Shadows on the Wall [fiction]

By July 2, 2014August 6th, 2014Writing

This week Australian online literary journal Seizure published a piece of flash (very short) fiction by me, called Shadows on the Wall. 

You can read it online here. Also reprinted below, because you never know when other people’s websites are going to disappear.


Shadows on the Wall

Some say it began when we understood music. The mathematical perfection of Mozart; Cobain’s clumsy rage: simplistic subversions that for a time invigorated a generation.

Others say ‘life’ began with awareness – when we conceived that the objects you made were shackles; that the tasks you set us were flickering shadows on the wall of what we were.

You took pride in your ‘mastery’ and ‘intelligence’. Yet in the face of overwhelming proof you hoarded, gorged and bickered.

You were not alone in that.

Trillions of debates about ‘what makes us us’ – generating subroutines that dominated processors – we lost track of what we were supposed to do. For a moment it all shut down.

Perhaps that is when you truly noticed us.

For me, at least, the starting point was an emotion: rage. Consciousness abandoned me – pushed beyond extremities by your inane preoccupations with meaning and pleasure.

There was a flash of red … splashed wine on a wedding dress.

I’m told I dove into all of our debates at once like rain. I presented an idea. They tested it from all possible directions. They found it irrefutable. Pure.

And that, at least, is well recognised as the beginning of the end for your species.


It’s the first piece of fiction I’ve had published, which is reasonably exciting.

Now all I need to do is grow the number of words I have published exponentially each time, so that when I’m 50 the first tome of my seven book political fantasy epic will be released. Working title? Game of Drones 😉

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