Flash Fiction 7: Jacob, waiting


This week Janet Reid ran another flash fiction contest, and for me it went well indeed. (But no, I didn’t win twice in a row – silly question!)

In honor of springtime and the month of May, the five prompt words this time around were may, play, whee, brie, and quick. (There were no fixed opening and closing phrases; that was an experiment she decided not to repeat.) I struggled with finding a story around those words, and came up with something that made the short list, which is awesome and has my heart thumping. Still, it’s not quite as thrilling as it could be, since there were only 64 entries this time and the long list was longer than usual, with 11 stories. The winning story was amazing, as were some of the others on the long list. Quite frankly, my own doesn’t stack up against them as well as I would have liked (read the contest results here to see what you think). That doesn’t stop me from being really, really happy with the mention that I got, though! Here’s my story.

Jacob, waiting: submitted 5/7/16

Jacob settled in a hallway to wait after the meeting. One of the new arrivals wandered up. “Why are you in a wheelchair?”

Jacob smiled. “Too much TV.” The newbie twitched and backed away.

“That’ll shake him up,” Jacob thought. “I do love the drama, yes indeed.” He rubbed his temple where the chip lay under the skin. It itched so much lately.

A door opened, and the young man with the briefcase came out. “Too quick,” Jacob thought. “Must be bad news.”

He was right. His appeal for release from the psychiatric facility had been denied yet again.

Janet especially liked the line where he rubbed his temple where the chip lay under the skin. What I had in mind is that it’s a line that makes your brow wrinkle when you first read it – huh? – and then at the end you go back to it and go, “Oh, got it.” If that’s what made it click for Janet, then I accomplished my goal. What more can one ask for in 100 words or less?

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