You never see it coming

182-11-november-20th-2016

It happens on a Sunday. You slept late and you’re just getting up, reaching for that first cup of coffee and then you see the flash reflected on the cabinets—and as you turn around, you’re trying to remember if there was supposed to be a storm—but then you hear a boom so loud and crack it’s the last thing you’ll never hear again and just then you feel the great and terrible wave of it bone-thrumming-through you, and every other living thing and dead and just as—

This has been an edition of the Sunday Photo Fiction Prompt, hosted by Al Forbes. To read more flash fiction or to submit your own, click the blue froggy button:

Now a confession: this was actually a piece I wrote over the summer while attending Anthony Varallo’s 500-Word Story workshop at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. It was the first thing I thought of when I saw the prompt. The piece is a little experimental, what with the second person and the use of a run on sentence that turns into train of thought, but I was inspired after reading the many superior examples in Micro Fiction: An Anthology of Fifty Really Short Stories (a book I highly recommend for the flash fiction lover in your life).

Apologize for the rerun to anyone who reads my blog the person who reads my blog. I’m trying to limit my blogging time in order to finish my novel The Kwan Factor. I’ve got an editor lined up in early 2017 (the amazing Kelly Dwyer!) and need to wrap it up before the end of December. Much to do!

Anyway, all best my lovelies. Thanks for stopping by and have a cozy holiday season.

15 Comments

  1. Harry Writes

    Hiya, I offer criticism here on WordPress so as to combat the usual generalised comments.

    The lack of punctuation here works very well. There is a good pace to the writing. However, this comes with a flaw. You use “and” over and over again: “and you’re”, “and then”, “and as”, “but then” (not and, but it has the same “connective” feel to it).

    The “and(s)” in the last part of the paragraph work well, because they speed on the writing to the end. However, I think combined with the “and(s)” in the first part of the paragraph it almost becomes too much, especially in such a short piece.

    You could quite easily remove the “and(s)” in the first part by comma splicing. For example: “You slept late, you’re just getting up,” or “reaching for that first cup of coffee, you see the flash reflected on the cabinets.”

    Then you’d be able to keep the “and(s)” in the last section without it becoming too overwhelming.

    “A boom so loud and crack,” doesn’t make much sense, is there a boom and crack, or a crack sounding boom? or a boom sounding crack? I don’t think you need both words. If anything, I’d pick something more evocative, less cliche, so as to make the explosion seem more visceral, more real, more personal to your character. It’d help me understand what’s going on a little more.

    Anyway, that’s probably enough for such a little story. If you want to ask me any questions, go ahead 🙂

    1. All good points! Thanks.

  2. Hiya, I offer generalised criticism because I haven’t got time to go into such detail and be so picky with every flash fiction story I read…
    I enjoyed this a lot, definitely a good experiment in 2nd person, and the use of ‘and’ works for me – rules can be broken if it adds to the effect your trying to create. Nice one.

  3. Love the voice in this. Well done.

  4. I love this. I was hoping t least one story was going to go this way when I picked the photo. Glad you didn’t disappoint. I like the thought pattern you put in. As it is a thought pattern of someone looking at their final instances, I think the use of the word “and” is perfect. It adds to the panicked feeling in the story.

    Good luck with the book, and I will have to look into the other one.

  5. By the way, who asked Harry Writes for his opinion? It’s one thing if you’re a regular contributor or if the author requests feedback, but just to pop on and offer unsolicited advice is rude and pompous (especially considering that Ms. Rawson is a much, much better writer than Harry).

  6. I think the “run on” sentences work really well for people’s thoughts – that’s exactly how we think and how we might verbalise such thoughts. Who has time to worry about punctuation and repetition under such circumstances? Or in fact, when I’m talking, under any circumstances? I just blurt stuff out 🙂

    Very nice 🙂

    1. lol, I just blurt out stuff myself. Thanks for your kind words.

  7. Your piece fit the picture so well. I loved how the end just cut off. Though it is a frightening end to your life and many others, at least death is quick. I would feel awful for the others who have to deal with the fall outand die slowly 😦

    1. Thanks Mandi… Yeah pretty much a bad scenario for everyone 😦

  8. I think this is a terrific piece of writing, great voice and pace.
    I also agree with a couple of other comments that the first comment is patronising and self-serving.
    Do what you do, you do it well.

  9. lillmcgill

    This one gives me chills. Almost realistic. I loved all the comments except that long-winded patronizing one. Who is he anyway?

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