Days 26 – 50
On March 18, 2021, I began a crazy adventure. That was the day I started my 100-day flash fiction challenge. My goal was to write, edit, publish one story per day for one hundred days.
Below, I summarize the second 25 days of my challenge.
The Second 25 Stories
- Broken Hallelujah
- Event Horizon
- In the Woods ***
- Someone is Living in My Mirror
- No Reflection
- Retest ***
- Last Sunset
- A Crack in My Windshield
- The White Elephant
- The East Field
- Kitten Infestation
- My Shin-jury
- Back Door
- Rock ***
I started posting stories to WordPress, MEDIUM, and VOCAL.media in February. The flash fiction challenge started on March 18.
I’ve denoted my favorite stories from this bunch with links and asterisks in the table above.
I have tried to not include too many spoilers in my thoughts below, but please read the stories first if you wish. Please don’t fault me for giving away too much.
In the Woods
This is the straightest, most unadulterated horror story I have ever written. The horror here isn’t couched in subtlety, nuance, or preening artifice. This story isn’t pretending to be anything than other than what it is, a horrific, shimmering mess of entrails, atmosphere, and foreboding. It was fun to write, it is fun to read.
I have often said that the responsibility for clarity lies with whoever is speaking. But is this true? Yes, it is always true. I don’t want that to be the case, but it is. So many people didn’t ‘get’ the twist in this story. This is my failure not their’s regardless how many times I ask that question.
SPOILER: the ‘retest’ is the government sanctioned ‘doctor’ putting everyone in the household to death when even a single member test positive for the virus. It’s a cold-equations type thinking which we seem on the threshold of crossing now, in these turbulent, crazy, unsettled times.
The White Elephant
The Squibler writing prompt for this story was ‘Write a story that contains ONLY dialogue.’ I don’t believe I fully achieved this objective as there is some exposition or ‘telling.’ But I enjoyed writing this one. It’s clearly a nod to Hemingway’s ‘Hills Like White Elephants.’ And no, I’m not comparing myself to Ernest.
Not yet, and probably not ever. He was the master of simple, uncluttered, powerful prose and dialog. I aim to be him without expectation that I ever will reach that destination.
There’s an underlying truth here. A truth that, I’m embarrassed to admit, matches my meek life. I doubt I would ever taken such a brazen action as the character in this story, but it feels realistic for horror.
When you spend only a day creating a story, they are not all going to be winners. But it surprised me to find that I have mined several nuggets during this challenge. After I complete this challenge, I plan on doing three things.
1. Celebrate accordingly
2. Take a few days off where I catch up on my reading.
3. I will begin sifting through the treasures I found during this time. I plan on editing, rewriting, finessing these things until I can release them under an actual (physical or virtual) sellable, self-published book.
I am trying to imagine anyone reading this entire post about my other posts. If you’ve read this far, please accept my sincere gratitude. Stephen King talks about his ‘constant reader.’ I hope to have my constant readers, eventually.