One Whole Year – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Flash Fiction for for Aspiring Writers is a writing challenge, kindly hosted by Priceless Joy. The challenge asks us to write a piece of fiction from the photo prompt provided in around 100- 150 words – give or take 25 words. It encourages participants to comment, constructively, on other entries, so supporting each other’s writing. If you’d like to join in with this challenge, follow the link in the title of PJ’s, blog: Beautiful Words to see what to do. The challenge runs from Wednesday to Wednesday every week.

Here is this week’s prompt . . .

wpid-photo-20150323193545609

. . . and this is my story:

I cannot see you, but I know you are there, your lovely face hidden by the flimsy curtainsacross the second floor window. The heat of your stare sears through … and right to my heart.

Last time we met I could not speak for grief.  You called to me as I walked through the cemetery gates. Now you don’t answer my calls; my letters return unread. So I must come to you …

I press the bell for Apartment 3b and focus on my worn leather shoes, wondering what you will say.

The door swings back and you are in my arms.

‘A whole year, Dad?’ you say, stepping back to scrutinise my dishevelled appearance. ‘Where have you been?’

I shake my head. ‘Couldn’t face the world without your mother …’

My daughter’s smile is full of understanding. ‘We’ll visit Mum’s grave together from now on, if you like.’

Word Count: 150

*

If you’d like to view other entries, click here.

About milliethom

I am a reader and writer of historical fiction with a keen interest in the Earth's history and all it involves, both physically and socially. I like nothing better than to be outdoors, especially in faraway places, and baking is something I do when my eyes need respite from my computer screen.
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60 Responses to One Whole Year – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

  1. mandibelle16 says:

    Poor Dad, just wandering out there. I’m glad he came to see his daughter.

  2. Susan Langer says:

    Your story surprised me. I thought the one at the door ringing the bell was a woman.

    • milliethom says:

      I can see why you thought that, Susan. I think if I were a man writing the story, it would have been better! Perhaps I should have made it clear early on that it was a man. Thanks for pointing that out. 🙂

      • Susan Langer says:

        No. It was fine. It was more my frame of reference because I usually write from feminen perspective

      • milliethom says:

        Hi Susan. I’m glad you’re about because I wanted to say that I can’t manage to comment on your post. It’s not your site’s fault, it’s my WordPress login. I think it’s because I opened my blog using my real name, not Millie Thom. So, in future, I’ll try with that and see what happens. I just didn’t want you to think I couldn’t be bothered to comment. I always try to do so.

  3. Tastyniblets says:

    Great story Millie- very creative use of the prompt and a nice complete story in so few words- well done!

  4. That’s beautiful Millie, we so often underestimate the impact of grief….you conveyed it so very well.

  5. lrod1726 says:

    What a heartbreaking story but I’m glad the dad was able to see his daughter once again 😃

  6. scrapydotwo says:

    Very vivid images in your writing. I can see and feel the grieve and also the joy of both the characters. Love this piece of writing.

  7. Bynda says:

    aww so bittersweet. Good story!

  8. Sonya says:

    Touching, bittersweet story. The reversed parent and child roles work well – nicely done!

  9. Good story, his grief was palpable.

  10. Wonderful story Millie! I could feel his grief and then his anxiety as he stood at the door of his daughter’s apartment. And, it ended so sweetly with an understanding and loving daughter. I loved this story.

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Jack! I admit it was a bit cheerless, but I wasn’t in the mood for a funny story yesterday. There’s something about really howling wind that puts me in a bad mood. Haha! 🙂

      • Ha! I’m with you on the wind thing. I get nervous when the winds pick up; been through too many bad storms with high, devastating winds. I must tell you, when I first looked at the picture prompt and before I read your writing, the first thing I thought of was the open curtain on the upper floor.

      • milliethom says:

        Well, I thought of several things to write, but none of them were cheery ones! Moody Millie – that was me yesterday! I’m having a good one today, though – the sun’s out. Have a great weekend, Jack. 🙂

      • Good days are the best! Thank you, Millie. Hope your weekend will be a wonderful one.

  11. Norma says:

    Great story Millie. 🙂 At first I thought it is going to be a romantic one where he was going to meet a lady. And lady it was, but a sweet relationship…a daughter.

    • milliethom says:

      It almost was a romantic story, Norma. I decided to make it a father-daughter thing when I thought more carefully about the ending. Thank you for liking it! 🙂

  12. John Yeo says:

    A beautiful perceptive empathic description of loss and a shared grief ~ A well written very sad truth Millie ~ 🙂

  13. luckyjc007 says:

    A real tearjerker! Nicely done.

