2022 February Flash Fiction Challenge: Day 17

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Flash Fiction Challenge

In my very first creative writing class in college, I remember my professor ripping pages out of a book of photos, crumpling them, and putting them in a bag. We would reach into the bag and pick out a page, uncrumple it, and then whatever object was pictured was what we had to use as inspiration to write.

Instead of a book of photos, here’s a list of just a few objects:

  • Hammer
  • Key
  • Fishing pole
  • Lamp
  • Book
  • Bottle

For today’s prompt, use one or more of these objects to inspire your story!

Remember: As mentioned yesterday, these prompts are just starting points; you have the freedom to go wherever your flash of inspiration takes you.

(Note: If you happen to run into any issues posting, please just send me an e-mail at mrichard@aimmedia.com with the subject line: Flash Fiction Challenge Commenting Issue.)

Here’s my attempt at writing a story based on an object:

The Anatomy of a Beast

The body gave a hard thud as Chrisred let it fall back. His arms were slick with a milky white fluid up to the elbows. He sighed and looked at the monstrosity on the table, stiff and no longer breathing.

“There are lungs,” Chrisred called out moodily. “Why it has lungs and gills, I can’t work out.”

“We know it drags creatures into the water. Perhaps it uses its lungs while hunting on dry land,” Nicindel mused.

“Obviously! But why does it need to hunt on land when they could happily feast on the creatures in and around the lakes? Why go after the farmers?”

Nicindel grimaced as Chrisred scooped an organ out of the creature’s body and into a bucket at his feet. He turned his attention back to the table in front of him, the papers scattered about. He touched a finger to one, finding the ink dry enough to go into the box.

“Do you think perhaps the food supply is—”

Heavy thuds against the door cut Nicindel’s speech. The two meet each other’s eyes as they listen.

“Halflings!” A voice booms.

Chrisred moved to the side of the window and twitched the curtain away just enough for him to see outside. He let out a low curse.

“How did they know?” Nicindel whispered.

“By order of the Church! We know you are in there!”

“The pages, Nicindel.” Chrisred scooped up a rag and hastily wiped his arms down. He threw a blanket over the body on the table and went to the floor to pry the board in the corner up.

Nicindel stood and swiped the papers into the box as the banging came again. He knew they would not wait much longer before knocking the door down to drag them out.

He shut the box and clicked the lock closed before hefting it into his arms and crossing the room. Chrisred helped him to lower it into the hole beneath the floor and replace the boards, tug a rug across it.

“Burn it!” The voice rang out.

Glass broke in the next room. Nicindel whimpered as Chrisred put his hand on the back of Nicindel’s neck and clunked their foreheads together.

“Courage,” he growled.

“Easy for you to say,” Nicindel whispered. “Former soldier, former medic. What am I?”

“A man of vision. A scientist. Someone whose work will make life better for others.”

Something exploded in the next room; one of his experiments, most likely. “Pretty short life.”

“But spectacular.” Chrisred grinned, his teeth gleaming in the firelight, his eyes bright and manic. His thumb scrubbed a tear from Nicindel’s cheek roughly. “Someone will find the work and carry it on.”

Nicindel nodded and stamped a kiss to Chrisred’s mouth. The window over them broke. The fire came.

Remixing the Classics: Writing New Flash Fiction From Old Stories

During this live webinar, award-winning writer Ran Walker will teach you how to find and mine ideas for your flash fiction. He will show you how to take stories in the public domain and “remix” them into new stories. Ran will also show you how to put your own spin on these ideas and make them truly yours.

Click to continue.

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