Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chock Full O' Fail

In typical fashion, I dashed off a quick piece for entry into the Flash Fiction Chronicles String-of-10 Contest but then totally blew it. 

The String-of-10 Contest is when the editors provide a string of ten words (the Prompts in this case were: SURVIVAL-SKIMMILK*-LOLLYGAG-CRYPTIC-ONLOOKER-LEAK-RAW-FORBIDDEN-RADIO-VERDIGRIS) and an aphorism (Quotation A person usually has two reasons for doing something: a good reason and the real reason. –Thomas Carlyle) and the author is to provide seamless integration of any four of the prompt words and utilization of the aphorism as an additional source of inspiration (if desired) in no more than 250 words.  

Well, I put a quick piece together, shopped it by my Dedicated Reader and then promptly failed to submit it timely.    *Sigh*   Alas, at least I put something on paper.   So, my Dear Blog Reader, I give you my forgotten piece.   
Johanne, aware enough to know that in a different world, one that existed a week ago, she was doing the unforgivable.  In that other world where food was at least available if not necessarily bountiful, just having these thoughts was forbidden.  But now, all bets were off, as Renaud used to say.  He’s gone now.  Dead under the rubble of their collapsed home.  The constant struggle against poverty and repression Johanne’s alone to fight.  Her motivations weren’t cryptic or apologetic.  She was in survival mode. 
Peering into the rubble, water leaking through the corrugated verdigris-colored roof and collecting in pools at her feet, she saw a hand clutching a filthy bag containing two small cans of skim-milk.  Not much but to Johanne – a veritable feast.  She hadn't eaten for four days and that was a dirty half-sandwich taken from someone long dead. 
Johanne, careful to keep a watchful eye out for onlookers, tugged the bag and felt a corresponding pull.  Nerves frayed RAW, she screamed and fell back. 
"THANKGODTHANKGODTHANKGOD," a tear-filled whisper filtered up through the dust and the dark.  Without thinking, Johanne grabbed the bag and ran.  In the pounding of her heart, her bare feet slapping a syncopated rhythm against the buckled street, she heard that merged prayer, Thank…God…Thank…God….  She slowed to a jog and then a walk. 
With a choked breath, Johanne turned and ran back to the remains of the store.  With a brief caress of that solitary hand, she began to dig. 


Matthew said...

Wow. That was powerful! Thanks for sharing with us, if not the Flash Fiction Chronicles. This deserves...no...NEEDS to be published.

Jandi said...

Thanks Matthew! Thank you Thank you.

Jen said...

Sister, this is amazing. My heart was literally in my mouth as I read it.

Jamie Greene said...

I want to help you figure out how to construct your life so that you can write full-time! You have a gift and I want to read more of it!! Thanks for this. This is the first time I've read a flash fiction piece that felt "complete" to me. I loved it! Thanks for sharing. --Jamie

Troy Holm said...

i like it a lot. follow me at exmypa.blogpsot.com . gonna read some more.

Jandi said...

Thank you, Jamie - Thank you, Troy! Really appreciate the comments.

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