Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 68: The Careless Word

This is the 68th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Careless Word, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 7th February 2013

Word count: 789

The story:

So, you want to understand? You want to take an interest? Nonsense. What you really want is to be a voyeur. Don’t worry, the least we can do is be honest with each other. Besides I want to tell you my tale.

I’ve always prided myself in being a more or less honest bloke. So what happened was really quite amazing.

I should explain, my job was in politics, I wasn’t an actual politician, I leave that to far more public spirited and vainglorious individuals. I was a tax consultant, working for the treasury as a special adviser. It’s honestly more interesting than it sounds. My specialty was digging out loopholes that people used to avoid tax, so the treasury knew what it was ignoring, ready for when they didn’t want to ignore it. Such as when a company annoys the government.

The stories I could tell you about tax avoidance, like the multimillion pound rock farm on a tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic. However, that’s not what you were bugging me about. You want to know how I near single handedly caused a whole government to collapse.

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Surprise! I’m a writer!

Why surprise? Well I’ve surprised myself, we’re now two months into this writing challenge, and I’ve not stopped.

I wasn’t entirely convinced I’d stick with it, but I have this far. There’s still 298 stories to go, but it’s been a good start.

There’s a lot going on in my life, which has served as quite the distraction. I’ve missed one day – ironically on the least distracting of days. There’s been a fair few days where writing has been last minute.
I should offer a word on quality, or lack thereof – the challenge is to write, not edit. The only editing I’m doing is to trim the word count to fit in my maximum of one thousand words. It’s not always pretty, but it’s creative.

Well kind of creative – there’s probably twenty ways to armageddon the world. Pleasantly, sometimes bitter sweetly, occasionally tragically it’s been a lot more than destroying the world, I like to think I’ve got some genuine drama, emotion, and fantasy in there.

I’m going to be making a list of goals – stories and styles that are off the beaten track for me. Things I might not be good at, but are a stretch.

I’m also going to launch a separate but related challenge to edit two stories a week. Two of the Daily Flash Fiction Challenge stories, just seem spelling, grammar, flow editing, maybe do some rewrite to clarify what I intended. Otherwise the main rules of the Daily Flash Fiction Challenge, 500 to 1,000 words, a self contained story, not just a series of chapters.

Anyway the upshot is I’m writing and enjoying it. Which puts me in a good place.

Here’s to writing.