All week we are publishing (with permission), a number of the shortlisted entries from the 2022 Outsideleft Short Story Competition (details here). We will announce the winner on Friday. This entry, Man on a Bridge is by Claire Griffiths.
MAN ON A BRIDGE
He’s standing on the granite wall of the bridge. Tugging it. Cars slow, stop, speed up, but don’t honk: What if he falls?
So, he keeps facing the river, tugging it, smiling at the glory of himself. Sprays it out into the water. Tucks it back in, hops down to the pavement, goes on his way.
It’s now that a driver unlatches his seatbelt, gives chase. Kicks the man’s head bloody, sprays it out onto the concrete slabs. The smile drops, toothless. Cars honk their approval.
The pavement is where men choose to mete out punishment. Not on the wall of a granite bridge, where consequences might be considered accidental or an act of God.
© 2022 Claire Griffiths (all rights reserved)
About Claire Griffiths
Dr Claire Griffiths was born of Scotland, landed in England, and hasn't quite found her way home yet. She is Associate Head of Creative Writing at Northeastern University London. Her short stories and flash fiction have been published by Reflex Press, Litro, and Flash Fiction Magazine, broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and have placed in competitions including the Bridport Short Story Prize, the SmokeLong Quarterly Flash Fiction Award, and the Bridge Awards Emerging Writers Award.
The Outsideleft 2022 Short Story Competition: Concrete
Lisa Blower and Jenny McCann
Harriet Bradshaw - Always April
Sean Taylor - Fatum Divina
Callum McDonald - Alice
Claire Griffiths - Man on a Bridge
Alice Gregg - The Little Village Wall (unpublished)
Sourav Roy - The Chalky Bit
And the Winner is...
The winning story revealed here
Special thanks to the Bear Bookshop in Bearwood for helping out
Main image on this page from from pixabay