Friday, 24 June 2011

Tenth Friday Flash: Drooping Flower

The hallway was elegantly designed and covered in paintings, but the place had seen better days; it was dank, cold and there was a leak a few seats down. The seat Mandy was sitting in was rickety, she suspected it was propped up by the wall.

There was a chime and a red light lit up above the black door at the end of the passage. A terrified looking girl at the end of the row stood up and quietly went through the door. It seemed to open and close on its own accord.

Tears flowed from the blonde girl next to Mandy, she desperately wanted to comfort the girl, but her body refused to move. Desperate in that it would distract her from her own fear of what was about to happen.

Another chime and another girl disappeared. At least the next chair in the line was a little firmer. She had another glance up and down the hall. All the girls were like her; tall, thin, barely enough meat on their bones to function, and deathly scared.

She tried to console herself with the fact that her family would be taken care of. What she was doing would be enough to feed them and clothe them for years to come. She looked up. There was a picture of a sad looking clown staring at her. The clown's makeup was running and the flower pinned to him was drooping, but there was a glint in the clown's eye as if he could see the light of a better future. Steeling her resolve, she nodded and determinedly got out of her seat. Some of the girls gasped, while others were so wrapped in their own anguish that they didn't notice, and more than likely didn't care.

Her path had been chosen and she was going to face it head on. She walked slowly and steadily past the others. Mandy turned and faced the door. Being so close made her quiver. Made her question her actions. The picture of the clown flashed through her memory again. Straightening herself up, she waited.

The chime went off and the red light flashed.

She squared her shoulders and walked through the opening door...


  1. Selling a kidney? Her body?

    No matter… the tension was what counted here, and Mandy confronts it. This is one of your best so far.

  2. But what is she doing?? The story works well, it does t's job, but I want to know she is doing!! I have no closure.

  3. Ahh! I was sooo taken in! Great job! Are we going to see part two??? PLEASE!? :)

    I was scared for her...nice job bringing the fear to life. :)

  4. I, for one, don't mind the lack of closure. It's the mounting tension you have created that drives this narrative so forcefully forward.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  5. Hmm, so they're all girls, so I don't think it's kidneys...
    Tension works well - I agree with Adam B about not needing closure. More fun when one gets to travel down imagination lane courtesy of the author!

  6. Hi all,
    Thanks for stopping by!


    Thanks for the kind comment! Means a lot to me. Have enjoyed all of your stories immensely so far.


    I tried a number of endings, but none of them seem to fit right. I might bring back Mandy in a later Flash if something good comes to mind.


    Glad you enjoyed it. With it being so short I was afraid it would be hard to get into. Glad it wasn't. I am toying with the idea of bringing Mandy back. Will keep you posted ;).

    @Adam B,

    Thank you Adam. That's what I was going for once I realized the reader's imagination would more than likely fill in the ending. And most probably do a better job of it too.


    Glad you liked it and that the tension of the piece worked. I often wonder if I over do it trying to build it up.

  7. This seemed darker to me than selling a kidney or body. The third paragraph in hooked me nicely with her wanting to care but unable to concentrate on the other girls.

  8. Certainly selling something unseemly. I didn't think of Mazz's catch - they are women. About to sell their baby plumbing?

  9. I liked the build up of tension, and her anxiety comes across very nicely. I really liked the focus being her courage, and her inner conflict. If you had stated what the situation was at the beginning, I think it would have changed the focus to be about that situation, whatever it might be, and not about her courage. Great job!

  10. @Aidain and @John I'm still little undecided on what is in the room, but I'm afraid coming back to it might ruin this story?


    Thanks for the visit and the read! Glad you liked it and you're so right, I felt that during writing it, if I reveal too much it might lose its punch.