Here is a flash story I wrote from a writing challenge my critique group took part in a while back. I decided to dust it off and post it. This story was written from the writing prompt…You hear a baby crying, but you know you are alone… I didn’t stick strictly with the prompt as you will see when reading the story, but it got the wheels in my head turning and this is what I ended up with. Enjoy!
By: Cynthia Dawn Griffin
The wail came from everywhere and nowhere at once. The sound jerked me awake from a dead sleep. My blood froze as I looked about my darkened bedroom. The chilling noise came again, and it propelled me into action despite the fear twisting in my gut. I fumbled for the light by the bed, but my trembling hands refused to cooperate with the switch. I stumbled from my bed.
Across Dr. Burke’s thick neck I sit, dangling against his sweaty flesh as I wait in anticipation for my next victim- oops, I mean prediction (he he he). The patients come to me in all shapes and sizes as they parade in and out of the maze of alcoves that pass for a doctor’s office. I know the office by heart (ha ha ha), but the poor fool that comes to be poked and prodded is like a blind sheep being herded through the corral. Here comes one of those sterilized alcoves now the letters Exam Room 1 in bold black lettering. I can’t help but chuckle as Dr. Burke enters and addresses the newest sacrificial offering.
Here comes the boring part of how-are-you-today and blah blah blah. Who cares let’s get to the good part, but not quite yet. More questions that lead to the inevitable ambiguous answers. Where does it hurt? How long has this been happening? What medications are you on? Oh and my personal favorite, how often do you exercise? Your heart says it all, so don’t bother lying Mr. Exam 1, but you’d be surprised the number that do.
I always love doing exercises. Sometimes I do them based off photographs. Sometimes I do them based off phrases or a series of words. I thought I would do something a little different and try an exercise based off an image and random words. Here’s an image I found at Office.Mircrosoft.com. I then picked up a random book and flipped through it picking words until I had six random words; happy, shape, wasp, friend, object, and dead. Now I was ready to be inspired. Here’s what I ended up with.
Here is a short story I wrote two years ago based off of a writing exercise I did out of the back of John Gardner’s book the Art of Fiction (a great book by the way and highly recommended by yours truly). In a span of two hours, the exercise took on the form of a suddenly inspired flash fiction story. I submitted it to Pill Hill Press on a whim and they accepted it. This company recently went out of business and the book I submitted to is now out of print, so I decided to post it here for people to read who were interested. I hope you enjoy.