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Dearest Caroline,

We are absolutely thrilled with your flash entry “Wave Goodbye”.  You manage to capture the roller coaster ride of a relationship, brief though it may be, in a flurry of well-chosen words all carefully positioned for maximum tension. The brisk, no nonsense way the initial encounters enfolds behind the disco, the grime of the street smouldering beneath sweaty hands and that unforgettable description of their love making is only topped by the weekend in that French Chateau. You combine the essence of luxury without letting it spoil the earthiness of their physical needs, the ecstasy of their fulfilment. Indeed at this point, it is almost a detective novel as we are left wondering where they will do it next and whether they are hiding from the other guests or actually have an exhibitionist streak and are taking risks to heighten their pleasure even further. The female character literally jumps off the page, into the readers arms. The carefully woven images of those angelic lips, the sheen of her dark skin, the athletic twist of her legs or the simple flick of long hair over her neck, all leave a genuine and rather deep sense of desire and perhaps fear. She really does seem too good to be true and your hero in the end is clearly, so overwhelmed that the reader is forced to question his intentions and wonder who dominated from the beginning, who leaves the relationship with the biggest thrill. That is such a poignant thought as they go their separate paths.

Caroline’s mouth dried around burnt toast. She choked. Swallowing a tear, her eyes scanned for attachments, virus warnings, indications of a scam. She’d never submitted to anything in her life. Squinting, fingers tapping the screen, she hoped nervously to tease secret messages from between the lines. The cold, bare words shimmered as she remembered each embrace, the expensive wines, breathless exchanges screeched through clenched lips all reduced to a puddle of flickering letters, the plummeting sensation of a stomach bouncing through a rough landing.

She read the email a third time. She felt a red flush of anger curdle her blood. He told her he was a literary editor. Now she understood what it meant. In a handful of words, he’d deflated her completely. She’d been rejected, thrown back on the slush pile. It would be her last submission.


Dedicated to education and being a father, E. F. S. Byrne has finally found more time to devote to his writing and is currently working on everything from very short flash stories to full-length novels. Weekly micro flash blog posts and links to over thirty published stories can be found at or follow him on Twitter @efsbyrne.