Flash Fiction Challenge: A World Without Guns

Tough challenge after this week’s news — but I’ve seen some folks talk about what fiction can do or say about the (yet another) school shooting, and I think genre fiction has a chance to do something or say something interesting regarding it. Science-fiction, for instance, pretends to be about our future but it’s nearly always about our present.

So, your job is to compose a piece of flash fiction where guns are gone — for whatever reason, made illegal, never been invented, use your imagination. This is primed for sci-fi, but feel free to find a way to make it work as fantasy or horror or XYZ genre, too.

Length: You have ~1500 words.

Due by: Friday, Feb 23rd, noon EST

Post at your online space.

Drop a link to the story in the comments below.

36 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: A World Without Guns”

  1. I have been avoiding these challenges deliberately for the past few months because other projects have been grabbing my attention.

    I need to proofread a first draft and get it ready for beta and start lining things up.

    …For this, I am clearing my schedule.

    This needs to be done.

  2. I’m wondering if we should start calling them something else. “Shooting” just isn’t powerful enough for how serious and terrible and deadly they are. School massacre? School terrorist attack? Local act of terrorism? Help me out, I’m too angry and disgusted to think straight.

    • Gun massacres? And as writers, can we start writing stories in which guns are not the solution, but instead an impediment/negative force? So often, kids find guns and shoot one another, people are caught in the crossfire, people accidentally shoot a loved one they think is an intruder, etc. Can these be the roles of guns in our novels? As writers, we have the power to help people view guns in a very different way.

    • Agreed. Because it is an act of terror, by definition. Not only to those directly involved, but now all across the country there are parents afraid to send their children to school and children afraid to go to school. And for some reason, no action every takes place after children are massacred at school, but someone tries to take a shoe bomb on a plane? Bingo…everyone takes off their shoes before flights. No one even died in that instance, yet change occurred. It makes no sense 🙁

  3. Kay, you’re right. The word “shooting” has lost a lot of its power because society, as a whole, has very sadly become desensitized to such senseless violence, which is almost more sadddening than the school massacre’s themselves. Almost.


  4. Makes me want to re-read Stirling’s book Dies The Fire, in which an Event causes gunpowder and explosives to not burn at the same rate and so guns do not work. This results, of course, in hella swords and arrows as Humans are just like that. But no guns.

  5. You are missing something. It’s not the act, but the person behind it. Someone has lost it, and he decides to kill people. He has mental problems! How come no one talks about what happens to these people? If they are seen, recognized that there is a problem with him, could it have been stopped or avoided? No one takes responsibility for getting involved with disturbed people when it could have made a difference. They just wring their hands and resort to rhetoric. People who have literally snapped, are showing signs of things are not right – that’s the issue here. Why aren’t they being stopped before anything happens? These people could just as easily grab a kitchen knife or a fucking hammer.

  6. Hmmm. I’m the mom to two daughters and one son. Since my son was a year old he would pick up a stick, stick his index finger out, was always “shooting” and breaking shit because he wanted to. I have to think about this no-guns imagery.

  7. […] This is a work of fiction by J. Parrish Lewis, all rights reserved. Please do not reproduce this without permission. A note of thanks to Chuck Wendig for the challenge. See Flash Fiction challenge here: LINK […]

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