‘Magpie’s Nest’ A new flash fiction in (dubious) honour of the Queen’s Jubilee.

The upcoming jubilee seemed like a good enough prompt to write a quick piece of flash fiction. I don’t think it’s treasonous…..comments appreciated as always.

Magpie’s Nest.


I stole the crown jewels once. It was easy: I simply strolled up when no-one was looking – and let’s face it, people generally try not to see what they don’t want to have to deal with – and took them.

Of course I knew they weren’t the real crown jewels; I must have known. My report card that summer said “Intelligent, if prone to lapses in concentration” so I wasn’t exactly stupid, and every school in the country must have had an identical display.

But I had to have them, real or not. The minute I saw the light from the assembly hall window refracted through the diadem in a purple-tinted spectrum I knew they would be mine; the crowning glory to my hoard of magpie’s gewgaws. When I squinted, its points of light became frosted stars, like the fairy lights on our Christmas tree or the sunshine glinting like daytime constellations off the pins and piercings of punks at the bus stop.

Gran’s silver teaspoon, my sister’s necklace, tubs of gold glitter pinched from the stationer’s: Mum found them all in a covert raid of my under-the-bed nest. Returning the crown jewels the next day, I was treated to one of the Headmaster’s infamous ‘chats’, (you know the drill: responsible behaviour, respect for property, self-improvement), before being stripped of my milk-monitor duties. How I missed those glittering bottle tops.

Unfortunately, unlike the headmaster, my father was not a devotee of progressive views on punishment; thoughtfully though, he used the buckled end of the belt, seeing as I liked shiny things so much.

Dad lasted till the eve of the ’81 royal wedding, when Mum booted him out.

Years later my behavioural therapist suggested I channel my compulsive obsession into a career, which I did; albeit a nocturnal one. Over the years I’ve strutted my shining stuff across stages all over the country, but tonight is special; tonight I debut my latest creation and Mum’s right there with me, pinning me into a gown that few self-respecting men entering middle age would attempt to get away with. As the house lights dim I look down and squint at the thousands of sequins twinkling under the single bulb hanging above me in the wings; another constellation is born.

‘How do you feel?’ says Mum.

‘Jubilant,’ I reply.

Then, taking a deep breath, I leave Michael behind and Her Royal Majesty, Queen Betty Swollocks takes to the stage.

© flyingscribbler 2012



18 comments on “‘Magpie’s Nest’ A new flash fiction in (dubious) honour of the Queen’s Jubilee.

  1. Laurita says:

    Fun! It’s so deliciously off-beat the whole way through, the ending is just a shiny crown on a story that just, well, sparkles.

  2. Larry Kollar says:

    Ooo, shiny! Um…

    I wasn’t expecting that ending, and it made me laugh. Good one!

  3. ElizabethM says:

    Loved this! It was a delight to read.

  4. Steve Green says:

    Sparkly fun story Justin, even the bit about the belt buckle, although it had undertones of cruelty still held a comic twist.

  5. A real dazzler of a story! Fun. I liked how his mum understodd his his leaning towards all that glitters. I like shiny things too! •*¨*• ¸.✶*¨`*.¸.•

  6. Cherie Reich says:

    Awesome voice! Love the twist on how he finds a way to use his attraction to sparkly things. 🙂

  7. Brinda says:

    Good for Michael! What a good Mum and horrid Dad. Fun little story : )

  8. John Wiswell says:

    It was sweet of Dad to use the shiny part of the belt. Ever stolen a belt buckle?

  9. timvansant says:

    “Jubilant!” Nice one. The voice was perfect all the way through.

  10. Icy Sedgwick says:

    There’s always someone to spoil the fun. And I LOVE this line, “the sunshine glinting like daytime constellations off the pins and piercings of punks at the bus stop.”

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