Flash Fiction – A Word in Your Shell-like

This week’s piece for Phoenix Writers was 200 words to include a foreign word or phrase. Here is my Evolution-inspired slice of silliness:


A Word in Your Shell-like . . .

Sitting on the stubble-like grass of the island, Darwin tried to get comfortable. He held up the completed sketch, comparing it to his subject.

“Hmm, Chelonoidis nigra . . .” he said to the large shelled creature before him.

He was startled to hear The Giant Tortoise sigh, as it lurched forward and used its tiny white teeth to snatch the pen from his hand, before petulantly spitting it out on to the ground.

It watched the pen skitter away across a rock, turned back to Darwin and said, “Why don’t you just say ‘Tortoise’ like everyone else?”

Darwin blinked.

The tortoise nibbled a shrub. “Oh, now you’re quiet?” he said, chewing. “3 weeks I’ve had to listen to you yapping on about this theory of yours. Try to get a conversation? Nothing.”

“But . . .you can’t talk.”

“Maybe I . . .evolved.”

“That’s not possible,”

The tortoise shrugged. “So, when are you going to stop worrying about upsetting the Christians and finish the book?”

Darwin became sombre.”I fear they will lose their faith.”

“They’ll be fine. Survival of the fittest, mate.” The tortoise winked, swallowing the last of the leaf. “Cheerio,” he said, turning away towards the beach.

200 words


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Author: Wayne

15 thoughts on “Flash Fiction – A Word in Your Shell-like

    1. Thanks, Maria. I think my Tortoise impression probably made up for my lack of editing! I managed to give it a once over and hit the word count before posting it on here – 7 words over yesterday! I’m going to find next week’s challenge more tricky – I’m really not comfortable with poetry. It’s easier to fudge it when writing songs!

  1. Silly as it might sound, I find it harder to comment on fiction than non-fiction. On this occasion, however, there are no such worries. A few pleasingly clever references and a great undercurrent of humour – really enjoyed it!

    A smart-talking animal: can I have that tortoise as a pet?(!)

    1. Doesn’t sound silly – I have the same issue with poetry (both commenting on it and writing my own) – but your comments are always welcome here, sir. No such thing as a silly comment on my stuff – most of the time, the pieces are silly to start off with!

    1. Cheers Joe – it’s amazing what the mind can come up with when faced with a deadline and the threat of having to read your work to a group of fellow writers!

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