Posted: June 14, 2012 in dark, Outdoors, writing
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thank you again to MadisonWoods for all her work and organization. You can visit her site and read through the other Flash Fiction Friday postings at http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/pathways/

For those who are new, MadisonWoods shares a photo prompt to which several #FridayFictioneers will compose a 100-word flash of fiction. It’s great fun and an excellent exercise for organizing thoughts and improving word choice. Give it a go.

This week, as my eyes glazed over, I contemplated the prompt. In the distance came something familiar, ‘and now you’re just somebody that I used to know — somebody.’ Then, like a virus, this thought infected my mind:

Letting Go

“Follow the white trail.”

This, a weekend adventure into Appalachia before school resumed. Backpacks strapped, boots laced, they plodded along a remote path terminating atop a fifty-foot cascade. All Justin’s idea, yet Damon led, as he always did. Justin followed, as he always had.

“It’s beautiful,” said Damon.

“See the pool below?”


“Look from here.” Justin’s supportive hand grasped Damon’s as he stretched past the edge peering down.

No slippage, just an opening release.

“Good-bye, friend.”

Arms whirled beyond reach.

Below, listless lips muttered wordlessly as life’s light abandoned languid eyes opaquing in summerly laze.


  1. Nifti says:

    yikes! Very like you! love it even though I’m gasping.

  2. TheOthers1 says:

    Whoa! Someone was a lot more upset than he let on. Didn’t anticipate that ending.

  3. sphrbn says:

    Sudden ending, I want to know why he did it!

  4. Wow! Great start to this week’s stories–your’s was the first that I read. Excellent! The unexpected twist was harrowing! Loved it!

    Mine: http://www.vlgregory-circa1800.vpweb.com/blog.html

  5. Scott Hays says:

    Now that’s how to let some bad feelings go! I especially liked the alliteration of the final paragraph. I wrote mine early this week, as well. You can find it at http://scottcheck.blogspot.com/2012/06/no-escape.html

  6. karmicdiva says:

    A fall like that…ouch! Great job.

  7. oldentimes says:

    Seems this photo led to a lot of ‘black’ and frightening paths. Mine is here: http://oldentimes.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/fridat-fictioneers/

  8. Oooh! Such a peaceful description of a murder! It’s retrospectively chilling! Mine’s here: http://marilynkaydennis.wordpress.com/madison-woods-friday-fictioneers-witch

  9. Linda says:

    What is it they say about revenge being a dish best served sweet. I’ve always thought it was quite a lovely way to die drowning, at least that’s what ‘they’ say. Nice one.

    Here’s mine too: http://womanontheedgeofreality.com/2012/06/15/friday-fictioneers-visiting-grannys/

  10. Dear JK,

    Going to swim against the stream this morning. You have floored me in the past with your choice of words and their arrangement. Perhaps I’m spoiled now, but the last sentence had the feel of an exercise finished early.

    (Easy for me to say since I’ve submitted nothing this night…)



    • JKBradley says:

      I am always searching for new challenges. The use of alliteration is difficult, more so than telling a story or writing a poem. The last line came out in a flash, nearly the way it ended up when posted, and it went through many many transformations, none of which I liked. They all felt contrived. So I scrubbed it and went to sleep. The next morning, Thursday, the line you see was scratching at the base of my neck again, so I had to use it. It wanted to be let out. I was at the mercy of whatever it is inside which drives me to tickle the keyboard.

      Don’t fret.

    • JKBradley says:

      Oh, also, I have had this thought swimming in my mind for weeks now, and you have done me such a service. I’ve been considering the usefulness of “Yes-men” when it comes to improving my skills in writing. It certainly feels good to have people say nice things about your work (my work in this case) but it doesn’t improve anything but self esteem, and that does have it’s usefulness but it doesn’t improve the writing skill set. Honest, and sometimes abrasive or blunt criticism (yours was honest and in no way abrasive) is the only way to know what your reader is thinking. I’m actually thankful you felt comfortable sharing what you did. So far out of the excellent bunch of fridayfictioneers there are only 3 individuals who have been willing to do so: yourself, Rich, Sandra. Guess which readers are in the top grouping of those I enjoy interacting with most?


