Monthly Archives: November 2013

Flash Fiction–200 words at a time–Part Two

Here’s the next instalment of Chuck Wendig’s 200 Words At A Time challenge.

I chose the 200 words written by Athena, so the first 200 of this are hers, the next 200 are mine.

Blurred, crystalline shapes whined into view.

Rebecca blinked, but otherwise kept still while she assessed the damage. The glass had exploded inward, which bothered her less because it had knocked her down, and more because exploded inward was a contradiction. She didn’t like that.

Her habit had protected her ears and God had protected her eyes. Her hands hadn’t been so well looked after.

She put a cautious, bleeding hand on a pile of glass cubes, another on bare concrete, and started to push herself up. For the first and – she hoped – only time, she was glad Mother Superior insisted on those ugly, thick-soled shoes. Her stilettos never would have gained traction.

A hand appeared in front of her. She took it without questioning its origin. It was strong, warm, masculine. She was happy to allow the man to help her stand, to accept her glasses as he handed them back. For a second, Rebecca let herself believe she might escape. She put her glasses on.

She started, which startled the man. His one hand hung awkwardly in the air, as if he was still waiting for her to take her glasses; the other rested on his gun.


“You should go, sister” he said. “You can get out the back. I think it’s still clear.” His voice was deep, pitched so low she almost didn’t hear what he said. She looked around, saw where her bag had landed in the blast, and retrieved it. The man had lowered his hand, but still looked at her.

“Thank you,” she said, and ran out the back into a deserted alley. The city was strangely silent, she thought, then realized that the blast had nearly deafened her. That was why she could barely hear the man. She stopped, backed against a brick wall next to a dumpster, and reached into her bag. She found the Walther PPK’s grip, ran her thumb across its engraved Lorraine cross, and said a short prayer. She tucked the bag behind the dumpster, took a deep breath and sprinted out of the alley and toward the storefront.

Drawing up short of the corner she heard isolated bursts of gunfire. This, she thought, was not what she expected when she entered her postulancy. Still, all things work together for the good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Good old Romans.

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More flash fiction

Janet Reid, literary agent, occasionally holds flash fiction challenges. I was happy to be pointed in that direction and took part in one the other night.

The challenge was to write a story of less than 100 words, containing the words heroic, alert, caring, lot and flammable. Here’s what I posted.

“Don’t take heroic measures,” we told them. Mom wasn’t going to make it to Alert Bay, much less to Royal Vic. Our local paramedics are a caring lot, not jaded like some in the city, so they did what they could until they could do no more. Jerry, the teacher who doubles as a mortician, asked when he could pick her up, if we needed anything.
“We’ll let you know. Soon.”
We took her to the beach, laid her on the sand, and looked for anything flammable that could help light driftwood.
She would have a right and proper burial.

I’ve been doing flash fiction challenges for the last little while as a way of flexing muscles I haven’t used for a while, and because they’re fun, but I suppose I need to actually finish a writing project that I’ve started.

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November 25, 2013 · 12:21

Flash Fiction Challenge: 200 Words At A Time, Part One

This is part of another flash fiction challenge from Chuck Wendig at terribleminds. The task this week is to write the first 200 words of a story. Next week, and the three weeks after that, you grab someone else’s partial story and add 200 words until there are a bunch of 1,000 word stories written by five people each. Sounds like fun. Here’s my first installment, which I’m thinking of as “Blackout” but who knows what the next four people will come up with, if anyone even picks it.

The text message wouldn’t send.

                That was the first clue that something was wrong. It didn’t seem like a clue at first. It just seemed like she’d lost connectivity, which happened in some parts of the city. A quick look at the screen showed “No Service” at the top left corner. She turned off the phone, hoping that she’d get a signal once it re-started, and she could let Dave know she’d be late because the bus hadn’t come on time. While waiting she looked up, and noticed that while she’d been occupied with the phone the city had gone dark. Street lights were dark. The condos across the street were dark. The traffic lights at Kingsway and Edmonds were dark, and there was, in fact, no traffic at all.

                There must have been an accident somewhere, she thought. A bus hit a pole or something, so there’s no power and traffic is stopped. It was a clear night, and the full moon lit the streets, so she decided to walk to the train station. Ten or fifteen minutes on foot beat waiting for a bus that might never come.

                She’d almost reached the station when she saw the rats.


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