Posted in Short Stories

A Tropical Winter

Shortlisted in the UK Write Mentor flash fiction competition (2021).

Flash fiction for children. My entry “A Tropical Winter” was shortlisted in the UK Write Mentor’s flash fiction competition. The full 200-word text can be read below.

A Tropical Winter

We stand around the big white box.

It’s humming softly but I can hardly hear it over my pounding heart. My lips are dry, like my throat.

Marianne steps on my foot. We giggle and squirm. Margot shoots us angry looks. Her parents named her after a famous dancer, but no one speaks French, so instead, we call her Maggot. She’s the only one in the whole school who has touched real snow.

She slides the glass doors open.

Your whole head goes inside, okay?  

We stand on tiptoe and bend full forward, our faces smarting from the bursts of cold clouds. I hold my breath like I’m underwater. I look at the dead fish, the huddled-together prawns, the slabs of frozen meat. I close my eyes and try to imagine a snowman. He has a woolly hat and a carrot nose.

Marianne, or perhaps Wei Li, yanks my arm.

Someone’s coming!

Squealing, we turn and run out of the supermarket into the tropical heat, our flip-flops only stopping once we reach the playground.

THAT’S what it’s like, Maggot says smugly, as I cup my hands to my still icy cheeks, breathlessly savouring the last traces of my first winter.

(200 words)


Writer, avid reader of children's books and mother of two young readers.

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