      • dmmacilroy says:

        Dear JK,

        Thanks for all of the above.

        I, too, appreciate those who don’t have any qualms about telling me exactly what they’re thinking. Such unbridled input is priceless. Whenever I do jump out there and say what’s on my mind, it is in the spirit of finding the right words (a search I’ll be on until I die.) I fully understand the sentence that demands to be set free on paper. They have lives of their own. I’m glad you let it see the light of day.



    • Actually Doug, it didn’t seem to me like it finished early. As JK says below, the last line took a lot of thought and work. Everything before it seems simple by comparison. The last line was my favorite part, but it doesn’t really fit the style of what came before. It was like meatloaf for dinner followed by a Cherries Jubilee Flambe.

      I did love the surprise though, you had me thinking you were going to do something light for a change, then dropped me off the cliff. Very good, as usual.

      • JKBradley says:

        Thank you, Melody. Cherries Jubilee Flambe is nice, but meatloaf soothes the soul too. I’m an equal opportunity eater. Just keep an open eye if ever hiking with me near a cliff.

  11. What an end. Literally.
    Here’s mine: http://www.rochelle-wisoff.blogspot.com/2012/06/mothers-gift.html
    Hopefully I typed it right this week so my link works.

  12. Surprising and dark, as usual. I always make a point of finding yours. Every week is a fun read. Here’s mine: http://melodypearson.com/june-15-2012-the-trails-beginning/

  13. Love it. Very dark and very naughty. I loved it! I always save yours for close to last! Like a good dessert! Here’s mine: http://theforgottenwife.com/2012/06/15/friday-fictioneers-6152012-the-watcher/

  14. Dark and slippery, like the mind of the casual killer. Yeep.


  15. Cold blooded! But “letting go” isn’t as sadistic as “pushing,” so he’s got that going for him. Love the last line in particular, and the creation of the word “Opaquing!”

    mine: http://practicallyserious.com/2012/06/15/friday-fiction…ggest-backyard/

  16. Madison Woods says:

    Very chilling! No slippage, just a letting go…that’s the most chilling phrase. The last sentence is a tongue-twister but it does evoke vivid imagery.

  17. erinleary says:

    I like this , troubling though it may be. I am thinking that maybe you meant to use the word “led” in the 3rd sentence? That aside, very well done.

    Mine is here: http://erinleary.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/flash-friday-fiction-5/

  18. rich says:

    when i saw damon leading, as always, i had a feeling something was up.

  19. Kwadwo says:

    If I got this right, Justin’s release of Damon was non-lethal. Otherwise that would be just wrong.

    Anyway, you’ve added to my vocabulary yet again. Thanks.

    My flash fiction: http://logo-ligi.com/2012/06/15/six-oclock/

  20. Shocking ending – though you did hint at a grudge when we learn that Justin always follows even when it’s his idea. Wow.

    Thanks for commenting on mine (http://newpillowbook.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/friday-fictioneers-a-walk-in-the-woods/).

  21. Beautifully set up – final line outstanding

  22. janmorrill says:

    This moved along, as pleasantly as the walk on the trail seemed to go, then WHAM, suddenly turned dark and sinister. And that last line — beautiful and dark. Excellent!

  23. Russell says:

    The old adage, “with friend like that . . .” certainly rings true in this story. I like the last sentence, but the language seemed to change gears into something more “literary or poetic” than the rest of the best–not that it’s a bad thing.

    Thanks for visiting mine. Yes, I believe that bear has been reading the Wall Street Journal.

  24. Joyce says:

    Very suspenseful, with such an abrupt ending for poor Damon. He was too trusting, or very naive of a ‘friend’ with murderous intent?

  25. I like the masterful use of wording and vocabulary. It brings the reader gradually into a full realization of what had just happened.
    Here is a short link to mine: http://wp.me/p2dzCE-3d

  26. Gilly Gee says:

    hahaha that’ll teach him!

  27. flyoverhere says:

    I was think ‘Don’t look Damon!”, but he did……

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