Monday, January 2, 2012

Glimmer (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

It was a thread, a shimmering strand, a glimmer of hope, as they all say.

I didn’t really think it was.

Something about the missing reflection haunted me. I thought, perhaps, I might have been seeing things, because I’d always seen things. Sometimes when there are constants around you, a person looks to them, expects them, convinces their mind that such things are natural and necessary.

And when it changes, their world comes crashing down.

I suppose that’s why I didn’t want to believe it.

I didn’t want to think that I could be wrong or right, whichever the case was, because when I looked into the rippling pond, I didn’t see my reflection.

I caught a glimmer of something that might not have been. Shimmering silver and pale limelight.

Now I fear, it shall haunt me.

(c) Sara Harricharan

5 comments:

Heather Mihok said...

Wow, that's really touching. The part about the reflection (or rather, lack thereof) gave me goosebumps.

Yvonne Blake said...

Interesting...spooky...haunting...

Simultaneous+Reality said...

Flash 6-10

__Greetings Indian girl, who deals in fiction worlds! So do you know the connection between January 25, 2014 and today? Why, it's the day of your response, of course! No, no it's not an insult. Today may appear to be the last Saturday in September, but it's actually the last Saturday in January. In which case, I've settled into my new house, Nanowrimo's over, and the second half of my first culinary year has begun. Hopefully, life will have stabilized so that I can return to my writing. 2014 will be our most productive year yet!

1st Place, Clamp:

+ I'm commenting on this batch from most enjoyed to least, and "Clamp" wins because of its delightful surprise at the end; a wonderful demonstration of how to engage the reader. We think the "regal" man is honest until the last line. I would have liked something about the ages, or rank between the characters for clarity of their relationship, but it certainly was not needed as the image suggests enough about the omission.

+"...his displeasure a thick, stifling air that brooked no disobedience." Call me a word nerd, but I loved how 'brooked' read in that phrase. It was short and clipped--fit the character being described. Isn't the feeling of your vocabulary escalating exhilarating?!

2nd Place, Bridge:

+ A lot is going on in this flash, the most significant is the main character's single word thoughts emphasizing how apparently life-threatening crossing the bridge will be. On the second read, I noticed how those five words visually 'bridge' the before and after paragraphs. I'm sure you were just waiting for someone to notice how clever that was! Well it was clever, and a good means of depicting the frustration.

- So a lot is going on in this flash: a bridge of unknown peril, a character who knows he/she can't cross without being effected--for better or worse, and then there's that other guy who gave that cliché opening line! Honestly, that guy distracts from the moment. Yes, I understand he informs the main character's emotional state, but as a flash fiction it just feels off focus. Since it's about the bridge, you might have opened describing it as the main character sees it. It would have achieved the same effect and those few remaining words could have been used elsewhere to heighten the frustrating suspense.

3rd Place, Glimmer:

? I don't know about this prompt. You wrote in the word 'glimmer', both times, as an adjective. First it describes hope, and then it describes the absence of this character's reflection. I like that you gave it an introspective haunting tone, but was that because this piece is part of a larger story and you tweaked it for the prompt, or was it that you didn't really know how to direct attention to the subject of the prompt which you interpreted as a description? I think I would have also, but, it is stated that the character's reflection is not in the pond, so what is there that physically glimmers, hope or otherwise?

? And do you write the prompt then choose the picture or vice versa? Again, I'm struck, in somewhat irritated manner, at how literal the writing and the image correlate: glimmer on a lake. You did this in "Sleeve" too, yet "Clamp" demonstrates how the image can describe something the narrative does not. I find that presentation artistically pleasing. What do you think? Do you even care?

Simultaneous+Reality said...

4th Place, Flood:

- If fear and water don't mix then neither should a lecture at the end of quick fiction. Maybe you haven't taken an Elements of Short Fiction class; I would recommend it, because the purpose of this style is to use less words to communicate the point. Take out the redundantly phrased last line and consider how else you might have described the brave woman's inner strength. Maybe she gives a yell at the wave, maybe as the wave gets higher she clenches her fists, or how about she sits cross-legged on the rock with her eyes closed and just breathes.

+ For how out of place it is, that and-the-moral-of-the-story-is last line proves that this genre can be used to encourage truth and inspire faith. I have a hard time accepting any fiction "in brief" as serious and I'm sure the general public feels the same. But if more writers branch out and experiment in this form, it could have an impact in literary world yet.

5th Place, Estate:

- It's not that there wasn't anything good about this piece, it was just hard 'not' to notice that you've used this photo twice already; in September 20th Friday Fiction piece, and on the Scarlet blog where, sure enough, you talked about the Secret Garden. This is a useless criticism, sure, still, why not use a real picture of an estate, there are plenty on google.

- Even within 552 words, I still felt you lost focus on the prompt, defecting to plot. It's about estate. The main character refers to it as an "old forgotten world" and yet is going there to help someone heal from a nervous breakdown. One issue is with that description. I don't know why the estate is referred to that way; it seems contradictory. That couldn't have been the point! Then I thought the character might already be in the estate, "I busied myself for an entire afternoon..."; ok, then that movement wasn't clear or it happened too fast. "It 'was' a large, sprawling estate..." the reader pictures himself outside along with the character looking at the house. You might have eliminated that personally wistful first line, opening with the character already inside the house describing the furnishings. Then the idea of old and forgotten could have come across. See what I'm getting at?

Sara Harricharan said...

LOL! Jan 2014? Goodness. I sincerely hope a significant amount of stress would have written itself out of my life by then, namely, I am graduating, I am now working and I have some other RL duties that have begun to crop up, begging for attention. Congrats on the new house--I wish you all the best in your new move, may it be swift and safe.

I am looking forward to Nano this year--and camp nano in the upcoming 2014 year. This will be my 8th year as a participant and 4th as a volunteer ML.

Cheers to 2014 being the most productive year yet. I bet it will be. .

I'm glad you liked the different pieces. Thank you for pointing out the details in each one. I appreciate your suggestions. Incidentally, I have taken an elements of short fiction class, along with a flash fiction class and am currently in a fiction workshop as a final requirement for my graduating degree this semester. It is interesting and fun to learn and participate.

Most of the little snippets in these pieces are just whatever was in my head at the time when I clicked on the prompt and set the timer.

I add the picture after I've written the prompt, I usually search for an image according to the title and I choose the one that was closest to what I imagined when I was given the prompt. Because of copyright issues with several images, I was unable to use my original selections. Also, I want to try and show ordinary objects/ideas in an unusual way by giving the object, then flipping it upside down through the story. When I am posting from my Ipad, I don't have access to the same Image library as I do on my laptop, so I reuse photos that are previously hosted on my blog(s) rather than forgoing an image altogether. Does that help?

Again, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I hope that your writing is going well and the same for your RL. Blessings! -S.