Posted: April 16, 2014 in dark, fiction, writing
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for all her work and organization. You can visit her site and read through the other Flash Fiction postings at:


For those who are new, Rochelle shares a photo prompt to which several #FridayFictioneers compose a 100-word flash of fiction. Come, but you mustn’t shut your eyes.

Here’s my contribution:

Don’t Even Blink

The word nightmare is not entirely accurate, not for everybody. Sure, most people experienced episodes during their sleeping hours and just occasionally, when the waves of stress and hormone fluctuations comingled with exhaustion, when your ambient subconscious defenses were fatigued, so said the professional literature.

But for Britney the situation was different. Her episodes, quite frankly, were less dependent upon the parameters suggested by research and science. All Britney need do was shut her eyes and they came, a rising wave enveloping you and lifting you off your toes then sucking you under, a wave which couldn’t be out run.



As an aside, I envisioned this child trying to keep her eyes open, the lubrication of her cornea thickening to a cataract, then her lid scraping and drooping toward closure, and dark things begin to leap at her from the shadows, not just from the corners of the room or from the closet or from beneath her bed but from the shadows of her very eyelashes, things she can just momentarily see as her lids drift lower, then there is a rapidly rising shriek, a sound probably only audible to her own ears. She jerks her head up and snaps it back and her eyes pop open. The dark things abate. The terrible sounds of the coming recede to a white hum like that which resides inside a conch shell. She sticks her fingers into the raw flesh of her eyes, she rubs.

Then it presses in again.

  1. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear JK,

    It is immensely satisfying to see where and how your take on the prompt takes us.



    • JKBradley says:

      Aloha Doug!

      Haven’t seen you in some time. I was actually wondering how you have been just this morning, then I saw the prompt and thought, ‘Isn’t that weird, must be..’ then I clicked to save the photo and saw your name. Hope you are well. Thank you for your kind words.

  2. Poor Britney, talk about living a nightmare!

  3. brainsnorts says:

    your “aside” is really your story. the first part, with all the technical stuff, you should delete all that. take the aside, carve it down to 100 words – there’s your story. that’s the drama and the tension. that’s what people read for. the first part is like watching a movie with the lights on or a mathematical explanation of how a roller coaster works. we just want to ride the coaster. the second part is the coaster. the first part softens the tension and fun of the coaster. to carve that second part down to 100 – that’ll be something special. please consider that.

    • JKBradley says:

      Rich, where have you been??

      Oh, I took a moment to hop over to your page and now I know. You’ve been busy. Congrats on all your writing progress.

      I’ll certainly take your comments into consideration. I’ve been contemplating taking these flashes and expanding them into short stories (I just need to stop fabricating excuses).

      It’s good to hear from you.

      • brainsnorts says:

        thanks very much for wondering where i may have been. i popped back for stories last week and the week before. what you wrote was great, but it was diluted by the explanation. trim out the fat and you have a great piece of meat. crusty eyes and all.

  4. I agree with brainsnorts. Why explain your story with the meat of it?

  5. I have to agree that the emotion of the story is in the aside. Without that, I wouldn’t have had a good idea of where you were going and it wouldn’t have had the same impact.


    • JKBradley says:

      I do love this feedback. Makes me believe I’ve got to step out of the hundred word limit and explore the story for whatever life it has.

      Thanks, Janet!

  6. Dear JK,

    I missed you the last couple of weeks.

    I’ll have to jump on the bandwagon concerning your aside. It seemed more your story than your story. Both were well done.

    As for expanding, that’s a great idea. I now have a full notebook full of flash fiction that I see as potential for longer works.

    Good one. (Or two 😉 )



  7. I agree with the above comments also. The second part was great. Both parts were well written.

  8. Nan Falkner says:

    Good writing JK. I probably agree with brain-snorts. However, if I didn’t have more of the story to read, I may not have enjoyed your story as much. You are really an interesting writer and so is brain-snorts. Thanks, Nan 🙂

  9. The idea of nightmares and moments of lucidity, and then lapsing into the nightmares… really compelling JK! In the last sentence, I found myself a bit confused… is it “a rising wave enveloping” you… or her??? Very cerebral and haunting.

  10. DCTdesigns says:

    JK- This reminded me of Nightmare on Elm street where they fought against everything to stay awake, therefore alive. I once hallucinated as a child. I was highly feverish but I couldn’t get the visions of Skelator stabbing me to stop. I don’t envy this little girls dilemma. Excellent!

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