First of all, Happy Birthday Mum!

I know you’re a technophobe, and will likely never read this, but just in case Courtney comes across it, Happy Birthday!

Aside from that ‘countdown’, my title refers to the recently published Countdown Macabre. The good people at Flash Shot published my story on Friday the 13th (one day ahead of it’s originally scheduled date), and it seems to have made an impact.

The regulars at the Flash Shot forum had, among other things, the following to say about my story (names and extraneous bits removed):

“Very well done. Nice pacing.”

“Oh this is great…A twisted ’12-days of Christmas’ sort of countdown…Clever, clever…”

“I think I have a new favorite Flashshot. I honestly think my pulse quickened as I read it. Well done Shane!”


“This was one of the best flashes I’ve seen in a long time! It reminded me of Ray Bradbury’s short story / chapter about the LonelyOne in “Dandelion Wine,” where Lavinia Nebbs has to cross that ravineall alone, and counts the steps and her breaths all the way home.The countdown is a wonderful device for building suspense anddisplaying mounting terror, and the numbers matching thecountdown … WOW. Makes me say ‘I wish I wrote that!'”

Suffice to say, I’ve never seen such enthusiasm for a 100 word story – on the Flash Shot discussion group, or anywhere else for that matter. I’m amazed, a little bewildered, and very chuffed. I even scored praise for my web work. All in all, a very gratifiying time last night.

For those who missed it, it is available for a few days only at the Flash Shot website – definately worth your brief investment in time.

Now, my final countdown is for waiting for Ange to call. She and Hayley are at Luke’s place, getting very pizzled at his cocktail party with a bunch of varyingly attractive thirty somethings. And me? I’m the loyal stay-at-home geek boy.