Welcome back to the Flash Fiction Writing Challenge! If you haven’t already, you should check out our intro post for more details. The basics are:
- Pick one of the two image prompts below. (Don’t read my stories or anyone else’s until you’ve written yours!)
- Write an Everyday Vignette (200 words or less) or a Flash Fiction (300-500 words, or up to 1000, if you’re feeling ambitious).
- Post your story in the comments on this post and check out the stories others have written. Optional: Don’t forget to go to the artist’s deviantArt page (just click on the image) and give them a shout-out to let them know that their piece inspired you.
If you write a short story every day this week, you win! What do you win? Respect from your fellow writers, and we might have a little goody for you at the end of the week.
Flash Fiction, Day 4
Today’s stories are a little odd. The first one falls into the gray area between Everyday Vignettes and Flash Fiction. I feel like it’s a little off of what I usually write, but it’s kind of interesting writing out of my typical themes. I really didn’t know where I was going with it at first, but it all fell into place really nicely as I went. As different as it is from my norm, I kind of like it!
The second one just barely falls into an Everyday Vignette. It’s also a little bit quietly tragic, I guess you could say? I don’t know, but I thought it worked well with the picture. I feel like there’s a distinct difference between the first and second halves, and the last sentence ties them together. It may not be my best work, but it’s got a different pacing that I’m pleased with.
Did you do something different with your writing today?
She stood out like a peacock in a hen house.
Her trim bodice and voluminous skirt begged for attention, yet she shielded her face with a wide-brimmed black hat. She casually leaned against the column, yet tapped her foot impatiently. She was a study in contradictions.
The clock read three, and the train had been due at 2:45. It was finally pulling around the bend and the Lady in Red delicately pulled herself away from the column. She pulled the brim down to further shield her face, though by the way her head turned to and fro, she seemed to be scanning the windows of the train.
Seemingly spotting what or who she was waiting for, she strode purposefully down the platform. She adjusted the brim of her hat as she went. As the train came to a stop, she found the door of the compartment she wanted and sturdily planted herself. As people flowed off the train, she waited.
Finally, the last person in the compartment before her exited. The Lady in Red reached into her fashionable handbag. . . and pulled out a tiny gun. Leveling it at the final passenger’s head, she pulled the trigger and, without waiting for the body to fall, spun on her heel and disappeared into the panicking crowd.
Since I was little, I’ve watched the ships anchor in the harbor. The sailors toss ropes and guffaw at bawdy jokes. They climb rigging like I climb trees. They can do anything they want, and no one reprimands them, because they bring news of the outside world, beyond this island. Everyone hangs on their every word. I often climb the steeple – to my mother’s chagrine – to spot the ships coming in so that I can be the first down to the docks to hear the sailors’ stories.
I’ve never left this sleepy town. We have everything we need. Our fowl provide eggs and meat. Our livestock provide milk and meat. Our garden and orchard overflows with fruits and vegetables. The town market has everything we can’t make at home.
Our neighbors exchange help with us. If our thatch has a hole, they climb the ladders with us. If their new barn needs an extra pair of hands to raise it, we’re there. I’m surrounded by people I’ve known my entire life and who love me.
Today, I’m leaving on a ship that’s sailing west.