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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Possible flash fiction

Author Topic: Possible flash fiction
Member # 7354

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I say 'possible' because the word count is inching a little too close to the 1K mark.

If anyone would be interested in reading the entire story (when it's finished), I would be glad to read one of your flash stories in exchange.


Belinda dropped to one knee and leaned her scrawny body towards the weather beaten stone markers. Why were there so many of them? Headlights from the approaching rail bus cut through the thickening dusk, revealing a marker that bore the same letter pattern she used to write her name with.
"Lying bitch!" a voice shrieked from the passing bus.
Belinda told herself to let that hateful noise follow the bus into the obscure distance. They didn't know any better. All they saw was some unknown teen showing up at Town Hall, claiming the name of their former mayor’s only child. Even after fifty-nine years, most everyone still observed the day this girl went missing. They were hurt by Belinda’s claim, but Hazel Adamton’s daughter was who she remembered being.

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Grayson Morris
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An interesting premise.

Is Belinda unable to read? That's the impression I get from the "letter pattern" bit. I like the word "hateful" in the last paragraph, too; it adds to the impression Belinda is not highly educated or high-born or any of that.

The last paragraph feels a little info-dumpy, I think, especially in a flash piece. And would Belinda be thinking all that, like that, anyway?

Belinda's a teen, yet the day she went missing has been observed for fifty-nine years. Interesting.

Here's a stab at the last para, see if anything in it appeals to you:

"Belinda told herself to let that hateful noise follow the bus off into the distance. They didn't know any better. It did seem far-fetched, Belinda being just a teenager, claiming to be the mayor's missing-for-fifty-nine-years daughter. But she wasn't trying to yank their chains. She just couldn't remember anything but being Hazel Adamton's daughter."

[This message has been edited by Grayson Morris (edited February 23, 2011).]

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Member # 8108

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I like the premise of this - kind of reminds me of the Lindbergh baby conspiracies that have popped up over the years. The style and voice are good. I would keep reading. However:

I thought the third sentence and the last sentence were both a little clunky. There were also a couple of things I found unclear that could probably be fixed fairly easily:

The "stone markers" - are these grave markers, mile markers - not certain from the context. If they are graves, it would be unusual that a beloved mayor would be buried next to a bus rail, unless the city were claustophobically overcrowded - but I don't get that feel from the description.

The "letter pattern" - at first read, I thought this was describing a special type of print or like an insignia. This should probably be clearer.

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Member # 7354

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Thanx for the feedback thus far. It's been good for suggesting little nuances that, if I do my job correctly, will make the story that much more vibrant.

Mention of the 'stone markers' doesn't surprise me. I fought with this quite a bit. Their relevance is explained later in the story, but I will consider bringing that explanation forward a tad bit.

Anybody want to do a flash exchange with me? Mine won't be ready until next week (while I work on other projects), but feeel free to send me yours now.


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Member # 2002

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*sigh* I fear Hatrack has become too obsessed with the thirteen lines and not obsessed enough with critiquing whole stories.

I'll read for you--no exchange necessary.

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