Flash Fiction – 4th Ed.

I’m not going into why I’ve been off the net recently.  I claim getting my crap together to move as a reason.  There’s an excuse here, too, but you’ll have to wait for that story.  It’s a doozy.  But enough about me.

If you want to join in the Flash Madness, go to Rochelle’s Purple Blog and follow the rules.

Concept: a weekly picture is posted, and the writer is challenged to produce one-hundred (more or less) words of some sort of fiction with a full plotline (beginning, middle and end). Here is my fourth installment:

Copyright Jennifer Pendergast

Copyright Jennifer Pendergast


The day unfurled just as I remembered it would. Odd thing to think, I know. The cognitive dissonance gets me every time. Or will get me, or both. I don’t know. I’m only an operative. I see the waiting figure in the archway.

“Hello, Steve,” the familiar voice says.

“I failed again,” I say.

We failed again,” he corrects me.

“Sorry, Steve,” I say.

“We can only keep trying,” the loud mechanical click echoes.

I nod my assent.

I raise the ancient weapon and kill myself, clean and painless.

“Not like I have a choice,” I mumble, “Causal loops suck.”

– – – – –

Critique and general abuse are welcome. It helps to use the comments feature so we both know what you’re saying.

48 Responses to “Flash Fiction – 4th Ed.”

  1. NotAPunkRocker Says:

    Very good! Makes me wonder what time period/place this was and how it came to this…again.

  2. I like your stories and how you’re able to build tension in so few words. If you’re interested in publishing your short short fiction elsewhere, check out my flash fiction website at http://www.saturdaynightreader.com. Cheers!

  3. Uh huh. Figured as much…excuses, excuses.

    Failure sucks, especially when it involves suicide. This reminds me of your first story, a bit. What makes a non-fail and closes the loop?

  4. You’ve been watching the trailers for “Edge of Tomorrow”, haven’t you? Or rewatching Bill Murray in Groundhog Day?
    Nicely done. I didn’t know whether I/you was coming or going.

  5. Dear BR,

    So did the last line come before or after he killed himself? Hm…now that I read Archon’s comment and your reply I’m still not sure. 😉 Good concise writing.



  6. aloha BrainRants. yeah, i hear you on those “causal loops”. so does the fine print. i like how you got to your ending. fun. aloha.

  7. I caught on quickly with this one that it would be some type of time loop, but I thought Steve would kill you!
    You are a good writer Rants, you should do more of it!
    So you’re moving, did you finally get transferred to Texas?

  8. This was/is a great story, and will be again 🙂

  9. Wow. What a thing to relive/die

  10. That will be a rather clever take on the prompt (click).

  11. How sad to have to kill yourself over and over and over again….

  12. It reminded me of a 100 word episode of The Twilight Zone. Chilling!

  13. great sci-fi piece! love how the dying part seems so casual / normal for the characters 🙂

  14. groundhog day in 100 words – you really made me laugh with your last line 😀

  15. Dear BrainRants,

    You pulled off the time travel genre rather well, but then, you’ve had a lot of practice, right?



  16. Good story and well written. Virginia is a beautiful state. My brother lived there for some years and my parents and I visited him. 🙂 —Susan

  17. Oh .. what a sad cycle.. just keep trying I guess… really innovative

  18. Hmmm… killing yourself repeatedly can’t be much fun. I liked the way you introduced the theme using tenses

  19. What is most amazing to me is that you can see this picture and come up with that story. Your mind is truly a wondrous thing.

  20. I know precisely what you mean about being off the web. Life has a way of getting in the way doesn’t it?

    I thought you’d go with wedding day bliss when I saw the photo. Silly me.

  21. Nice story and nice to be able to read you in Rochelle’s flash fiction Friday.
    A few if my favorite story tellers participate.
    Wow what a great life to be able to live in different areas of our country.

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