Flash fiction: One or Two Words


Yesterday I only said two words: ‘Oneway,’ and ‘thankyou’. Or maybe ‘Oneway’ is two words, so it could be I said three; never was no good at grammar.

This morning on the bus, all the double seats already had people in them, and every one of them people stared out the window as I squeezed past, so as not to catch my eye. I chose an older lady, reminded me of Ma; kind looking. She weren’t though. Huffed and twitched when my leg touched hers, accidental like. Those seats never are big enough.

Only one word today: ‘Sorry.’


Congratulations to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for her three year anniversary in leading all us writers around the world in the Friday Fictioneers writing challenge. (Write a 100 word story inspired by a weekly photo, this week supplied by Ron Pruitt.) Click here to join in or here to read others.


For anyone who’s written a first draft of a novel you might be interested in my blog post about how to revise it – written in conjunction with another writing group I’m in – The Prime Writers.

98 thoughts on “Flash fiction: One or Two Words

  1. Could be an extract from the diary of the loneliest man in the world. Though he doesn’t sound much like the kind of guy who would keep a diary. A study in desolation, beautifully executed.


  2. So well written. Shows how society is today… ain’t no room for socialising with the likes of anyone… Funny, I assumed the character was male! (re C.E. and Rochelle above).


  3. This is wonderful Claire, both the voice and tone you’ve created as well as how you’ve said so much while ostensibly saying so little. This is a great example of narrative restraint. It should be a writing textbook. 🙂


  4. Also thought it was female. Never mind. One can fill in the blanks: he ran away because of something mother did, he got chased away because of something he did, could be neither, maybe abandoning her to dire circumstances. Possibilities for a fuller (pun realized) story are endless. Well done!


    • Interpretations are so interesting. In my mind he’s an adult who lived with his mother until perhaps into his thirties or even forties and loved her. Then she died and he is totally alone (and very overweight)


  5. Dear Claire,

    Your protagonist is flesh and blood, as clearly illustrated as she is ignored or avoided. Your writing teaches us to write while showing us how to be human (or not). I love it.




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