Posted: August 24, 2012 in dark, fiction, Heart Warming, 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:


For those who are new, MadisonWoods shares a photo prompt to which several #FridayFictioneers will compose a 100-word flash of fiction. Come. Would you like a piece of candy? How about a nice balloon?

Today’s installment:

To Decide

Nailed to the town center post was a stretched vellum bearing proper seal and ink. Rose came upon the misty square at first light while bringing eggs for the market. She paused at the notice, lips slowly shaping words, her palm mindfully caressing her protruding belly as she read a second time with narrower eyes. Her grasp weakened, mouth slackened. The woven basket slid then crashed to the ground. Another government decree, this time declaring only one child per marriage, effective immediately. The most chilling word printed in boldest red stated ‘Retroactive’.

Oopsy daisy, mommy. You had an askident.”


  1. This is a bone chilling piece. And true in China. One can only imagine what follows in this story.
    Thanks for your comment on mine

  2. Sandra says:

    Truly horrifying. Such a wealth of understatement here, from the lips slowly shaping words, vellum and seals, eggs to market etc. Simple and brief phrases setting time, place, station in life. Excellent – much for me to think about in terms of good flash fiction.

  3. claireful says:

    I agree with Rochelle – very chilling. I like how it only becomes clear in the last line that she already has a child.

  4. danielle karns says:

    as a mother, this pulls at every fiber of my being – love the use of vellum – I can hear the posting rustle in the breeze…..

  5. Mike says:

    A tremendous piece of writing. In 100 words you managed to turn a simple, daily task, of delivering eggs to market into a moment of horror – purely through one person reading a notice. The last line, “Oopsy daisy, mommy. You had an askident.” added poignancy to the whole piece by letting us know she was already over the quota.
    A great read – thanks.

  6. Russell says:

    You have a powerful way of grabbing someone with your words and shaking them to the core of their being. It’s a talent very few possess. This would make a great start to a longer story.

  7. flyoverhere says:

    This is great. I felt everything she felt and empathized on every level of emotion.

  8. Nifti says:

    oh no!
    Terrific tale as alwats Mr. Bradley.

  9. Linda says:

    Sounds like China and of course we all know where that’s got them …. chilling and so true. Well done. Here’s mine as well http://womanontheedgeofreality.com/2012/08/24/friday-fictioneers-misty/

  10. stuff I said says:

    Wow, a chilling story. Well done. Thank you for stopping by.

  11. erinleary says:

    Chillingly good. I liked your imagery and the tension the mist helps create. I hope she can get away.

    Mine is here: http://erinleary.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/flash-friday-fiction-13/

  12. Wonderfully horrific story, and the double meaning in imagery and dialogue at the end is priceless.

    Also: “Come. Would you like a piece of candy? How about a nice balloon?” So wrong. 🙂

  13. Another superb composition! I enjoy your work. Loved the impact of the word “retroactive.”


  14. elmowrites says:

    ooh, chilling and devastating. Sounds like this government aren’t for the people or by the people.
    Let’s get Robin Hood on the case!

  15. oh my! Well crafted horror. I would love to hear how this unfolds.

  16. Excellent! You set such a lovely scene, then tore it to pieces and jumped on them! I agree with Ilyan on the perfect use of “Retroactive” to give the chilling effect everyone mentioned.

  17. glossarch says:

    Wow, that is dark. The “retroactive” was a twist I did not expect. Good job, and I am glad to not live there.

  18. billgncs says:

    that was chilling, nicely done

  19. vbholmes says:

    Some askident! Good story.

  20. boomiebol says:

    Oh no…no fair!!! This was so very well done…i sure wouldn’t want to be Rose. Big bad government. Another great one!!!

  21. susielindau says:

    Such a gripping story and amazing use of the prompt. Not good news for her at all.
    Here is mine for your readers! Feel free to come back and leave your link in my comment section!

  22. Well done, you made my blood run cold, not easy to do.

  23. Adam Ickes says:

    Wow, just wow. You’ve outdone yourself with this one. It speaks to me as a parent, and as such I can say that this government is in for a world of hurt if they think the people are going to allow sucha decree without a fight.

  24. Oopsie daisy. Where is she? In China or India? How frightening. Now she will be forced make a “Sophie’s Choice” decision. China is in such dire need of wives for their young men, they are importing young girls from other countries. Girls are even being forced, kidnapped and sold in the black market for these young men. Human Slavery. What a mess. I’m #36 on the list.

  25. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear JK,

    Someone earlier used the words, “bone chilling” to describe your story. I agree. Nuff said. A very good tale, sir.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s