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  • Writer's pictureBelle Kenyon

Flash Fiction Spotlight: Claire HM

In October we had the pleasure of publishing Claire HM's debut novella, How To Bring Him Back.

Claire HM is a poet, a novelist and a flash fiction writer. Pretty versatile then!? We wanted to show you a sample of some of Claire's recent work, published by Flight of the Dragonfly.

A sample:

BUST 1998

As she barges through the swing door, Ruth oh so nearly drops what she’s carrying, cos shit, the button’s popped open on her blouse again. Gravy wet plates skid onto the counter as she raises a hand to fasten a button. She convinces herself it’s all been hidden by the droop of the pussy-cat bow.

The kitchen’s stopped serving so the pressures all on the waiting staff. A restaurant full of plates to clear and sweets to serve, scraped from the freezer, plonked in the microwave. The kitchen staff all have their backs to the door, gathered like a bouquet garni, one seeped in the scent of Lynx and Gillette. That God awful Billie song is blaring out of their radio again but they seem oblivious. Why you gotta play that song at all? Number one? Sheesh.

There’s redcurrant jelly smeared on the chef’s back, from his stiff white jacket to the starting grid checks of his oversized trousers. He suddenly turns. Ruth flicks her eyes down to her fingers, still pressed against her cleavage. Then the rest of the group turn towards her too.

‘Whadjya think?’ the underchef snorts, his skin taut and shiny with the heat, ‘it don’t bother ya, does it?’

The bouquet parts to reveal an image stuck to the kitchen wall, enshrined in A3 glossy print. Tits. Enormous brown knockers. The strip lighting casts the model’s face in shade.

Words drop from Ruth’s mouth, ‘That’s so not cool.’ Her belly cramps.

In 2019 Claire HM had an essay published in the anthology, I Wrote it Anyway, about the experience of accessing university, and the long journey of finding the confidence to write as a woman in her forties from a working class background. Claire’s poems have most recently been published in streetcake, Tears in the Fence, Coven, Cape Magazine, and Nymphs.

How to Bring Him Back, is Claire HM's debut novella with Fly on the Wall, published October 2021, and available for £6.99 here.

It is set in the 90s Birmingham subculture, and is a story framed by a spell to let go of the past...

Hooked on Claire? More about her writing below!


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