I’m going to do something a little unconventional on the blog today and tomorrow, but I hope you will like it!
There’s a local writing competition – a flash fiction contest that is put on by a local independent bookstore. It seems like a great way to meet other writers, especially local ones, and also a great opportunity to test my writing and see if it’s good enough to win a spot in their monthly Story Slam.
I’ll admit that Flash Fiction might be the most challenging thing for me to write. How do you write a story in 600 words or less? I have so much more to tell! So many more words to include!
But the challenge of Flash Fiction is also part of its charm. I’m drawn to it on several levels. I can write it in a week, or sometimes less, depending on how horrible my first draft is. I can hone my skill of using only the necessary words to my story and not filling my work with fluff. And ultimately, I just like to see if I can do it. Especially if it is for a contest with a theme, which this one has:
At first, the theme stumped me. It challenged me more than I thought it would because I’d boxed myself into a genre that I thought was the only place a confession could be found.
Then I started to think of confessions I have made, confessions that have been made to me, and the reality was, that not many people are confessing to murders they’ve committed. So I started writing the stuff I knew and from there the ideas just kept coming.
I ended up with several stories, but I’ve narrowed it down to my two favorites, and that’s where this blog comes in…
Today and tomorrow I’m going to post each of my stories and ask for your feedback! Love the story? Let me know. Hate it? Tell me that too (but don’t be too harsh, that’s what Agent & Publisher rejections are for). See something you think I should tweak or change altogether? Let me hear it!
But the main goal is to figure out which story I should enter into the competition, so read today and then come back and read again tomorrow. Or better yet, subscribe to the blog!
Then share it with your friends! Share, share, share!
Finally, and most importantly, leave your thoughts in the comments section below!
Based on your feedback I’ll enter the most popular story into the local contest and in July I’ll let you know how it fared.
I have to admit that I’m nervous — maybe even terrified — to not only be putting my work out here, but to also be asking for people to give me their unadulterated feedback. I also know that this is one way I can grow as a writer. The reality is, that I write because I love writing, but ultimately, I want people to like what I read. Sooner or later, I need to figure out what readers like and what they don’t, and this is one great way to do that.
So here’s today’s story.
Remember: Read, Respond, Share and Return tomorrow for Story #2!
Thanks for your help!
By Elizabeth Zane
What the hell? I wonder as I whip my head around and try to find the voice calling my name. I haven’t been here in twenty years! Nobody could possibly recognize me.
Except him. I roll my eyes. He would recognize me.
He is practically panting by the time he gets to me.
“Oh my god, it is you! What the hell are you doing here? How are you? What are you doing here?”
“Hi Gavin,” I say managing to stay calmer than him.
“Hi? That’s all I get is a hi?” he says as he raises an eyebrow and then wraps me in one of those amazing hugs that is an artform only Gavin has mastered.
He pulls away to give me the once over and then looks me in the eye, “So? What are you doing here?”
“Work.” I say trying to seem detached, but inside I’m fighting to keep my emotions under control.
“Geez, you’re being weird. What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” I explain. My breathy response betraying me.
I try to recover, “I’m just really surprised to see someone I know… especially you.”
“Especially me, huh?” he asks looking both pleased and amused.
Finally, I relax and smile. I can’t believe he can still put me at ease so effortlessly, even after all these years.
“Come have lunch with me,” he says as he grabs my hand to lead me to whatever restaurant he has in mind.
“I can’t. I’m sorry. I have a meeting…” I pause to consider what I say next, “Can we have dinner?” That may have been an error in judgement, but it’s too late, the excitement in his eyes matches what’s in my heart.
“Dinner? Yes! Definitely. Dinner sounds great. Where can I pick you up?”
Still the gentleman he always was, but sexier now, if that’s possible.
“You don’t have to pick me up, I can just meet you somewhere,” I say as I wrestle the unwelcome desires invading my body.
“Don’t be ridiculous. If I’m taking you to dinner, I’m picking you up. Where are you staying?”
There’s no point arguing with him. As I take the phone from his hand I let my fingers brush against his skin and my body responds to his touch the way it always did.
“Here’s my number,” I say as I call my phone from his.
When I reach my hand out to return his phone, he is staring at me. He opens his hand without moving his eyes from mine and as I slowly place the phone back into his palm he wraps his fingers around mine and rubs my knuckles softly.
“It’s been so long,” he breathes, now mirroring the same emotions I can’t bring to heel in myself.
“I know. Too long.” I agree.
He shakes the thought from his head and tells me he’ll pick me up at seven.
At dinner, it is obvious that we are both trying to avoid the tempestuous place we left off just hours ago — maybe the place we left off all those years ago. But as we walk together after dinner, closing the distance the years have put between us, it becomes apparent that it’s a place we can’t avoid.
“It’s been all these years,” he says as he comes to a stop and looks into my eyes. Then he lets his actions speak the volumes his words cannot and kisses me in that way only Gavin ever could.
When we come up for air, I have a confession to make.
“Gavin,” I say with tears in my eyes, “I’m married.”