London Lies Flash Fiction Winner

Firstly, thank you to our three authors for taking part, and thanks also to the more than 500 people who voted.

And the results are (in reverse order)

Runners Up:
Chris House (untitled, but refered to here as Shaggy Dog) 1.09%
Janis Pegrum Smith (Claim to Fame)  35.4%

And the clear winner:
Viv Cooper (Screaming)  63.5%

Congratulations Viv. If you would all like to contact us with your addresses we will post your copy of London Lies or your London Liar badge to you.

the winning entry is repeated here for those of you who missed it.


The boy was spoilt. You could tell that straight away. His dad told everyone how bored he got, how bright he seemed, how gifted he was.

He was unbearable. At the riverside café where we sat, he was noisily re-enacting the Iraq War. When the food was finally brought, he shouted for bigger burgers, fizzier pop.

He was running down the stone steps to the Thames. He’d tired of planning the Third World War and was now splashing into the water, calling out to his parents to look, look, look!

And he was screaming, probably because there was no one now he could pretend to bomb.

Then the screams became words.

“There’s a shark! Mom, there’s a shark in here!”

He screamed with the full force of his lungs. He screamed to make the sky echo. He screamed to make the clouds shiver. Heads turned to look at the child-rippled water; tongues clicked in disapproval at the irresponsible parents.

“What a liar!” people muttered. “There are no sharks in the Thames.”

Oblivious, the loving mother brought her camera to the water’s edge and filmed her brave son.

Oblivious, the loving father smirked proudly.

The boy screamed. He screamed to make the river cower. He screamed to make the birds cry.

Still the mother filmed. Still the father smirked.

The dark water was the first warning. From up in the café, onlookers could see the change in the colours, hear the difference in his screams. Through a viewfinder though, sounds that should terrify seem entertaining; colours that should alarm look artistic.

Only a sudden silence could pierce the proud parental insouciance, could make the mother stop filming.

It was only then that they realised that their lovely, clever, noisy son had not just been screaming but, weed-mangled and reed-pinioned, drowning.
© Viv Cooper

4 thoughts on “London Lies Flash Fiction Winner

      • Thanks to both of you for your comments! I was worried that the story might seem a little cruel and wouldn’t appeal. My inspiration was a boy whose screaming was totally ignored by his parents and, of course, the Stevie Smith poem.

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