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Friday Flash Fiction – “Repeat Customer”

English: I took this picture myself and hereby...

The color seeped through the petals like drops of blood beneath a crisp white shirt.  She smiled at the memory.

A shame, really.  Their meeting was so perfect, so destined, that for half a breath she had believed it could be like a fairy tale.  A charming prince.  A happy ending.

Her damsel in distress act was flawless.

He had no suspicions, right up to the short, sharp stick amidst the crowd.  The confusion of the dancers; her feigned shock and dismay.

She breathed in the aroma of the bouquet, closing her eyes and exhaling with a whispered moan.

“You buyin’ those?  That’s your third bunch this week.”


The Friday Fictioneers is a group of writers who strive each week to tell a story in just 100 words.  Using photo prompts by group founder, Madison Woods, the Fictioneers can be found on FaceBook, Twitter (@FridayFictioneers), or linked throughout the web via their individual blogs.  Read more of today’s Flash here:


A Word About Critique

Lots of aspiring writers – or insecure writers of all levels – post rough drafts of their work and ask for feedback.  (Sometimes they aren’t really “rough drafts”, but we keep up the fiction to save face.)  Irish writer Gaius Coffey, remarks,

  “Sometimes early drafts are uploaded with a request to “ignore the typos” and just say whether something works or is worth continuing with. The request is like a sculptor holding up a slab of chipped marble and asking if it will be a good statue… Critique is not about reassurance.

Sometimes early drafts are uploaded as a form of defence (sic) with the writer thinking the sting of criticism can be softened or written off with “well, it’s only a draft.” If so, self-defeat is not self-defence.

By uploading the best piece I can for critique, I maximise (sic) my benefit from the critique. I have

already corrected all the problems I can see, so anything that remains is news to me. I cannot hide behind the pretence (sic) that it is an early draft and I would’ve corrected it myself, because I clearly hadn’t.”

I think Mr. Coffey makes some excellent points here, and there’s a good case for just cracking on with your piece instead of clamoring for early validation.  If you believe in it, the writing should come through and make it something others can see too…AFTER you’ve done the polishing!

Writer Wordart

Writer Wordart (Photo credit: MarkGregory007)

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25 thoughts on “Friday Flash Fiction – “Repeat Customer”

  1. OOOh! You know, these are great fun to read. I guess you’ve done your job if, after each one, I want to know the rest of the story. 🙂 If feels like a tease, though, lol. Great job!

    • Thanks! I like to read other commentary in the world of flash fiction, and I figure if it is of interest to me, then it might be to others! Also, I view the Friday adventures here as a way to grow as a writer, and we can’t do that unless we take some pointers from other successful authors!

  2. I agree with VSichalwe…this is very mysterious. What did he do? Was that stick poisonous? Why her 3rd bouquet? Getting ready for her next victim? Is she a serial killer? Hmm…lots of questions. Karen, I’m #2 on the list.

  3. She’s a scary lady. Premeditated murder of those who don’t measure up. I know that I shouldn’t, but I’m tempted to say “Good on her!” The third this week? Popular as well as deadly! This was very, very well-done. I’m on the list.

  4. I loved you point on critique – if the writer hasn’t given a piece his best efforts, why should a reader do so? Even when I feel I could give something another run-through, I never ask someone else to spend their time on something I can’t be bothered to give time to myself!
    I’m confused by the “sic” inserts in your quote though. You have said that the writer is Irish, and those spellings are absolutely correct in Ireland, so if you put them in it feels disrespectful. I would never add “sic” to an American piece just because you are using American spellings and when I critique, I always try to do so on the basis of the writer’s language preference, not my own.
    Just my 2p [sic ;)] worth!

    • Thanks for leaving a comment! I debated about whether to put in (sic) or not. I’ve always had to explain in the past when mistaken Americans try to correct the spelling, so I had hoped to avoid that old debate. I guess it’s a no-win situation! Somebody is going to be upset that it wasn’t done “their” way! 🙂
      I had looked at some other commentaries on historical quotes, which routinely inserts the (sic), even if the word was spelled correctly for its time. It’s an interesting conundrum, and one that is sure to be ongoing!
      Thanks again!

      • hee hee! You can’t win I’m afraid. But I’m glad you didn’t shy away from using the quote – I found it, and your thoughts around it, very interesting.

  5. Your stories take interesting turns every time, Karen. I wondered about this girl and what it is that she keeps doing to these men… and why. Great tool for making us want to know more 😉

  6. Dear Karen,

    I confess that I am a fool for the way your words flow from pen to page and thence to my smooth brain. First sentence is one I read again and again but, unlike your MC, I remained charmed by it.

    I am not the right person to ask about most writing but I can tell a writer if their work moves me or if there is something grossly out of place or just plain missing so I often chime in, assuming that the writer will welcome said input. Now that I’ve been at it a while I am amazed at the number of so called writers that bristle when a mention of revision or correction is made. I try to tread lightly now, walking on thin ice, though. Might as well dance, as the saying goes.

    Loved the quoted comment re comments (sics) or no (sics).

    Thank you for visiting my Kaleidoscope. I have missed you as well, but keep an eye on your work from afar. (Congrats are in order for your three recent works being finished and polished to a bright shine. Your writing must be as near to flawless as possible in that forum. Hats off to you.)



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