#FlashForFriday – ‘The End’

It’s been a productive week. I have finished and sent off Grist, my ‘stab’ (sorry, too easy) at Industrial Horror Fiction. It has undergone some major overhauling since I posted the previous excerpt so click here to read the updated teaser.

Fingers crossed for some feedback from Spectral Press, though I fear Grist may be too short for their anthology. But what will be will be and it was great fun, and a good exercise, to write all the same.

For this week’s #FlashForFriday (my fortnightly exercise of producing a piece of flash fiction) I asked for challenges from everyone. I got a few really interesting responses and have filed a few away for consideration in the future. However, the simplest one was the one that got its hook in my brain today, as is so often the case.

It was tweeted to me by Patrick of Dodge Fiction. His challenge was simply the word ‘dry’. Here’s where I went with it. Enjoy!

The End

Courtesy of Google Images

‘Did you ever imagine it would end like this?’

‘Well, yeah.’

‘It’s just an expression, Ena.’

‘I know. But it was still a question. And my answer is yes.’

‘How could you possibly predict you’d end up here?’

‘Well, maybe not here specifically. But somewhere dry, desolate and isolated? Yeah. Sounds about right.’

Al raised her eyebrows. ‘That’s uplifting.’

‘You’re the one that started the conversation about death.’

‘I did not,’ Al snapped. ‘I was all for hedging. General musing. Not bloody well spelling it out.’

‘What’s the use of sugar coating it now?’

Al threw the empty canteen into the sand. ‘Fair point.’

‘I do sometimes make them.’

They sighed, lying back with their arms behind their heads to stare up at the endless blue.

‘It is peaceful though, isn’t it?’

‘Yeah,’ Ena replied. ‘I guess that’s all most of us can hope for, in the end.’

‘You never know, if we’d made it home, we could have ended up in a horrific car crash. Or a house fire. Been paralysed for life, caught rabies. Anything.’


Al shrugged. ‘Anything’s possible.’

‘I don’t think rabies is all that possible.’

‘Stop being so literal, it’s getting annoying.’

‘Only if you be a little more literal. You could mean anything sometimes.’

‘I mean,’ Al said slowly, ‘if we got home, who’s to say we’d meet an end as peaceful as this one?’

‘Ah. Yes.’

‘So we could be grateful.’

‘Perhaps going a little far,’ Ena murmured. ‘But I take your point.’

‘I think you’re wrong though…’

‘About what?’

‘About you being pre-destined to end up somewhere dry, desperate and alone.’

‘Hasn’t that prophecy kind of self-fulfilled a little already, Al?’

‘No,’ Al turned her head toward Ena and smiled again. ‘You’re not alone.’

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11 Responses to #FlashForFriday – ‘The End’

  1. M. C. Dulac says:

    Love it! I’m hoping a dune buggie comes over that horizon and saves them. Just a pleasure to read!

    It’s funny how the desert has such a deep effect on our consciousness. Is it some sort of collective memory of Mars? That’s my thought for the day.

  2. Nice! I detect dryness on more than one level… 😉

  3. Christi says:

    Great little flash piece! And I’m with MC above — I’d love to see a dune buggie swing by and pick them up. It reminds me a bit of the star wars scene where they crash land in the desert.

  4. Nice! I love the intimacy between the characters. Tough way to go. I need to dig into more of your stuff. Thanks for taking my suggestion!

  5. D. James Fortescue says:

    Good story. Nice that they had a sense of humour in the face of inevitability. Stumble across some castle ruins, or a line of Jawas? The story is begging for a fleshing out methinks =)

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