Monster Mash #fridayflash

#fridayflash, wordbunches on a Friday. Haven’t done this in a while. This week’s prompt is “Hallowe’en” obviously.


When I first stitched you up, I wasn’t sure it’d work out. But you found your rhythm quickly, after that first jolt, and I envied you. I worked for so long to make you up, I unmade myself along the way. All that writing, reading, digging up the past, didn’t leave much room for a personal life. I had someone, I think –an intended? – but that hardly seemed to matter. I think I treated people very poorly, back then.


Short story: Coffee

I’ve reduced the number of works I’m making available on the site, in order to have a more honest go at having stuff published. This short story was written in July 2013, which seems a world away, and was put in front of the London Road Irregulars, which was a lovely support group that fizzled out a bit. A cursory look doesn’t encourage me that this style of writing is particularly prized by submissions editors, but I like it, so I’m going to put it up here. It’s pretty much as-was, with only a few minor tweaks, and certainly without the helpful notes I received on it, but it’s a nice read for a Friday.


Funeral #fridayflash

#fridayflash, wordbunches on a Friday. I wrote this in a cafe last month, because felt guilty for not writing much, but I couldn’t be bothered to revise it heavily. We need to come up for a word that means “enjoy” but suits more serious stuff. Answers on a postcard. Also, yesterday was my two-year blogging anniversary!

#fridayflash 2014-03-14

I was dressed in black, obviously.


Dawn #fridayflash

#fridayflash, wordbunches on a Friday. New for 2014: nothing. This week’s prompt is “the hill at dawn”.

#fridayflash 2014-02-07

We sat on the hill, waiting for sunrise. The grass had frosted over, and street lamps shone from the valley below, a starcloth that muted the stars. You were sat with your kneees tucked under your chin, and your arms wrapped around your legs. You were leaning on me, ever so slightly, so I daredn’t shift my weight, even as my leg died underneath me. You were staring straight out across the valley, but not at anything in particular.

I read in your expression the words you were plucking up the courage to say to me. We both knew this relationship was going to lead to one of two things, and marriage was not on our minds. Dinner and drinking and dancing all night were just displacement activity – our real task was Avoiding the Subject.


Crawl #fridayflash

#fridayflash, wordbunches every Friday, or so. Occasionally they’re topical, mostly they’re not. This week’s prompt is “a rainy night”.

#firdayflash 2013-10-11

It’s Friday night. It’s dark, it’s cold. it’s raining, and I am standing at the bus stop, wearing a garish t-shirt emblazoned with the name of some society or other. I’m huddling under the umbrella of someone from halls with the rest of the group, and we’re chatting idly, swaying a little from the pre-game. Hopefully, the bus will arrive soon, take us to the centre of town, and we’ll then drink our way back up the road to the union, via a couple of bars I know and plenty I hadn’t even heard of before I read the event. Then, we’ll dance at the union night to about half one, when I know Caz will want to slink away, and be back here by two, where we’ll burn toast and wake the neighbours by talking too loudly, then eventually wind up in bed.

So, hopefully, the bus will arrive soon, so we can get started. And, hopefully, on that bus I’ll find you again.

I’ve reread the text confirming you’ll be on it a dozen times (and my muscle memory’s flicking to its place on my phone right now), but I’m not going to believe it until I see you. I can’t text you again, because that’s desperate, and I want you to think I’m cool, even though we both know I’m not. What I am, is deeply, desperately in love with you, and luckily you seem to like me too.

I know we’ve barely known each other a few weeks, but I know how I feel about you now. It came to me when I was doing my laundry yesterday, failing to operate the machines, and you came over… to point and laugh at me. I saw your smile, and I realised that I could no longer go a day without seeing it. I love your hair, I love your shoulders, I love your arms, I love your waist. I love the way you talk about biology, as if it was the most amazing thing in the universe, and the way you looked at me when I read out the poem I was studying. I love the way you dance, the way you talk, the way move amongst crowds, darting and dodging the other people as if they weren’t even there. There have been others before you, but none compare. I’d crawl through fire to get to you, without even a second thought. I love you with my entire heart, and, hopefully, you’ll love me too.

