Diary of John Henry – 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, courtesy of Pixabay.com . . .


. . . and this is my story (genre: historical fiction):

In the autumn of 1842, I secured passage on a sailing ship bound for the East Indies out of Southampton. My aim was to indulge my passion for sketching rare seabirds … and to forget the girl who had broken my heart. By the time we rounded the Cape, the abundance of seabirds raised me from my moping self-pity and I exulted in the daily filling of my sketchpad.

Three days from the Cape an angry storm swept in, whipping the sea into a frenzy. In earnest I prayed for our lives and, although we were blown considerably off course, our ship survived unscathed. A heavy mist the following morning dissipated to reveal a small, green-swathed isle portside. I was delighted when the captain ordered his crew to make for the shore.

Albatross Isle has been my home these past thirty years. I found great peace amongst the islanders … and a loving wife who has borne me four sturdy children. I have many sketches of seabirds that soar in the vast blue expanse above.

Word Count: 175


I’ve been concentrating on writing my book a lot this week, and I can’t seem to get my head out of historical fiction. I’ve also allowed myself to go to the word limit of 175, when I’m normally quite strict with myself and keep to 150. I just found I needed a few more words to tell this story.

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

42 thoughts on “Diary of John Henry – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

  1. I loved how he invented a new life on a beautiful island, found a loving wife, had children, all because of the heartbreak of a girl. Awesome story! — I’m going to be reading your book Millie (it’s in my Kindle) as soon as Writing 101 is over. I look forward to reading it!

    1. Wow, PJ, I didn’t know you’d actually got my book! Thank you so much for that. Of course, it’s set a thousand years earlier than this story I wrote today! You’ll have to get the Tardis out! Thanks for liking my story today, too. 🙂

      1. Sorry, PJ, I just assumed you’d have heard of Doctor Who. I know it’s popular in the U.S. He’s a Time Lord, who travels in an old British style telephone box – which he calls his Tardis – through time and space. It’s all sci-fi and one of those programmes you either love or hate. But it has a huge following. 🙂

      2. I’m not surprised. It’s all so far-fetched, But it isn’t only the youngsters who like it. I just don’t like sci-fi very much.

  2. I think the intermingling of both works have paid off. This is the best flash fic piece of yours I read so far. The historical fic voice is so apparent. Good job.

    1. Happy endings are always more uplifting, aren’t they? I really enjoyed writing this little historical piece, Ineke, so thank you so much for liking it. 🙂

    1. I’m glad you liked this one, Heena. I feel
      more at home writing historical fiction. 🙂
      That’s wonderful news about the review. I imagine it will be written by Galit. I saw her rating for both books on Goodreads and we’ve made contact since. I didn’t like to ask if she’d read them for TRB, though I imagined she had. Thank you all so much! 🙂

      1. Yep, Galit’s the one (my best reviewer and an awesome person and a really good friend!) And you’re more than welcome!
        I kept your book for my reviewing but last month I did it for a friend and I had a hard time being honest about the book cause I really liked the author and was a good blog-friend of her’s. And as I have a very expressive personality, it gets difficult to please anyone… So that was the time when I decided to pass on the books of authors I know (especially those who are good friends) to other reviewers. That way we all are happy! heheh!
        Plus I’m not into historical fiction (sorry if you feel like kicking me) and so I didn’t want the review to get affected by my distaste of the genre. So I made sure to give it to someone who likes and appreciates the genre. And as I can see she really enjoyed it 🙂
        Infant she has submitted the review for your second book as well, but due to already scheduled posts, it will be published next month.
        I hope you’ll like the review 🙂

  3. I like how you’ve written the story as his journal entries. Really enjoyed it and loved the happy ending of him living on the island peacefully with his family.

  4. I honestly loved reading this story. I didn’t want it to end because i could picture the whole scene from the ship, to the shore, to his family- all thanks to your well-put words. 🙂

  5. So after internal and external crises, he made the best of his situation and found peace. ❤ Yay!! I'm also glad you found peace in writing this historical flash fiction as you work on your book!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.