Trying Out New Eyes - Flash Fiction




Cherie Reich is hosting the 2nd Annual Flash Fiction Blogfest!  Thanks, Cherie! Click on the image above, to join or read some great flash fiction in this blogfest!
Here are the rules:
1. Entries must begin with the two words: Lightning flashed.
2. Entries must be 300 words or less and be in prose. I'm not versed enough in poetry verse to judge it properly.
3. Entries must be posted on your blog between May 21 - 23.
4. You must sign up in the linky to have your entry be counted.  Click on the image above to join or read some great Flash Fiction in this Blogfest.

Okay, I wrote #1 first and then did a second one.  I have posted both.  I don't know if I am allowed to do that or not...I'm new to this, like brand new.  I have never written flash fiction.  I just read my first flash fiction during the A to Z Blogging Challenge.  I read about this blogfest, and decided to try it regardless of whether I actually posted or not.  But I've decided to post what I wrote.  I hope it's worthy enough to be considered flash fiction.  If not, maybe it's just writing something short with kind of a "wonder what happens next" or "wonder why this happened" kind of feeling to it.  I'm open to critiques of all sorts.  How will I get better otherwise?  So loser or not, I'm using this as a way to grow in my writing.

After reading #2 click here.  But don't do it yet.

Flash Fiction #1
http://kabachok.blogspot.com/2008/02/lightning-plays-in-sky.html


Lightning flashed, and the rumble of thunder licked at its heels.  The storm was moving faster than I could gather up my thoughts.  Green clouds, roiling on the horizon, quickly became an avalanche descending on the small stone house. 
My brain spoke firmly and knowingly, “It’s okay, you can head to the basement.  You’ll be safe there.”  But I could barely hear it over the roar of the wind and the incessant drumming of rain.
My mind raced to the cellar door, feet following slowly and unsteadily, seemingly disconnected from my speeding thoughts. I halted in the doorway to the old dug cellar, the dank soil and earthworm pungency giving me pause.  Below ground? 
Lightning flashed.  The charged air spurred me to step down.  The windows reverberated with pounding wind and rain, becoming tentative barriers to the elements,  Left with no choice, I ducked into the damp darkness, closing the small door behind me.
An eternity of seconds rushed and roared overhead as I crouched in the darkness trying not to touch the stone and dirt wall behind me.  Before I could acclimate to this dark underground world, the turmoil above came to a dead stop.  Cautiously, I stepped up and cracked open the door.  All was unchanged.  No windows broken.  Not a thing out of place.  “Nothing to see here.  Move along.”  
I straightened up, stepping out into the kitchen again. The pattering rain lightly danced on an intact roof.  I could hear my thoughts again.  “I told you it would be all right.”  I sighed deeply and pulled open the back door to breathe in the clean night air.
Lightning flashed silently, illuminating a void.  The barn was gone.

Flash Fiction #2


Lightning flashed to the sound of thunderous roaring.  Compose yourself.  My feet wanted to carry me away, but somehow I couldn’t manage even a small step. Lightning continued to flash from, what seemed to me, all directions at once.  I wanted to cover my eyes.  I wanted to cover my ears to silence the thunder.  It rumbled and vibrated the ground climbing up my back from my heels to my forehead, where it stopped, threatening to crumble me where I stood.  My voice caught, dry in my throat; I could muster no sound, other than a mumbling half-cry.
The storm raged on endlessly and out of my control, its timing and power determined by a force beyond me. There had to be a safe spot; some small corner to hide and wait this out.  I looked feverishly for something to fix my attention on, to hold me up, to grab. There was nothing, no one.  My nails just pressed into my palms leaving red indented crescents, my fists clenched behind my back, a prisoner in a storm, exposed to the elements.
More lightning, more roaring.
And then a voice in my ear,
"Astraphobia...great word...you didn’t even practice that one!  Congratulations, spelling champ, AGAIN! Who says lightning doesn’t strike twice?"
I felt an arm, my mom's arm, wrapping around my shoulders, holding me up, leading me away from the cameras and crowd. It was time to go home.


33 comments:

  1. I like the twist you added to the end of the second one. Both very good and very different

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    1. Thank you for commenting. I was thinking I liked the second one best, but wasn't sure if it was obscure enough in the bulk of the story, but clear when the ending was known.

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  2. You did a GREAT job on both of these. The twists at the end were perfect. Keep writing!!

