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'Re-run' by Victoria Stewart

LISP 2022 Flash Fiction Finalist 'Re-run' by Victoria Stewart


We watch a lot of re-runs of old detective dramas on one of the channels where the adverts are for mobility aids and cruises. Sometimes we watch re-runs of re-runs, but even then, there’s usually enough uncertainty to stop us getting bored. Is this the one where young Inspector Morse gets trapped in the abandoned hospital? Or the one with the shoot-out at the abandoned factory?

I wonder if you like watching old stuff with me because if we watched new stuff (like the one about the bent coppers), you might accidentally mention it in conversation and might have to explain how you’d come to see it when you were supposed to be wherever it is you tell her you are. I wonder what you do tell her.

I wonder why we spend so much time watching telly. Perhaps it’s to persuade ourselves that what we have isn’t just about sex, and that we’re happy to sit companionably and pick holes in plots or take issue with anachronistic period detail. Or are you re-running what you once shared with her: those same half-remembered denouements, the secrets revealed to an accompaniment of swelling strings.



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