of increasing the size of the quill in my story!


32 thoughts on “A piece of flash fiction

  1. Iain Kelly Mar 6, 2018 / 14:25

    And yet there are still plenty of people happily painting away, reading books and writing on paper – technology always seems to be viewed as one or the other when both options can easily co-exist. Nice take Keith.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Varad Mar 6, 2018 / 14:31

    I would have loved to know his reaction to the selfie sticks. Nice one, Keith.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bernadette Braganza Mar 6, 2018 / 15:52

    When the present becomes the past. It’s always happening!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings Mar 7, 2018 / 11:48

      it’s called progress – some, however, would dispute that.Thanks Bernadette


  4. James Mar 6, 2018 / 17:16

    Technology seems to be taking over the “old school” methods of creating art, however it can be defined.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. yarnspinnerr Mar 7, 2018 / 05:56

    Machines are fast, accurate and stupid while humans are slow, inaccurate and brilliant. I like your take on this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sandi Mar 7, 2018 / 13:05

    Very well written, I felt as if it were a history book, with live action. (made into a video for the history channel)

    Change is inevitable. Self-driving cars have already been introduced! It won’t be long before everyone has those. By then, our children will be grown, and we’ll be the grandparents still sitting in a drivers seat, while our grand kids make fun of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings Mar 7, 2018 / 13:14

      It’s very kind of you to say so, Sandi, I so agree with your insightful comment.


  7. joem18b Mar 7, 2018 / 14:43

    nice. did you write it yourself, or have one of those new self-learning neuronic-net machines do it for you? they’re almost human now; due to be more human than humans by next Tuesday.


    Liked by 1 person

  8. goroyboy Mar 7, 2018 / 15:41

    Very sobering Keith. Especially as penmanship is no longer taught, it will be a “art form” as the fate of calligraphy. Well done

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings Mar 7, 2018 / 17:44

      I studied and learned calligraphy at school. I wonder if it’s still an option. I’d like to think so. Thanks for the picture Goroyboy


  9. EagleAye Mar 7, 2018 / 17:00

    The future often seems more terrifying than it really is. They claimed that with the advent of computers, the need for paper would disappear. By my estimates, paper was used more! Computers didn’t kill jobs either, they just created different ones, and more of them! Loved the writing in this one. You did a great job of creating a mood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings Mar 7, 2018 / 17:48

      Thanks so much. I entirely agree with your comment, such pessimism is more than often often unwarranted.


  10. Christine Goodnough Mar 8, 2018 / 02:28

    Years back I read a little quip some wit came up with. I’ll quote it as best I can remember:
    If there had been computers in 1850, they would have predicted that in 100 years there would be so much horse manure piled up on the planet that human life could no longer exist.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings Mar 8, 2018 / 08:11

      A brilliant little adage. My thoughts immediately turned to today’s polititions when I read it! cheers Christine.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Christine Goodnough Mar 8, 2018 / 13:56

        Well, they were referring only to horse manure. “Hot air” and other effluents may ever be with us. 😉


  11. Anagha Yatin Mar 8, 2018 / 05:45

    Change is the only constant…and progress is a must. But then over the time period, many skills are being replaced by robotic actions and AI. At times I feel bad that we may loose human touch in centuries to come.
    This story made me pause and reflect. Good one Keith.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings Mar 8, 2018 / 12:46

      You are so right. Sadly, young people today groan if we show regret about the things we’ve lost from the past. But of course, they’ll be doing exactly the same thing in 50 years time! Thanks, Anagha.


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