2022 February Flash Fiction Challenge: Day 23
There’s a lot you can pack into flash fiction; but sometimes, focusing on a single moment can open up your writing in a way that a wider span of time cannot.
For today’s prompt, write a story that takes place in 10 minutes or less.
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 email@example.com with the subject line: Flash Fiction Challenge Commenting Issue.)
Here’s my attempt at capturing a brief span of time:
One Year Gone
Risk brought the bottle to his mouth and took a swig. Ugh. He hated Fireball, but they weren’t really drinking it for themselves—it was Buckshot’s favorite drink.
“You remember when we got wasted and he jumped in Old Howie’s bull field?” Yanno gestured for the bottle and Risk passed it along.
“He was an idiot,” Daisy snarled. She spat into the fire ring and then drew her feet up on the seat of the worn beach chair, knees hugged close to her chest.
“He was our idiot,” Risk said. “S’not the same without him.”
It went quiet again. Across the circle from him, Buck’s chair sat empty. No one had ever thought to move it, Risk realized; no one had ever come to take his place.
Yanno screwed the cap on and tossed the little glass bottle over the fire to Daisy. She basically inhaled the liquor. Risk’s stomach ached just watching her.
“You remember how he got his nickname?” Yanno chuckled.
“God, how could you forget it?” Risk scrubbed a hand down his face. “I don’t think I’ll ever meet a crazier sonofva.”
Yanno grinned at him, the firelight gleaming off his wet teeth. “And that’s comin’ from the dude we called Risk.”
Daisy wiped her mouth with the back of her fist. “It was this place, man. This place killed him.”
Risk struggled to stay quiet. For once, he really felt like arguing with her—it wasn’t this town that killed Buck. Buckshot killed Buckshot. But he stuffed that feeling down hard, to that little place between his lungs where he knew he could keep it for another day. A thought struck him then, hot and fast like lightning: Was this what Buck did? Stuff down his feelings until they choked the life out of him?
Risk felt struck stupid. He kind of wanted to puke; he kind of wanted to drink more.
After a moment, Yanno stumbled to his feet.
“Be right back,” he muttered before shuffling off into the dark, headed for the woods.
Daisy’s gaze went funny and soft, like it has almost every day since…well. Since. Risk pulled his hands inside his hoodie sleeves and fiddled with the inside seams. He let himself look into the fire, let his gaze go funny and soft too. He knew enough about Daisy’s grief to know to leave her to it.
After a minute or so, Yanno popped back into Risk’s periphery. Daisy leaned over and poured some of the booze onto Buck’s chair. Yanno patted the back of it affectionately.
“I miss you every second of the day, ya’know?” Yanno said.
Risk tipped his head back until all he could see were stars. The fire popped and hissed. For a second, he swore he could hear Buck’s wild screaming laugh on the wind.