|Corinne closed the thick nail-studded door behind her, and walked down the narrow steps. The goldsmith's shop was small, full of little cabinets lined with black cloth displaying tiny brooches, ear-rings, necklaces of thin golden chain. Corinne got the impression that the entire shop could be quickly stuffed into a bag, for a swift getaway from riots, pogroms, or excise-men.|
This story came from a writing exercise, when I was part of a short-lived writers' group in north Leeds. Our host gathered together a few miscellaneous objects and gave us fifteen minutes to write something inspired by them. One of the items was her ring — it was the first time I'd ever seen an inscribed ring. It took me about five minutes to come up with a story based on the ring, and ten minutes to scribble down a rough draft. Obviously the time constraint made it a short piece. Afterward I wondered whether to expand it, but I decided the story worked best as flash fiction — a short sharp shock. I polished it up a little, and sent it out. The good folks at Shimmer magazine requested a minor rewrite, then published it.