My experiment in flash fiction in 2021

I’m trying something new. Each week in 2021, I’ll be building a brand new sci-fi universe. I’ll post the stories here on Medium, so you can see them using your existing subscription.

However, by signing up on throughout 2021, you’ll receive a weekly standalone flash fiction story based on the sci-fi world of The Whale. Each story will be under 1500 words — perfect for a quick moment of escapism whenever suits you.

You’ll see this new sci-fi universe grow and evolve in a way unlike anything you’ve seen before. It will…


Shannon, Michelle and 3Marax come up against a swamper that, while dangerous, doesn’t act like the other monsters.

INTERMISSION BY PHIL

Before you start reading, I hope you’re enjoying Tales From The Whale. We’re into the third month of this story and I was hoping you’d share this with your friends — especially those that like a bit of sci-fi.

as hoping you’d share this with your friends — especially those that like a bit of sci-fi.

And if you’ve got any feedback on the story so far, do drop me an email — phil@philhurstwriter.co.uk


Arun recounts what happened to him and his sister before he was abducted by The Whale

INTERMISSION BY PHIL

Before you start reading, I hope you’re enjoying Tales From The Whale. We’re into the third month of this story and I was hoping you’d share this with your friends — especially those that like a bit of sci-fi.

And if you’ve got any feedback on the story so far, do drop me an email — phil@philhurstwriter.co.uk

Thanks, that’s it — back to the story.

The Bury St Edmund’s Cathedral grounds were beautiful at that time…


Arun and Josie size each other up as they try to get the other to tell the truth.

Photo by on

INTERMISSION BY PHIL

Before you start reading, I hope you’re enjoying Tales From The Whale. We’re into the third month of this story and I was hoping you’d share this with your friends — especially those that like a bit of sci-fi.

And if you’ve got any feedback on the story so far, do drop me an email — phil@philhurstwriter.co.uk

Thanks, that’s it — back to the story.

The contents of the cup in front of him…


INTERMISSION BY PHIL

Before you start reading, I hope you’re enjoying Tales From The Whale. We’re into the third month of this story and I was hoping you’d share this with your friends — especially those that like a bit of sci-fi.

And if you’ve got any feedback on the story so far, do drop me an email — phil@philhurstwriter.co.uk

Thanks, that’s it — back to the story.

All three of the 3Marax leapt onto Shannon’s trailer. Shannon Adger watched as they tasted some of the meat and discarded it, throwing it to the floor…


At orientation for new arrivals on The Whale, Arun has to step in to prevent a situation turning deadly.

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Arun sat around a circular table made of the strange ivory dug straight from the creature he was stuck within. Smoother than any marble he’d known on Earth, the patterns in it fascinated him. It was as if the ivory was made from interlocking strands of hair, wrapped around each other hundreds of time until it was one, yet somehow allowed the observer to trace each strand.

In front of him was a large amount of fruit and vegetables, some of…


Josie has to deal with a tricky political problem caused by the Reedor blockade of human goods.

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“Am I allowed to talk to the priest yet?” Josie asked.

It was the end of a terribly boring discussion about how people would be impacted by the Reedor refusal to trade. Josie was frustrated, as there was little she could do, but Sharma insisted on discussing the repercussions. He kept reminding her of her leadership position and how important it was that she show a controlled demeanour. Josie wanted to question the priest. She wanted to take action.

Sharma looked up from…


Tales From The Whale Part Seven

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She draped the skin over her shoulders, wearing the hide like a coat, another prize she might be able to fashion into armour. The rest of the dead monster was loaded onto her trailer, chopped into pieces for ease. This was a good haul. A good hunt.

Once everything was loaded up, she cleaned the blade of the axe and checked her arrows for damage. …


Tales From The Whale Six

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You have been abducted by aliens.

His clothes had changed. It must have been the nurses, the doctors, the coastguard. Whoever pulled him from the sea. Whoever saved his life, they would have his coat, his phone, his keys. He wore a loose-fitting outfit made from a material he couldn’t place. It was a strange, luminous blue that changed texture as he moved.

He wanted his coat back.

He reached the end of the corridor and pushed open the double doors. On the other side was a staircase, and he ran down it two at…


The Human Prime has to convince Father Arun of the truth as he wakes up on The Whale

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Josie always tried to be there when new arrivals woke up. There was a two-way mirror positioned in the centre of the door at head height. Once the guards signalled to her that an arrival was stirring, she was the first person to open the door. She wanted to be a friendly face for everyone. She remembered waking up, alone and in a dark chamber, and her first act as Prime was to vow it would never happen again.

Arun Mali —…

Phil Hurst

Storyteller. Specifically sci-fi, history, crime. Occasional advice giver. Find out more:

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