Flash Feature…Stavroula Sanida

Stray verbal bullet

(response to the 25 word challenge)

Clarity in need.
‘He cheated on me. How is this possible?’.
‘I told you so!’.
Four words you should never say…

About the Author


I am a psychologist, certified cognitive behavioural therapist and functional analytic therapist working in private practice since 2006 in Athens, Greece. I like being creative in therapy and I use story writing as an evocative tool for my clients. I have presented Story Writing in Psychotherapy at conferences and led according workshops.

Holding a black belt in kick boxing and attending contemporary dance lessons for six years led me to be more resilient, to keep on fighting for my goals and gain more self knowledge.

Writing stories is a passion of mine and an inspirational refuge during stormy times.

Interacting with authentic people fuels my energy.

Professional website: http://www.mental-health.gr/

Blog: psypath.blogspot.com


(For me this perfectly illustrates those hurtful conversations that do more harm than we realise… in only 22 words! HJ)

Flash Feature…Alexandros Zochios


(response to the 50 word challenge)

I only had one pair of socks from you, a welcoming gift to our new house. After I’d put it in the washing machine, one of them disappeared. Have you ever wondered where lost socks go? I’ve kept that washing machine. Just in case it appears again, missing its half.

About the Author


I work in Greece in the IT field. I’ve been published only back home and I would like to reach English speaking readers.

(With just 50 words, Alex articulates heartbreak, loss and the futile optimism of the spurned lover. HJ)

Flash Features…Matthew Beswick


(response to the 250 word challenge)

No one should be this happy in the club, with their mother. It wasn’t always this way. When he came out there were tears and harsh words. She told him she didn’t want him to go to hell. It hurt a lot when she said that. But they’ve grown in love. It has mended all their bonds. He’d confess now that he was an asshole as a teenager too. A lot of his friends, even those around him, don’t see their parents. Some Dads even tried to beat the faggot out of them. But they love his Mom. They accept her and dance with her all night.

They found their shared passions over time: Music, dancing, Hugh Jackman. She spent her youth in the music venues of the sixties. She hung out and listened to Nina and The Beatles. For a time she was a back-up singer with the band of the moment. As he grew up she sang to him all the great songs from that era.

Now they are dancing in the club to more modern tunes. She still loves music, even though she thinks the current singers and bands lack talent and creative autonomy. A beat is a beat and they dance to it freely. After all, they’re amongst friends. They’re with his LGBT brothers and sisters and she feels as safe as he does.

This illusion is shot through with bullets. She is amongst the first to die. She covers him; in love, protection and blood.


About the Author


Dreams are often Matthew’s inspiration in life. That life is one of the aspiring penniless writer. A graduate of Goldsmith’s, University of London and Kingston University where he received his Masters with distinction in Creative Writing.

His favourite criticism from his Masters portfolio reads, ‘he strays into melodrama now and then, and the latent hysteria of his style comes through.’ He has no evidence, but believes this awesome opinion was formed when he came to class with one of his many alter-egos, Amy Wino, in his bag after a charity event.

Although he loves dreams, he neither prescribes to the psychoanalytic or New Age interpretations of dreams. More simplistically, he just revels in their stories and often crazed imagery and logic.

You can follow his work here.

(We write to understand ourselves; we write, often, to understand catastrophic and dreadful events – and here, Matthew has responded sensitively, beautifully to one of the worst mass killings in US history. HJ)