Over the Edge- this really is flash fiction.

Still buoyed by my recent success, I have been busy getting something down for a short story competition. The closing date is the 31st, but as I am flying tomorrow, (Calgary this time. The amount of time I spend in Canada should make me eliglble for citizenship), I have been trying to finish it. It’s a longer version of my last flash fiction post and I have really enjoyed writing it. I know they say you should put away a finished story and come back a week or so later to spot the glaring mistakes; is a day long enough? Well, it is this time.

One edit I am doing today is my over use of dialog tags. In the space of a mere 2000 words I see that I have used all of the following: grunted, snapped, announced, snorted, muttered, spat and cried. Oh, and said. Now I have spat out my thesaurus, I can try and bring them under some sort of control, but it is a very useful exercise. My thanks go to Erika and her timely posting for bringing these crimes to my attention.

As I said, (you see-already under control), I am working tomorrow. I have only one night in Calgary, Alberta, so might have to dig deep for inspiration. But so far, my belief that there is story just about everywhere is holding fast.

And so to today’s offering. It’s a true quickie. Blink and it’s gone. When we left the flyingscribbler hangar to stride out across the seven sisters last week, it really was this windy.  Verbal communication was impossible, but I think A got the message when I thought he was veering a little too close to the edge. I wonder how many poor souls do go over in error? Perhaps it was this type of thinking that put me in the melancholy mood for the story.


‘Why are we here?’ he shouted.


‘Why did you bring me up here?’

‘I can’t hear you. The wind’s blowing your words away.’

He came closer and moved around her; upwind.

‘What are we doing here?’

She stared deeply into his eyes and found the strength of his emotion.

‘I wanted to show you,’ she said.


She turned to look over the edge of the cliff, up and out over the waves, into the vastness of the empty sea.

‘That,’ she said, ‘do you see?’

He followed her gaze. Breathing deeply he tasted salt and the gulf between his fears and her hopes.

He saw.

‘I still love you,’ he said

She turned away, allowing the wind to whip the tears from her cheeks and steal the words from her mouth; they flew across the chalky cliff and dissolved over the rolling ocean.

‘I love you too,’ she said, ‘but it’s not enough.’

Copyright: flyingscribbler 2010


5 comments on “Over the Edge- this really is flash fiction.

  1. Hi, Scribbler. I enjoyed this piece; it was evocative and enigmatic.

  2. Well thank you Franklin. It’s the fastest I have ever written a story and I’m very pleased with it! I’ll be taking time to read your stories as well.

  3. I think sometimes little fragments like this can have an unexpected power; there’s just enough there to stir something inside you. I rarely have the discipline for it myself though – I tend to get carried away with a story – but when I do manage to keep things a little starker, then I feel like I’ve really hit on something. You have some really good work on this blog. Keep it up!

  4. erikamarks says:

    Justin, nice work–doesn’t it feel good to cut those fellas loose?

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