BackLot 4096

In June 2016 the Letchworth Festival included a Flash Fiction Competition — any kind of fiction up to 250 words on the subject “The Future of Letchworth”.  That's very short — for comparison the competition rules were 791 words!  I only found out about the competition on the Thursday and the entries had to be handed in on the Saturday — and I was going away for the weekend, leaving soon after lunch on the Friday!  I wrote the piece on the Friday: the first draft was 340 words but I managed to cut it down to 250 words and give it to Renata to hand in.  I'm pleased to report that I won third prize, and here's the story.

Lot 4096

“Lot 4096”, the auctioneer announced, “Letchworth Garden City”.

“What's a Garden City?” asked Jurd.

“They must've lived in trees and caves.  Let's bid for it”.

“Mummy will tell you off.”

“She's always saying: Use your own initiative.”

She flashed a thought at the view-screen.

“One unit from Kralisa.” The auctioneer waited, but there was no interest, and many lots still to come.  “Sold to Kralisa for one unit, including passage for two to inspect the purchase.  Now this should attract more interest.  Lot 4097 — Moscow.”

Kralisa switched the screen off.  “Let's go”, she said excitedly.

“Mummy wouldn't let us.”

But Kralisa had already flashed a thought, and a few seconds later they had covered 6,000 light years.

“Are there any people here?” said Jurd, anxiously looking all around.

“Of course not, they would have been killed and their bodies disintegrated before the auction.  Anyway they were animals, not people.”

“They built all this though.”

“Animals build things too.  And I can unbuild them even quicker.”

She flashed a thought, and the Broadway Cinema collapsed into dust.

“You shouldn't…”

“It's mine.”

“Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.”

They spent all day exploring, pointing things out to each other excitedly.  Then came the summons from their mother.

“Can we come back tomorrow?”

“No we can't — the transfer's far too expensive.  We'll never see it again.”

“What are you going to do then?”

Kralisa thought for a moment.  “I'll see if Broccan will swap it for that new game of hers.”