Parallel Tuesdays

Sacrifices and Secrets: Some Flash Fiction and a Mini Writing Challenge

Today seemed like a fine day to share some flash fiction with you. Here is one of my first pieces, written for my first Monthly Writing Challenge in March. The prompt was the starting sentence “I should have listened with both ears instead of one” and a word count limit of 250. You can find the original story post here.

There were many other fantastic stories entered in the March challenge. If you missed it, I urge you to sashay on over and check out the entries. You can find them all neatly listed in the March wrap up section of the April Writing Challenge. It’s amazing how writers can take the same prompt and create very different stories.

Without further delay, here is that first flash fiction piece weighing in at 250 words or less…


I should have listened with both ears instead of one...but the door was thick

I should have listened with both ears instead of one but the door was thick and I had to press one ear hard against it to hear the conversation beyond.

Four voices.

“It must be done.”

“You volunteering?”

A snorting laugh. A wheezing cough.


“Too public.” A voice like worms crawling.

“I think–”

Didn’t hear the rest. Someone grabbed me.

I spun around. “Let go!”

Martin Baker. My breath caught. A flush rose in my face.

Martin looked at me, eyes flat.

 My heart began to race.

He shoved me through the door.

Four gathered around a table. Uncle Norris, Constable Wayne, Mr Baker and Mrs Byers.


“Found her eavesdropping, Pa.” Martin shook me.

I’d only ever touched him once before. His hands were warm.

Mrs. Byers wheezed.

Mr. Baker. Blue eyes like Martin. “Well, Missy?”

Opened my mouth. No words came out. I shrugged.

Mr. Baker looked at Uncle Norris. Uncle dropped his eyes.

My legs went loose.

Mrs. Byers looked up at me. Bright, clear eyes in a deeply line face. “A solution, gentlemen.”

Martin chuckled.

I found my voice. “What’s going on?”

She came towards me, leaning on her cane, smelling faintly of spoiled milk, and the others stepped back. “We all make sacrifices, girl, for the good of others.” She waved her hand and turned her back.

“What the–”

 No one listened as Martin pulled me from the room.


Looking back, I can see things I might have done differently. But that’s usually the case when you go back and look at anything you’ve written in the past.

One of my favorite things about this story is the image I found. That door inspired me, still does. Just what is beyond that door? And do we want to know?

And speaking of secrets maybe better kept, here’s a three-sentence story written for the challenge of the Great Bearded One, Chuck Wendig of the Terrible Mind:

The Box

“Whatever you do, don’t open it,” he said.

But he should have known better than to leave such an exquisite box with someone like me

And maybe he did because, when I opened it, the thing inside whispered my name, “Pandora.”


So, what do you think is beyond that door? Do you want to find out? Can you resist discovering a secret or do you just have to know? Bonus: Write a three-sentence story about a secret or inspired by the door pic used for Sacrifices and include it in the comments section below.


There’s still time to join in the Life List Club Milestone party, check on everyone’s progress and enter some awesome giveaways. Go on over and have a look-see.


Photo Credit
Mysterious odor by guldflsken, on Flickr | CC BY 2.0

14 thoughts on “Sacrifices and Secrets: Some Flash Fiction and a Mini Writing Challenge

  1. The flash answers questions and doens’t answer them. Leaves the reader wanting to know more, but happily letting them create their own versions. I agree, that pic is great.

    1. That is an interesting thing about flash fiction. It needs a beginning, middle and end but doesn’t necessarily need the closure that a short story or novel needs. I kinda like the mystery of it. 😀

  2. My three sentence story based on that picture above.

    “Looks heavy,” observed Bilbo as he and the the Dwarves looked at the heavy iron-bound door.

    “Yeah,” nodded Thorin, the leader of the Dwarves, “Screw it, let’s go home.”

    And so they did.

  3. My three sentences:

    “You’re waiting for yourself just beyond that door,” she assured me.
    “What am I like?”
    “Dark and empty; that’s why you’ve got to hurry.”

  4. I really enjoyed Sacrifices. You had me hooked at the first sentence. The Box was fun! Here’s my three sentences prompted by the picture of the door:

    We looked at each other first, then at the door. Forlorn. Freedom was on the other side, a mere five inches away.

  5. I really wish I could do this three sentence story. I just can’t simplify – I always need to answer the questions in my head.

    Not sure if you have seen but we have a new charity project called A Cuppa and an Armcahir and we are looking for short stories. If you or your readers are interested in submitting, you can find out more here

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