  14. married2arod says:

    Something about the prose is very poetic. At first I thought it was a love story until she said Dad. Very endearing.

  15. Francesca Smith says:

    I did not expect that ending. Very bittersweet and beautifully written.

  16. What a touching and bittersweet story! I’m glad dad came back to see his daughter and his daughter totally understood why he left for a whole year 🙂 Sometimes, the same exact story doesn’t in real life but I’m glad you made it happen in your story 😉 Really a lovely one sweetie! 😉

  17. Ameena k.g says:

    I actually thought at first that it was an ex-lover, and I do agree with commenter who said the style was prose-poetic and the words really connected while reading. 🙂

    • milliethom says:

      I can see why you thought it might have been an ex-lover. It’s not until further down it becomes clear that it’s Dad. Thank you for the nice comment about my writing! It’s much appreciated. 🙂

  18. Creatopath says:

    That was beautiful Millie. Sweet and sad. Really liked how it was written from the Dad’s point of view.

  19. Beautiful and touching and so much said in so few words.

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, J. (Hope you don’t mind the abbreviation I’ve just discovered.) 150 words is relatively easy to do. It’s the Friday Fictioneers – 100 words – that the testing one. Why not have a go? You’re a very good writer. This one and the Monday one I do are both 150, so are much more gentle. 🙂

      • 🙂 I have been called ‘J”. Thank you very much Millie. I have been busy with non-writing things. I really enjoy your short stories. I had a go at the Monday Finish the Story – may try it again soon. We were building our deck outside and completed it yesterday so I had my 50th party and finished this morning at 4am. Now I can sit and write under the trees. You must visit when you come to Brisbane again.

      • milliethom says:

        I’d love to visit! We may find our way over there some time soon. We really enjoyed our month there (sightseeeing, mostly). This year I’ve just got to get my third book finished! The rate I’m going, I’ll still de doing it in five years’ time. If you strat the FF challenges, just beware of becoming addicted. I’ll never look at a picture again without thinking up a story to go with it! Hope your new deck gives you a lot of pleasure. It sounds like a lovely pplace to sit. :

      • 🙂 we can have a wine on Sipaia Beach – that is what we call it. It has river pebbles and is amongst the trees. Sipaia is a nick-name for my village (Ship and fire) a place that is on fire, in World War II a Japanese War ship crashed onto our beach at home (Wagang). Google Myko maru. 🙂

  20. Millie, I wanted to tell you once again how happy I am that you have become a wonderful participant of the weekly FFfAW writers’ challenge. I always love reading your stories and you bring such a great professionalism to our mix of writers’ (that I sorely need! lol!). I hope you will continue participating and I look forward to reading your future stories. ((Hugs)) PJ

    • milliethom says:

      Dear PJ. I’ve decided to cut down on some flash fiction after Easter, though definitely not all. It will be different ones I miss each week, depending on how busy I am with my book at the time. I’ll try to keep as many going as I can. I’ve enjoyed doing your challenge a lot and hope to do this week’s later today. Hugs to uou, too, and thank you for all your kind words. 🙂 Millie

  21. You need to put a warning label on your writing: “WARNING: You will experience major feels.”

    • milliethom says:

      Well, Izzy, I’ve just seen your comment on my post and can honestly say, that’s the best comment I’ve ever had! I love your use of animation and other amusing images to illustrate things. You’re a natural-born writer and illustrator! Thanks a million for this one. It’s made my day. I’ll try to stay clear of ‘major feels’ from now on. Can’t promise anything, though. Haha. 🙂

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  23. So sad. It gave me goosebumps. Very well written to do that in just a few words!

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you for that nice comment. 😉 That’s what these challenges are all about. Many of us are very verbose, and sometimes just need practise in being more succint, The friday ochallenge I sometimes do is only 100 words – very few for an entire story! This one of Priceless Joy’s allows up to 175 words, which makes it a lot easier. 🙂

      • Still pretty challenging for most people though! 🙂 But I know what you mean, I like participating in Daily Post’s photo challenge and it’s always fun to see how others interpreted the same theme

      • milliethom says:

        Yes, as a photographer, you would obviously veer in that direction. One of my daughters is also on WP and she does several of the challenges. Cee’s is a popular one, especially her ‘Which Way?’ challenge. Louise (daughter) has participated in that a few times. I leave the photography well alone. 🙂

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