This post is in response to a weekly flash fiction prompt challenge at the Carrot Ranch for August 8-13.
It requires writing with a specific kind of apple in mind.
The victim lay on the ground, sprawled, while clutching his throat.
“Choked on an apple? Classic.” Detective Monroe commented as he surveyed the scene, a half-eaten apple by his feet.
The victim, a young man in his twenties, had a twisted, horrified look on his face. His eyes bulged, and his mouth open and moist with bubbling saliva.
“Was it an accident, inspector?” A rookie cop asked.
“It could be. You never know.” The detective took slow, calculated steps all over the room. His eyes fell back on the apple.
“Take this to forensics… it might tell us more.”
The prompt required writing a story using a poisoned apple. With that in mind, the mystery is more or less wrapped up for the reader, so I opted to place it here in the comments section.
This is my second run with writing flash fiction in exactly 99 words. It’s an interesting challenge. You have to complete a story in 99 words only. However, I seem to observe that my stories are more of a cliffhanger or preview rather than a complete story…
A story has to have at least five elements:
I feel that I am lacking in the resolution aspect. Did the above story feel resolved to you? I described what may probably be a crime scene. Do we know who done it? Do we know how it was done? Nope, and nope.
I seem to have hit 1-4 alright. There are characters – the victim, the detective, even the rookie cop. The setting is hinted, and the plot, well, it might be a murder case. The conflict is in solving what happened, right?
Anyway, what do you think? Is 99 words too little for me to tell a story on?
In any case, it is making me think creatively, which is fine.
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I hope you liked the story. Have a nice day.
17 thoughts on “Inconclusive”
well done; another good 99er..
Thanks for reading. Glad you liked it. 🙂
A nice murder-mystery, Jomz! Great analysis to examine your 99 words for story, too. Part of the fun is the constraint, and the other part is the lifelong challenge to figure out how to achieve all five points to a complete story. What can you tighten? What can you leave out and still convey the scene with a conclusion? I appreciate you pushing yourself in your craft!
Thanks! Hopefully I’d get better at this method of story-telling. However, it at least is getting my creative juices flowing and I can write more should the need arise.
That’s the important part — the rise of creative juices!
Personally, I think flash with conclusions 1) are hard to do and 2) often feel rushed. I think the resolution needs to solve the main problem, but also reveal something else that could be further explored – otherwise you could be left feeling like you read a story too simple.
Hmmm… I see your point. “Reveal something that could be further explored”, eh? I could work with that.
Thank you very much for your inputs!
Definitely better than I could do in 99 words, so I applaud you for your creative thinking. One reason I’m not a fan of “flash fiction” is because it is difficult to craft a satisfying story with all the requisite elements. Another thought that comes to mind — conflict. Without conflict there can be no resolution. Again, with the word-count limitation, it’s difficult to build any genuine conflict. I say pat yourself on the back for what you’ve done here and use it as a springboard, imagining what other elements you would add if you decided to expand it to a longer story. What would the main conflict (or story question) be? How would you develop it? Then, of course, you could provide a strong resolution for a reader.
Thank you very much for your kind words! 😀
True, it can be hard to find flash fiction with a sense of satisfaction. It’s like there is something missing.
Thanks again. It is much appreciated.
Excellent story reminiscent of Snow White, but with a modern twist. Nicely done!
I actually used Snow White as the anchor of this story. I mean, what else could I use for “poisoned apple”? Hahahaha…
Thank you very much.
I think it’s okay to not hit all five components in every flash, to have a cliff hanger, or to let the reader wonder a bit. You can always add to it. Flash has led me to some recurring characters and especially with them I am likely to cheat and double up on a prompt, though I do try to have each 99 be a “stand alone” as well. It is a terrific puzzle that 99 word constraint, a lot of fun. Keep playing!
Thank you very much for your inputs. It is very helpful.
Yeah, the 99 word constraint is a terrific puzzle indeed!
Have a nice day.