Flash Fiction: Broken


When things got really bad Cara unlocked the door to the old brew house. In one corner a huge vat squatted, as if awaiting its moment of escape. A rusting metal walkway ran around the inside walls, and under it was a scattering of broken things: chairs, tools, tyres, and other rubbish. A stinking and stained mattress was dumped in the middle. Cara undressed, and lay on it, face and palms upwards, waiting. Sometimes she had to wait for an hour or even two, but they always came if she was silent and still enough. The rats always came back.


Sorry my story is so dark this week, when the picture is so lovely. I should be happy, I have good news – my first novel, Our Endless Numbered Days has been longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. It is a very long longlist, but lovely to be on it.


This is a 100-word Friday Fictioneers short story inspired by the picture above, provided to us by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (every week) and (this week) C.E. Ayre.

61 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: Broken

  1. Loved this – drabbles are a challenge but often worth the effort. I used to keep pet rats so I’m imagining this has a happy ending and they just come along to lick her fingers. Big Congratulations on the Dublin Award – what kudos!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your description of the brew house – you take us right there. And love the psychology here – twisted but believable. Congrats on the longlisting – brilliant news. So really, all your fiction should now be happy, smiley with puppies and kittens 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This totally creeps me out, and I mean that as a compliment. I have a feeling that the situation with the rats reminds her of something in her past that broke her, like the title implies. Maybe she tries to find a way to become whole again?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m with Dale on that idea of Tracy’s. Doesn’t have to be dark, although, I expected as much when a prompt like this week’s evokes a lot of suspicion.

    Congratulations on the longlist, Claire! We’re pulling for ya!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a tragic figure. It’s like humanity has let her down so badly that she can only allow herself to befriend the rats.
    At the same time, I have a border collie cavalier who is quite a hunting dog and exceptionally friendly. So, I can’t help seeing her racing in chasing the rats and wagging her tail, adding quite a different dimension to your story. However, knowing how she can’t help rolling in dead critters, that’s a whole different sort of horror..
    Congratulations on the award listing. It’s always nice to be acknowledged.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It was such a benign story at first. You took me into that abandoned space that is why the ending hit home so hard. It sent shivers down my spine.


  7. Greetings, Claire!
    A lovely story…I’ll echo a few others and call it chilling. It has a great flow and really leaves you wondering about her motivation to seek out such darkness.
    Congrats on the long list!
    Happy trails!


  8. Pingback: Flash Fiction: Broken — Claire Fuller – All About Writing

  9. Congratulations on your book being listed. Really dark story. I agree this woman has serious problems. In the mountains of India I had something jump in a window, onto my bed, then onto the floor. I hate to even think what it was. It could have been a rat. I certainly wasn’t waiting for it. Ugh. 🙂 — Suzanne


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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s