Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Admitting Defeat

Last week, I issued a challenge to help improve my use of language. I set out to write flash fiction limiting myself to words found in five books. I didn't realize skimming for words in a papberback is far more difficult than searching for them in a word doc. (Duh, Beth). So I've written a flash fic (yesterday's haven't started on today's). I made a list of words used in my story and started crossing them off as I came to them, but it's taking forever, and with my four month old incessantly screaming, it's just not going to happen. Once I determined what words I was/was not allowed to use I'd need to rewrite. So I'm admitting defeat. There's a story below if you're interested.

I perched on a large rock looking up at the land. At the life I would never have. A tall handsome man strolled along the sidewalk in front of the beach. I watched him like I did every day A bubbly blonde with a fake smile bounded at him from a cottage across the street, handing him a coffee cup. I saw more than the fake smile plastered to her face. I knew this girl was not who he thought she was. He deserved better. Like me. Yeah, right. I'd need legs to have a chance with him. One more thing I would never have.

As I was about to leap back into the water and swim away, a beautiful woman sat down beside my rock. She looked me right in the eye. Humans couldn't usually see me. Interesting.

"I saw you watching him," she said.

"You're very observant," I said not sure my voice worked in a pitch humans could hear.
"That girl isn't what he thinks."
"Again with the observations."
"If you had legs you could give him another option."
"I know," I said the sarcasm gone from my voice.
"I'd be willing to trade you. I could give you legs for a lock of your hair."
I plucked a strand of my hair and gave it to the woman. Lightning cut across the sky, and the next thing I knew I was stretching long slender legs across my stone. Exposed except for my bra top.
"Clothes?" I asked.
"I promised legs not garments. You're on your own," she cackled.
There was a public beach a little further down. I shot my head from side to side making sure no one was around. Then, I scurried across the sand wanting desperately to savor the feel of it against my feet but not daring to stop until I reached the coveted sundress thrown against the ground. Someone would be missing this later, and for that I was sorry. But I needed it now.
I pulled the dress over my head and not knowing what else to do walked into a little cafe along the beach. The man I watched every morning sat at a stool along the bar in the back of the room.
"I want coffee," I said. I always dreamed of drinking coffee.
My handsome man looked at me and smiled then back to the woman behind the bar. "On me, Chloe."
He touched the empty stool beside him. "Sit down," he said to me. I was lost on land with legs I wasn't steady on yet, but his warm smile told me everything would be okay.


  1. Searching a physical book for words does sound hard. I like the flash fiction you posted, though!

  2. I like the snappy dialog! And the wry humor of only exchanging legs, not garments. And hey, I dream of coffee too! So, see? Not too shabby, Beth. Plus, you could always do a writing exercise about a screaming, teething (but adorable) baby. :)

  3. Beth, it's a very tough challenge and since you have a little one who needs you, I can totally understand why this is too much. No worries. You got some writing out of it, and that's never a bad thing. :)

  4. You did well! Not a failure - just a re-direct :-)

  5. I liked it...you told us who/what she was without even telling us. What happened next?

  6. Wonderful piece, I think it was success all the way around, and I agree with Pettite Diva, excellent description technique, and yes what happens next?

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  8. While I'm with you in writing flashes or shorts as good practice, I'm not sure if I could limit my word use. But good for you for attempting it! :-)

  9. Hi, Beth! I enjoyed your flash fiction story. I want to know what happens next. I give you a lot of credit for trying to limit the words you used to write your story.

    Sorry to hear the baby is crying a lot. Collicky? Cutting a tooth?

  10. Hi Beth! I liked both Kismet and the flash story...is it ok if I blog about Kismet on my blog? My email is miffbeth@gmail.com and my blog is: bethartfromtheheart.blogspot.com .