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Friday Flash – “Second Thoughts”


He woke to daylight.  He hadn’t thought there were any cracks last night when they’d dumped him in the hole.  He hadn’t been able to see the stains on the ceiling either, which he now confidently told himself were rust spots.

Focusing his attention on the square of light, he weighed the possibility of fitting his arm through the hole.  A shift in the rock could bring the roof – or worse, the wall – collapsing down on him.

He tested the strength of his desire for revenge, and decided it was a good deal greater than his fear.

I love miniature…everything.  Bite-size cheesecake, dollhouse furniture, toy dog breeds, and diminutive ponies.  If it’s tiny, I’m in love.

Flash Fiction is a wonderful exercise in brevity (and feeds my fascination for all things Lilliputian).  Camille Renshaw, in her article The Essentials of Micro-Fiction, offers the following ingredients for creating your own dessert-sized prose:

  1. Length and form obviously matter. (The average micro fiction will be less than 400 words, with some exceptions that reach as much as 750 words. The form is strictly prose.)
  2. Be willing to edit and re-edit.
  3. Soul-stirring Language: Choose your words carefully. You’re using so few.
  4. Imagery: In such a short space some thread must hold the story together. A recurring image can always do this.
  5. Make it tight: Use a minimum of words.
  6. Play against expectations. Let the narrator tell the reader one thing, lead him in one direction while the text leads the reader in just the opposite.
  7. Implication: The key requirement of a literary short-short is implication. There’s no room for life stories. Just enough for resonance. Know the difference between a situation and a story.  Tips to accomplish this:
    • Use a directive last sentence that gives narrative insight or opinion.
    • Make rereads necessary or at least inviting.
    • Close with a phrase that sends the reader back into the story.
    • Know when you’ve made your point.

Want more Flash Fiction? Visit the Friday Fictioneers for more 100-word heaven! (If you have a flash fiction piece to share, please leave a link in Comments!) You can also visit the originator of the photo prompts, Madison Woods, or follow the gang on Twitter – #FridayFictioneers.

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19 thoughts on “Friday Flash – “Second Thoughts”

  1. Dear Karen,

    Second Thoughts left your reader pondering how your MC was going to widen the hole, escape safely only to jump back into the fire to exact his revenge. I thoroughly enjoyed it as I have been a fool for escape and revenge stories my entire life. From The Count of Monte Cristo to The Wooden Horse to The Great Escape, my life’s imaginary home has always been a tunnel of secret passage that leads to light and freedom. Thanks for adding a mini version to the list.

    I also read very carefully your essay/information on micro-fiction and place it carefully in the archive for further reference. Thank you for adding it to your story.



  2. Great description! I wonder how he will take his revenge? I wonder why he got put in there in the first place?

    You know it’s good when it brings up interesting, unresolved questions that leave the reader begging for more!

    Great job!

  3. Your stories are always smooth and well-written. This was no exception 🙂 Sorry I’m late. I’m REALLY late this week!

  4. Pingback: Friday Flash – “Stung” « Karen B. Nelson

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