Flash Fiction Friday 049: Autumn Preserves by Susan Moffat

Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the forty-ninth piece in this series. This week’s is a 122-worder by short story author and poet Susan Moffat.

Autumn Preserves

Wearily she perched on a damp log at the bottom of the garden. The lawn was strewn with the gold and red of Autumn and the heavy mustiness of the end of the season.

Apples from the tree, once heavy with juice, now lay forgotten, nestled the grass, a white decay slowly eating them away.

It was still warm, given the time of year, but she wrapped the crisp blue denim of her new jacket tight around her body, protecting it from the spoilage.

Beside her on the log was a tightly sealed jar of Autumn leaves. A collection of perfectly dry russet reminders.

They said that she would survive Autumn.

So she kept the Autumn alive in her jar.

Preserving herself.


I asked Susan what prompted this piece and she said…

I wrote the story after someone commented that autumn never lasted long… the focus always seemed to be winter and Christmas. I tried to imagine holding on to the season for a while longer… and the story developed from there.

It was delightfully sad, and amazing what can be conveyed in only a few words. Thank you, Susan.

This story will be podcasted in episode 017 (Sunday 4th November).


Born in 1969, Susan Moffat grew up in County Durham, in the North East of England, during the period of the Miner’s Strike, mass unemployment and the very beginning of the technological boom.

She studied Computer Studies in the late 80’s, and worked in IT for a book distribution company for almost 10 years, before taking time out to become a mother.

She now works part time as a librarian in a Special Needs Secondary School.

In 2010 she started a degree course in creative writing and film and TV sceenwriting.

Susan can be found at her blog: http://www.smoffat99.wordpress.com.


If you’d like to submit your 1,000-word max. stories for consideration for Flash Fiction Friday take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with non-fiction author and columnist Peggy Mullins – the four hundred and seventy-second of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.  I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

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