It’s Friday night. It’s dark, it’s cold. it’s raining, I’m a little bit drunk, and I couldn’t be happier.

“A Rainy Night” by Benjamin Maltz-Jones

‘Zack? Zack? Zack? Zack?’

‘Will you stop calling my name?’

‘Sorry, it’s just so fun to say. I can’t see a damn thing in this place. What the hell happened to all the electricity? This was supposed to be a nice getaway for both of us.’

‘That’s the rain’s bloody fault for flooding the basement. I told you we should have rented somewhere without a basement. Nothing good ever came from having a basement.’

‘Surely that’s not true. Something good is bound to have come from there.‘

‘Seriously, name one thing Marty.’

‘…basement dwellers.’

‘They don’t count. ‘

‘That’s where we met.’

‘Ok, so I guess they do count. For now.’

‘Ouch, that’s a little ominous. Why are you so scared of basements in the first place? We’ve played board games so many times down at Erin’s place. That space was just so good to set up in, and kinda warm, seeing as we were next to the boiler. ‘

‘I’m surprised we didn’t sweat buckets considering.’

‘I remember having to bring shorts round that one time in the middle of winter! My mum was so confused, poor thing.’

‘Ha, I remember you getting changed, and then running down to the basement fast as you could. Rest of the house wasn’t nearly as hot as it was down there. You remember when we all slept down there…’

‘…and brought the sand down with us? It felt seriously tropical, loved every minute of it.’

‘Erin’s mum wasn’t best pleased when she found us down there with an ice cooler full of beer, an old jukebox filled with Beach Boys songs, and barely anything on. Especially you Zack.’

‘I bet she thought we were having some kind of weird tropical orgy down there.’

‘God, can you imagine the look on her face if she had run down the stars and that was what was happening?’

‘She was probably mildly disappointed that all we were doing was relaxing in deckchairs. Where did we get those from again?’

‘I think we… borrowed them from a local poolside. I remember being made to take them back the next day, never been so embarrassed in all my life’

‘You loved it. Zack… do you want to go downstairs and check if the water’s started to drain out yet?’

‘…why don’t you want to do it?’

‘You’ve already forgotten?’

‘Ok, fine. But you owe me. Can’t believe I’m going to have to go down there. I bet it smells.’


‘You almost done Zack?


Hello? This isn’t funny, you can come back upstairs now.

Hey, the lights are working again! Is that what you’ve been doing all this time? Nice work!’

‘What are you doing here?’

‘Oh, hi Erin! We’re just playing a game.’

‘Where’s Zack?’

‘He just went down to the basement to turn the power back on.’

‘We had that thing filled in years ago. Fuse box is in the kitchen now.’


© Benjamin Maltz-Jones, 2013. Ben can be found @V_Ben on Twitter.


Black Hole by Charles Burns (1995-2005)

Before Sunrise, dir. Richard Linklater (1995)

Back to Basics and Victim of Geography by Billy Bragg (1983-1988)

If you want to join in with #fridayflash, great! Around 500 words is best. Either send me a link to its page on your site, or as a .doc or .rtf attachment. Email it to with the subject header SUB: #fridayflash, and I’ll post it up. No money involved, all rights remain your own. There are no restrictions, but if you want a prompt, next week’s is “comfort”.


Eliah #fridayflash

#fridayflash, wordbunches every Friday, or so. Never knowingly oversupplied. This week’s prompt is “obscure Bible story”.

#fridayflash 2013-10-04

DR. EVERETT REID: As you may know, accompanying the Bible is an assortment of apocrypha, religious stories that date from the same period, but are not considered part of the main canon. We have recently discovered a cache of writings from the period, and a new translation of the most complete tale is reprinted below:


Knee Socks #fridayflash

#fridayflash, wordbunches every Friday. Now made with at least 25% recycled material. This week’s prompt is “inspired by a song released in 2013”.

#fridayflash 2013-09-20

It’s just turned midnight and I am missing you like mad.


Stranded #fridayflash

#fridayflash, wordbunches every Friday. Now with Soundcloud readings and guests. This week’s prompt is “arriving somewhere unexpected”.