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Donna. I'll find some more prompts, and/or maybe make up a list of prompts and pull one out of a hat to surprise myself with an assignment. They seem like fun to write, without the commitment to actually write that fleshed out story with well-developed characters. But any one of them could actually plant the seed for a full-fledged novel. Has that ever happened to you?

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  3. This is SO cool - two utterly different perspectives, two wonderful pieces of writing. You are brave to try this, but I believe that poetry challenge you took on has made you a fearless writer. Well done!

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    1. Thanks, Tara...you may be right about the fearless part developing. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have just done this a couple of years ago. I never could have imagined when I started SOL just over a year ago, where it would lead.

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  4. I loved the twist at the end of #2, but I actually liked the first better. Maybe because I've had to do that more than once in my Missouri life, once with a baby in a house with a basement with only an outside entrance. It was scary running into the storm in order to be safe 'under'. I re-read #2 & you did great, not giving a hint of this. I just thought it was another storm. Great!

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    1. We actually lost the first house we ever built to a tornado when we lived in Minnesota. Fortunately, we were still in the building process so we weren't in it when it disappeared...well, when it actually spread itself throughout the river valley below... except for the bathtub, which ended up about 30 feet away in the front yard. It took my son a long time to handle thunderstorms after we moved back East.

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    2. Wow, Donna. It must have been so dreadful! I'm so glad you were okay. Today is the 1st anniversary of the Joplin tornado. My friends were there visiting his mother, two blocks from the storm. But they were so happy to have been there. She is quite elderly & probably wouldn't have even heard the storm. Crazy storms!

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    1. Kids should have a blast with this. Reading a few books with twists and talking about what makes a believable surprise ending, should give them some ideas. Starting with a prompt of a phrase or a picture helps.

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  6. I like it! I agree with the others, you did a great job with the ending "hook". Great details, good visualization - and a nice little punch at the end.

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    1. Thanks, Maria! Hoped for a hook and punch! Sounds like I'm boxing!!

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  7. Both of your stories kept me reading to the end...Surprise! What a fun exercise! I think I'll steal it to try with students. I haven't done flash fiction either. May have to try. Thanks for your leadership and bravery.

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    1. I did feel brave! See my reply to Amy! I posted it in the wrong place, but it works anywhere, I guess!

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  8. These are both really great entries and they each have a great elements. Love how you did two! I struggle with just one.

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    1. I started one on my iPhone as I rode in the car, but didn't finish and later was on my iPad waiting somewhere and decided to start another...then put them on the computer to finish each. The process was a little convoluted, but gave me two clean slates for starting.

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  9. Great job, Donna! Both are good flash stories--I wouldn't have guessed these were your first attempts at flash fiction. I'm probably partial to the second one, but that's because I like unexpected twists. I liked the way you carefully chose your words to maintain the illusion of a lightning storm, when in fact the flashes were cameras. But the first was good too. If you want practice at writing flash fiction, keep an eye on Literary Agent Janet Reid's blog (http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com). Every now and again she runs flash fiction contests--in fact, one just finished today. These are always challenging and fun.

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    1. Thanks, Colin! You are very kind! Hoped the second one could be read as a real storm, but with a second reading would be believable as a camera and crowd storm on an child. I enjoyed writing these, so I will definitely check Janet Reid's blog.

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  10. Thank you for entering my 2nd Annual Flash Fiction Blogfest! The six finalists will be announced on Friday, May 25th. I will further comment on your entry on Thursday.

    (BTW, it's fine that you wrote two. :) )

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  11. I loved the missing barn. Oh, and great take on the challenge for the second one. Nicely done.

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  12. Great start...and your sensory words rock. I enjoyed both....very different takes on the subject. xo nanc

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  13. Love the very last line to your first one!

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  14. Good job on both of these. They're both such a creative use of the prompt.

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  15. for being new you did a great job, I love the imagery!

    Andrea

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  16. I like the first one better - because it seems to lead somewhere. It could be real or science fiction - a mystery.

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  18. Both are wonderful entries. I perhaps like the second one more because it was very unique, a great take on the lightning flashed. I liked them a lot! :)

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  19. #2 definitely #2. I never saw that coming.

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  20. Two good stories! I'm impressed.

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  21. Ooo, I wonder what happened to the barn in the first one. And I loved #2. I wasn’t expecting the ending.

    I'll announce the finalists tomorrow.

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  22. These were both great in different ways. Clever reveal at the end of the 2nd tale. :-)
    Some Dark Romantic

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