Flash Fiction Challenge: The End Of A Long Journey

That title sounds like I’m shuttering the flash fiction challenges forever, but I promise, that’s not the case — no, instead, I want you to use that idea as this week’s prompt.

What I mean is this:

I want you to write the end of a long journey.

That can mean whatever it needs to mean in the context of your story.

The story can be any genre.

The tricky bit here will be — how can you get in a beginning, a middle, and an end for what is ostensibly the period of a narrative consisting only the end? It’ll require you to bring some skills to bear to make it work, to give us all the information we need, and to make it more than a snapshot in time or just a vignette.

Length: ~1500 words

Due by: 4/14, Friday, noon EST

Post the story online.

Link to it in the comments below.

67 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: The End Of A Long Journey”

    • Mixed a few “my” among the “me” so that jumped out at me, otherwise solid writing.

      I remember reading that rat fleas don’t like horses much which is one of the reason nomadic populations were not affected as much, so I’m not sure about the horses dying, but I get literary license.

      • Oh! I didn’t know that… thanks for that info. I’ll keep it in mind for the next time I write something of this era. But I didn’t say how long she had been in the city for; so I left that to your imagination.

    • I think it should be “bearing” as opposed to “baring”.

      The writing is fine, but I personally was distracted by the idea of a stalking snake. I thought it might have been a metaphor for something else, but the reveal of an actual snake was a bit of a letdown. For me, the story would work better if the snake encounter would have been accidental as opposed to giving the snake poorly understood (on my part) intent and agency.

      • Ah. Missed that. Thanks. The snake was meant to be a bit of a distraction. It wasn’t necessarily important to know it was real until the end. I specified its’ existence to parallel the impending doom -a story within the story of sorts. I’m sorry if that hindered your read. I felt that making it too clear would ruin the thought process, that I’d assumed the reader would have. I intend for my stories to be dissected in that way. I do appreciate your constructive feedback. Thanks again.

      • It might work if presented as a separate part of the story without a connection to the travelers and without specifying it being a snake; just an entity focused on hunting, resting, hunting. That lets you foreshadow a threat without giving it away.

    • Enjoyed reading it and met the requirement of letting the reader know about the journey itself.

      On detail was unclear and hence left hanging; the rat and wires to the cyborg. I presume since this is an epilog to a current work that it’s something explained elsewhere.

      • Hi, thanks for reading and I’m really glad you enjoyed it. It’s good to know that my intent was clear enough.

        With regards to the rat, wires and cyborg, you’re right in that it is delved into in more depth in the main body of the work. However, Holbrook’s line of dialogue when she goes to shoot the cyborg, ‘D-don’t,’ he said, ‘there’s been enough of this, don’t you think? It- it’s nearly gone anyway. Not m-much ju-juice from a rat.’ Should give you a clue as to what its trying to do. 😉

        Thanks again!


    • I loved this. A dark twist in a seemingly normal situation is my favorite thing ever.

      I would have liked just a bit more description of her dungeon. It didn’t detract from the story. I just wanted it for my own morbid curiosity.

    • As a fan of twist endings, I liked this, but I’m not sure there’s a feeling of a journey. Perhaps mentioning the mentioning previous book, current release and future novel was a stand-n for the concept.

      Also, I think it should read “Romans”.

      • You’re absolutely right on both accounts. I did feel like I was cheating because the end of the journey was barely there.

        Also yes, it should be “Romans”. It’s corrected now, thank you!

    • Definetely has a literary style to it. As with the offering above, I feel as if I’m dense since I don’t see the journey. I suppose the introductory quote serves as a warning to the fact.

    • A good offering in the current discussion of AIs, although I would argue any interaction lead to humans anthropormorphizing even inert objects (Pet Rocks being an extreme example).

      It’s unclear to me if the entity is conscious or a true AI in today’s understanding of the world, but the story works well regardless the assumption.

    • Good conveyence of emotion and observation of human behavior.

      I thought one word was off and had me pause: eminent. Mentally, I substituted “inevitable” but I’m not sure if that’s right. Perhaps you meant imminent, but it being a 10 years affair, I thought it didn’t fit.

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