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Flash Fiction Makes a Statement

Multicolored nylon lattice delta kite Français...

Multicolored nylon lattice delta kite Français : Cerf-volant triangulaire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once in a while I write a bit of flash fiction. The exercise isn’t the easiest for someone who’s in love with word volume, but it’s terrific for honing skills used to tighten a story, make it crisper, and give it a memorable delivery.

Now that I’ve found a new outlet for flash, I can indulge each day, if I choose, to write short short stories to great visual prompts. This is one story I wrote this morning. If you’d like to check out the site and the prompt, I’ve left the trail of breadcrumbs at the bottom of this post. Enjoy the read, and let me know if I did deliver.


One Last Flyer

Visitors jostled each other, shoving forward to Seaport’s Punta de los Muertos. The village overflowed with contestants and spectators for the first annual “Kite Fly on the Point.” Thousands of feet of light kite cable hung from flyer’s belts throughout the park.

Amelia flexed her already aching hand around the looped cable at her waist. Beside it, dikes rested in their holster if she needed to cut the cable during the extravaganza. It wouldn’t do to get dragged into San Diego Bay during her event.

Too soon, Amelia heard her name. One hand filled with jewel-toned fabric, the other gripping her cable, she stepped to barrier at the edge of the sea. She waited for the nod to let out her kite.

With long practice she played out the ruby pennant sock and its cable, waiting for the next errant breeze. One after another, her jewels fled to the sky; pulling, towing, always reaching for the heavens, her pennants few straight and true on the stiffening breeze. It seemed so long since she’d danced this way.

Twice her flags attempted escape. Twice she pulled them back into line, her control cables requiring all her concentration, all of her strength. She’d only added the one flag, the one for Rachel. And yet, it screamed for release, just as her baby girl had near the end.

Amelia’s right hand dropped that control line, slid her hand to the holster, and pulled out the dikes. A hundred feet of cable or a thousand, it didn’t matter. Some things needed to be let go of, and Rachel’s kite was one of them. Her baby could fly it in Heaven.

After all, wasn’t that really why she’d come here today; to let go of all the struggle and the pain?

She felt someone pull at her arm. They weren’t stronger than her resolve. Cutters met cable, a quick crimp, and the kite leaped toward the stratosphere. It bucked, flapped in exuberance, and flew as an arrow on the long flight.

Now they were all free.


Find more excellent fiction and prompts as: http://flashyfiction.blogspot.com/2012/04/strung-still-but-free-to-fly.html#comment-form

  1. May 5, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Wow, Claudsy… what a powerful, powerful scene!

    • claudsy
      May 5, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      Glad you like it, Meena. I’m not sure where it came from. It was just there in the picture prompt. I’d remembered so many times watching the flyers on Seaport Point with their many-colored flags and streamers and the battles they had with the wind coming in off the bay. It all came together in about five minutes. I wrote down what I saw.

      Thanks for the compliment.

      • May 5, 2012 at 4:31 pm

        A true flash then!

      • claudsy
        May 5, 2012 at 5:06 pm

        Yep! So long as I can keep it from being a flash in the pan, I’ll be doing okay.

  2. May 6, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Claudsy, this is great. You create this foundation where the reader wants more – and that’s just wonderful.

    • claudsy
      May 6, 2012 at 10:18 am

      Thanks, Andrea. I’m hoping that one of these days, when I’ve got plenty of extra time, I’ll be able to expand a few of these smaller pieces into something for a chapbook. I’m glad you liked it.

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