Issue 20: Meditations on Decapitation

A letter from the editorial committee

Welcome to Issue 20: Meditations on Decapitation!

The committee has been quite busy this term. We have been working on getting Flash into print, and finally, it’s here! This of course wouldn’t be possible without the support of the English Department at Lancaster University, the hard work of the previous committees in setting up and expanding Flash, and of course, our amazing contributors!

Aside from the issue, we have been busy planning our annual event, Poetry by Candlelight to create a platform for students to share their poetry. We have also been working in partnership with Bailrigg FM to allow our writers to have their work performed on the radio in an effort to engage more people with the student media. We hope to continue doing more new and exciting things in the year ahead for the students.

Congratulations to Micah Bradley on being awarded with the Issue 20 Editor’s Choice Award.

Thank you to everyone who submitted – we look forward to working with you again in the new year!

We hope you enjoy the issue!

The Flash Editorial Team


The Editors’ Choice Piece:
Meditations on Decapitation

By Micah Bradley, with commentary from Teodora Nikolova

Meditations on Decapitation is a lovely piece with a flowing delicate cadence, and a deep-set sense of nostalgia with a soft sinister undertone. It flows beautifully, and shows language at its most precarious form of beauty, at once fragile, and overwhelming.’

What I Am Not
By Caitlan Walton, with commentary from Katie Simpson

‘Caitlan Walton’s What I Am Not is a deeply reflective and personal poem. The imperative tone along with the vivid imagery accentuates a present and imminent concern surrounding identity. The poem brings with it an air of feminist fortitude which enables a very dominant and empowering message.’

Late Train
By Michael Pritchard, with commentary from Jess Philips 

‘Michael Pritchard’s short story Late Train is a uniquely narrated piece of horror fiction with a shock twist. Its removed narrator is characterised effortlessly through their narrative alone; Pritchard allows this voice to build throughout the piece whilst remaining grounded in the story, crafting what becomes a great campfire tale.’

Ironing a Shirt for Lady Joanna
By Dan Power, with commentary from Matt Tattersall

‘Dan Power’s prose is full of wit, detail and simple charm, presenting an interesting dynamic between the potential for elegant existence and the bumbling reality of high society.’

By Louise Ashton, with commentary from Matt Tattersall

Another is a powerful commentary on the nature of rape allegation trials, presenting in no uncertain terms the ordeal which many victims unfairly suffer. Louise Ashton’s description of events is tactful, and her conclusion serves to highlight the issues surrounding these unfortunate cases, whilst leaving her reader space to think.’

Welcome to the Selfish Me
By Amrit Bhullar, with commentary from Alice Hiley

Welcome to the Selfish Me is a highly emotive and visual piece about nationality and leaving home. Amrit creates a stunning natural landscape and captures the speaker’s sense of fear, scrutiny and determination in a haunting way.’

Linda Arrives
By Emily Ingle, with commentary from Ruth Jones

‘This surreal piece of flash fiction was fascinating to work on. Emily’s detached and minimalistic narrative voice serves to enhance the other-worldly aspects of the piece. This striking juxtaposition makes this story an incredibly creative piece of fiction.’

Winter Commute
By Dean Tsang, with commentary from Alice Hiley

Winter Commute creates a slightly surreal feeling of anxiety and tension within a familiar and tangible setting. Dean’s use of highly metaphorical and emotive language adds to the sense of unease and gives a direct insight into the speaker’s fragile mindset.’

By Stacey Woodbridge, with commentary from Srishti Kadu

Variegation is a serene poem exploring the narrator’s struggles with understanding loss. Woodbridge’s use of iambic pentameter to denote the passing of time and colour to represent the process of healing conveys a subtle innocence which contrasts beautifully with the subject matter of the poem.’