Flash Fiction: His Knees

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is grit. I haven’t done one of these for a while for no good reason. I got distracted by other things and haven’t come back to it until now.

This is based on a book I’ve been equally, actively trying to write and trying not to write. It’s a huge project with a lot of research, and it’s emotionally wrenching. Sometimes I attack it. Sometimes I retreat from it. It’s about a man who’s looking back at his life while contemplating and trying to talk himself into suicide following the loss of his wife and daughter in a school shooting. It’s called A Pillar Of Salt. Maybe this will reignite that creative fire and get me working on it again. This is tweaked to conform to the prompt and not necessarily how the book will go.

“Now, I’m lost and I’m weary, so many tears
I’m suicidal, so don’t stand near me
My every move is a calculated step
To bring me closer to embrace an early death
Now, there’s nothin’ left

Will I survive till the morning to see the sun?
Please Lord, forgive me for my sins ’cause here I come”

– 2Pac “So Many Tears”

His Knees

He fell to his knees as a bomb exploded in his chest.

It was P.J.’s school on the news. Sae was dropping her off. She’s not answering her phone.

Again on his knees at the graves. “God, if you’re there, take me too. You can’t take them and leave me.”

Alone in the dark on his knees with the gun to his temple.

“Just fuckin’ do it!”

“She wouldn’t want this.”

“She’s gone. I can’t live without her, without them.”

“You have to.”

“I can’t.”

“You can’t pull that trigger either.”

“I’m scared. I’m too weak.”

“You’re too strong.”

Flash Fiction: Stop Sign!

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s is sign. It can be literal, like a stop sign, or metaphorical like a twinkle in her eye. It could even be about Ace Of Base if you like old poppy dance music or the M. Night Shyamalan movie about (SPOILER REDACTED).

I accidentally wrote two because the muse said so, and I am at the mercy of the muse. Is that too flashy? One’s kind of sad. The other’s really sad. I’m not sure which is which.

Stop Sign!

She knew she wasn’t ready. How did she let things go this far? She put up the stop sign, but it was too late.

“Stop! Please!”

He didn’t heed her plea. She tried to push him off. The more she fought, the more aggressive he got. She tried to squirm away, but he forced himself on top of her. She wasn’t strong enough. Her head was spinning from the alcohol.

She felt ashamed. She thought it was her fault. She didn’t tell a soul.

Now, she has a baby she can’t stand because he reminds her of her rapist.


Megan lost interest in the things she used to love. Simple pleasures eluded her. She started sleeping more and found she couldn’t concentrate. She avoided her reflection. She became more reserved and withdrawn.

She asked for help in subtle ways. She made multiple attempts to talk to friends, but nobody understood. They thought she was being dramatic. Friends started avoiding her. So, she buried her feelings deep down inside and tried to play it off like everything was fine.

One day, her sister found Megan in a bathtub full of blood. Nobody took the time to read the signs.

The Breath Of Death (Villanelle)

I’ve been busy lately doing non-blog stuff. I know, how dare I? Cubby reupped this challenge over a week ago. I tried a few times and came up with some starts that didn’t go anywhere. Then, I’d get distracted with something else. Of course, as soon as I had a dark, depressing start, it rolled pretty easily. It doesn’t flow as well as I would like, and the rhymes are far from perfect, but here it is.

The Breath Of Death

I futilely gasp for every breath
Each more precious than the last
I refuse to acquiesce to death

I struggle to inhale but I’m bereft
I achieve nothing with each gasp
I futilely gasp for every breath

I wish I could start again, refresh
My whole life can’t be in the past
I refuse to acquiesce to death

I give myself a feeble heft
Still my throat is unsurpassed
I futilely gasp for every breath

Who will say that they wept?
Who will fly their flag half-mast?
I refuse to acquiesce to death

Why do I fight? I lived depressed
I can’t accept my life has passed
I futilely gasp for every breath
I refuse to acquiesce to death

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