Read Online - Viva Brighton

flash fact competition
by Jon Edgell
Midnight was a way off and the party was dragging, so I had the idea to turn the clock forward.
As The Monster Raving Loony Party had realised
in their proposal to decimalise time (thereby
and February!) a time and date is only a number,
a finite time in which to finish their ‘to do’ list.”
so in the spirit of Interstellar why not bend it?
“My cat’s New Year’s resolution is to sleep more”,
Formalities over early, we wandered back to Dave’s
I added unhelpfully.
flat to catch Jools Holland’s (ironically pre-record-
Ignoring my flippancy Dave reached towards the
ed) Hootenanny. As Jools’ guests reviewed their
CD player. As minimalist piano notes began to
year, Dave and I turned our attention to the future.
loop hypnotically, he asked “What do you hear?”
“I resolve to spend more quality time with my
“Nothing?” I suggested.
son,” I boldly stated.
“...Or everything?” Dave countered mysteriously.
“I’ve got good news that will help,” Dave said. “In
“Your ear expects questions and answers. But that
2015 nice Mr. Cameron is giving us an extra second.”
relies on memory and expectation in our regular
This was true, but alarmingly nothing to do with
horizontal timeframe. But here the usual waves
an election year, but rather a deceleration in the
of tension and resolution are missing. You are left
Earth’s rotation!
with nothing upon which to hang your perception
“This extra second will pass largely unnoticed,
of the passing of time!”
save for a few computer programmers who will be
I was starting to feel dizzy.
having millennium bug flashbacks.”
“Your awareness begins to focus on previously in-
Dave paused before venturing deeper into the
visible details as you leave behind horizontal time
gathering fog of Prosecco: “Time flies when you
and enter the magical realm of vertical time! Being
are having fun or drags when you are bored, but
fully present in the moment, that’s true quality
perception of time in our memory works the op-
time, that’s how you can resolve to make that extra
posite way, so a year spent travelling seems longer
second with your son count!” he concluded with
in memory than a year at the office. Time becomes
a flourish.
meaningless without memory and we humans have
I wasn’t sure about the music expanding vertical
a unique consciousness that allows us to live in
time but it was having a profound effect; I had to
the past or the future, which is actually more of a
ask Dave to turn it off - it was making me feel sick.
curse than a useful superpower.”
Dave and Jon were listening to Six Pianos by Steve Reich.
“My cat has a memory - she remembers where she
lives,” I argued.
Next month’s prompt is ‘Invisible’. True Life Stories
“Maybe, but cats don’t make New Year’s resolu-
of no more than 400 words, in by 12th Feb please.
tions. They don’t even know what time it is, or
The winning entry gets published here and receives
how old they are. They don’t know that they have
a £20 book token from Kemptown Bookshop
Illustration by Lucy Williams
ingeniously banishing the cold months of January