Send me your own #fridayflash piece – details at the bottom (under the read more).

#fridayflash 2013-09-13

Dear darling,

My dear, dear darling, I write to you in most perilous circumstances. My adventure has turned to misadventure. That is to say, the expedition in the rainforest has gone terribly awry. We ventured mistakenly from the main river and into a narrow creek, which lead directly to rapids and a waterfall, which would of course splinter my boat and my bones. In my enthusiasm to escape this fate, I snapped my oar clean in two. In the end, we had to rapidly abandon the boat, with what little supplies I and my guide could carry, and swim to shore.


Tech Support #fridayflash

New #fridayflash for you all. Wordbunchings every Friday(ish).

#fidayflash 2013-09-06

The Internet isn’t working again.


What I Did on My Holidays #fridayflash

Introducing #fridayflash, and its attendant unironic hashtag. New wordbunchings every Friday. Feel free to join in. Rules are your own.

#fridayflash 2013-08-23

What I did on my summer holidays

This summer, we headed for a fortnight in the south of France. This was a dreadful mistake.



Summer has been spent mainly reading sci-fi for my dissertation. Not much writing has got done. Even my grammar is slipping, as the previous sentence shows. However, I’ve got a few updates and notes for you:

  • I have finally started the play I’ve been threatening since the inception of this blog, which will most likely be called Just a Kiss – now two scenes in. I am pleased, because I need to be able to say I’ve finished a playscript, and more importantly I want to get it out of my system so I can write a play about robots. Please therefore bug me on Twitter to get it done (I’m only planning to to seven scenes, so it can’t be too difficult).
  • I’m drafting a blog post about the use of religion in imaginative fiction, which is partly inspired by the 2/3rds of Dune by Frank Herbert that I’ve got though (I’ve decided to move on, I’ve lost a fortnight of time by not reading it. It is good, but heavy-going). It’ll go up when it goes up.
  • I’m directing an evening of one-act plays for LUTheatre, performing 29/30 November/1 December. The programme is two by Anton Chekov – A Marriage Proposal and The Bear – followed after the interval by Still Life by Noel Coward. More promotion and thoughts nearer the time, I suppose.
  • A quick plug for my good friend Nick Palmer’s Tornmile series. It’s a fantasy flash fiction serial, told from multiple perspectives. He posts a short yet hearty chunk every Monday over at – we’re eight instalments in, so fill your boots.
  • Pretty much everything I have worth reading is now up on the site, so have a poke around on the pages  above to catch up with my writing so far. Anything new, I’ll post it on the blog so you don’t miss it.
  • Finally, speaking of new, I mean to finally do some writing for the ULSU’s newspaper The Ripple in my final year. I’m hoping to do some music journalism, but I’ve also submitted an extremely short story for the Arts and Creativity section. If it gets published, I’ll be here preening like a proud mother. But for now, for loyal readers of my blog, and as a reward for getting through the infodump, here it is. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks to Edward Spence for his advice – his site over at is well worth a perusal.

First Day

Laura waited in her bedroom until she stopped shaking. Her parents had left a while ago, but she was still sat in her chair, looking at the door. All the Freshers advice said to prop it open, so people would drop by and introduce themselves. Laura’s door was firmly shut. She was starting to think coming here was the stupidest idea ever.

She wasn’t cut out for university. She wasn’t smart enough – she only just scraped in on her General Studies grade. She had no idea what clothes she should be wearing, what music she should be listening to, what was cool and what wasn’t, and she felt like just some provincial kid from a nowhere town that had no business being in this city. She couldn’t call her friends back home – she’d be so embarrassed and ashamed of herself. They were busy anyway, gone to their own universities in other cities far away, making new friends, living it up, and forgetting all about Laura. She didn’t want to be here, she didn’t want to do her course, she didn’t want any of this any more. She had never been this scared in her entire life.

There was a quiet rap at the door. Laura froze. She got up very slowly, and walked over to the door. She opened it. A boy with messy hair was standing in the corridor. He smiled at her. Laura smiled back.