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Desert Family (Flash Fiction)

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Old 04-05-2016, 09:06 AM
Mrtickle (Offline)
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Default Desert Family (Flash Fiction)


Hi guys! Just thought I'd post a flash fiction piece I wrote that I challenged myself to write (under 200 words, and I also turned into a poem which is in the 'poetry' section aswell!). It is meant to be cryptic, if you like that kind of thing, which I know many don't, but I am a little odd!

Desert Family

On the horizon in the Mojave it appears to be houses made of sand, a golden city. But get closer and there is: stripped structures, wooden frames and matchstick houses.

Boy, Mom, Pa drag suitcases along the town’s dusty streets, wearing Hawaiian blue, yellow and red with legs ready for bed. But there is work for them.

They stop at one of the matchstick houses and stumble though the empty front door, then sit on the rocky floor.

Boy, Mom, Pa in an empty town laugh hysterically. They saw timbre from the houses structure, a giant game of Jenga. And use the timbre as fire wood and benches.

Tears trickling. Pa spots a growling coyote at the front door. Crushes it with timbre.

Rules for the town. Waiting for the next passerby, mouths going dry.

They fall asleep by the fire. By morning they suffer, the full weight of the structure.

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Old 04-05-2016, 01:59 PM
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not bad - beginning, middle, and end,

they sleep by the fire until the structure come crashing down.

the end. (

three extra words removed and 'the end' added as final coup de gres

I think I counted 35 extra un-necessary words


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Old 04-05-2016, 02:15 PM
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Thanks max crash, I will also sort out those unnecessary words!
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:34 PM
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Hi there,

This is a good start. Some spelling mistakes unless they are intentional: "timbre" did you want "timber"? "though" i believe you mean "through".

Good beginning, middle and end. To make the piece stronger, load up everything more. Turn this piece, that seems to be pure description into something that symbolizes a greater theme. A theme I speak of in this case is a statement that caries the author's opinion on a subject or the author's chance on a topic. So in the greater sense, what is the family, the coyote, the house and the fact it falls after a moment of pure happiness? With flash fiction you should make the reader thing, to make them pause and wonder what more they can get.

Nice one hope this set you thinking at the very least.
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Old 04-06-2016, 12:21 AM
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Thank you Elisa/Win. I will certainly bulk this piece up a bit so it carries a kind of theme. There is a theme in the story already, but I didn't want it to be obvious. Thanks again!
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Old 04-24-2016, 10:03 AM
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Was the town itself a supernatural predator, waiting to devour passers-by? I like the term 'matchstick houses,' it conveys roughness and fragility.
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:52 AM
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Originally Posted by IanG View Post
Was the town itself a supernatural predator, waiting to devour passers-by? I like the term 'matchstick houses,' it conveys roughness and fragility.
Hi IanG! In a way it is, this matchstick down is a strange place where people can go to create their own rules by throwing away any kind of structure to their lives, hence the lack of structure causing the house to fall upon them.
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:40 AM
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Hello. Flash fiction, especially this short, is very difficult to pull off. You have a limited amount of real estate to effectively leave some sort of lingering impression upon the reader. Most of the time, writers rely upon the overused 'twist' mechanism that has become predictable to anyone who has read a lot flash fiction. Just the fact that you have left an impression on this reader without relying upon the twist is excellent. I'm left wondering about the present tense choice in this piece, which makes this read like a dream sequence and gives everything a less than tangible feel. I'm left wondering if there even was a town at all. Maybe switching to past tense would ground this piece, making everything feel like it's always been there and it always will be... just as it is... which I felt was where you were trying to take it. I could be wrong. Just my initial thoughts. As is, it was a good read which made me think about the piece afterwards.
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Old 04-29-2016, 12:20 AM
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Thank you S.Scherr, I'm glad you liked it and I'm even more glad it left you thinking about it after it finished. I like to write stories that make the reader think!

And yeah, I imagined the town a place that musts exists without people really knowing about it in the normal world.

Also, I will try switching the tense.

Thanks again ��
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