FLASH FICTION FRIDAY ~ Unlearning To Fall ~

Posted: August 30, 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. Let us take a little stroll while we commiserate.

Today’s installment:

Unlearning To Fall

From the balcony, perching her frailness upon bony hands, Lenore peered past her clutch through lush canopy and recalled her fall. In memory, each eternal clock tick seemed like flying rather than her actual descent into this roiling hell.

She wept until tears turned to dust.


The gentle breeze wooed again, offering solace if Lenore would leave the metal bar to plunge once again.


She would rise again, and again; there was no reprieve. How she hungered, not for sustenance, but for sweet death.

She shuddered.

She leaped.

She flew.


  1. Shame, this could have been really, really good, but the glut of adjectives spoils it for me.

    • JKBradley says:

      Maria, I feel you were dead on. I posted then went for a walk considering that very same thing, wondering about those excessive words. The first line felt cumbersome, like marbles in my mouth. Returning to my laptop with hatchet in hand, I made a simple revision. Perhaps you will agree there is somewhat of an improvement.

      Thank you!

  2. Carrie says:

    I didn’t see the first version so I can’t compare but I think this is very vivid.

  3. Jan Brown says:

    “The gentle breeze wooed….” You have captured the character’s emotions and desire for peace, and perhaps for a joyous free flight. The revision must have had the result you wanted, because it reads effortlessly. An outstanding story.

  4. Not only did the piece work, but the title added to what you wrote.

  5. I read this twice, once to take it in, then again to savor it. Thank you.

  6. I love it that in the end she flew.

  7. Sandra says:

    An original take on the prompt. Whatever you did with the adjectives must have worked, it read well for me. I had a problem with ‘peered past her clutch through lush canopy’ which I couldn’t visualise. Nice piece.

    • JKBradley says:

      Thank you, Sandra. My intent was to have you see her looking past her gnarled hands upon the railing, her clutch, down towards the earth, as she remembers her fall.

  8. Parul says:

    Different albeit depressing… Without the support of a healthy body, everything is futile.
    Good work!

  9. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear JK,

    You’re going to make me reread this until I get it, aren’t you? I’ll be back….




    • JKBradley says:

      Yes, Doug. I am finding this piece was difficult for some, perhaps expecting my words to be more literal. I attempted a story which holds many levels, which would provoke thought, which would…ah, nevermind. I hope it stirs. Thank you, my friend.

  10. unspywriter says:

    I think I got it. 😉 Nice interpretation of the prompt.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/for-the-world-is-hollow/

  11. What an original take on the prompt. Almost poetic. Well done. Mine is here: http://readinpleasure.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/friday-fictioneers-harmattan-rain/

  12. Well, it’s been a while. I think I need to relearn your viewpoint. So, step by step. She wants to actually die. I’m not sure how you are defining clutch (used as a noun, that can mean a tight grasp or a nest of eggs). Since she flies at the end, it almost seems it might be the nest, but my first take was the clutching of a balcony railing. I think she jumped to her “death” and is now trapped in a “hell” where she must try over and over to jump, but flies instead of falling, so she never dies. If I’m right, it’s a very interesting concept of hell for those who commit suicide by jumping from high places. In any case, it is a thought provoking story and that’s always the best kind. Excellent job, as always.

    I’ve been absent for a while and was late entering today. So, I’m at the tail’s end of the linky thing: Here’s my direct link: http://melodypearson.com/august-30-2012-before-the-storm/

    • JKBradley says:

      Hello Melody.

      It is a taste of purgatory; as most things we write, the story is what the reader perceives.

      My use of clutch was intended to have you see her gnarled hands grasping the railing.


  13. elmowrites says:

    I’m not sure if this is right, but I read this as a sort of ghost story – desperate to die, she instead has to go through the agony of jumping over and over again. On the other hand, I first thought that the fall / hell imagery of the first part was analogy, and the jumping over was her only actual real fall. Either way, powerful stuff, I just wish you’d given me a few more clues on the correct interpretaiton.
    “Past her clutch through lush canopy” tripped me up a bit as a phrase – like Melody, I couldn’t quite decide what you meant by “clutch”.

    I’m over here – http://elmowrites.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/friday-fiction-white-pegasi/

    • JKBradley says:

      Thank you.

      In my mind this was a trip into purgatory. The use of ‘clutch’ was meant to continue the parallel of a bird learning to fly, only, she wanted to fall, to die and end her suffering, yet, she flies. And folks will constantly tell you to spread your wings and fly, wanting to inspire and motivate, but maybe this puts you into a sort of purgatory. And, maybe not.

  14. rgayer55 says:

    Maye if she’d put on a few pounds (like me) she would actually fall and end her misery. My impression is that she is terribly frail due to poor health or is terrible depressed. There will come a time when we will all welcome death–if we live long enough. Am I close to getting it right?

    • JKBradley says:

      I still have a couple words to spare. I think I’ll put a pint of RockyRoad in there and see if we can save her. Alright, make it a half-gallon.


  15. stuff I said says:

    I can give you what I got from this but mine is a twisted view so I will just say that I really enjoyed this. I look forward to next week!

    • JKBradley says:

      Please continue.

      • stuff I said says:

        I love it. The flow is wonderful and it draws the reader in and causes the reader to question, reality, believes, even life. To me it is more about feeling than the words themselves. Maybe it’s because I have danced with suicide or maybe it is just as I said, my twisted view.

  16. John Hardy Bell says:

    Hello JK. I am a newbie to your work and I have to say I am impresed with what I’ve seen. Wasn’t quite sure where the story was going in the beginning, but near the end it because pretty clear and by the time I was finished I felt like I’d been slapped in the face – not a hard slap, but a slap nonetheless. Love the supernatural twist (my interpretation at least). ‘She shuddered. She leaped. She flew.’ Outstanding!

    Here is my offering should you want to take a look-see. http://jhardyb.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/friday-fictioneers-wrath/

  17. Excellent story! I like how she hungered for death but could not die. Made me wonder if she had originally attempted suicide, and had plunged herself into an interminable loop.


  18. SAM says:

    I love the mystery you leave behind, the longing you make me feel, and my own desire to see her want fulfilled.

  19. The Hook says:

    Sorry I haven’t been around much lately, but my book, The Bellman Chronicles, will be FREE to download on Sept. 10 – 11! Check it out on my Amazon Kindle page.. You won’t be disappointed. And if you can slip me a review, I’d be forever grateful…

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