Don't Look Back flash fiction story

Don’t Look Back

Looking Back Carrot Ranch flash fiction prompt

The beginning of a new year is often a time of reflection, of looking back on the previous year and of realigning goals for the year ahead. It is fitting then that, for the first prompt of the year, Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a character who looks back. It can be a metaphorical reflection or a glance in the rear-view mirror. Who is looking back, and why? Go where the prompt leads.

Of course, there are many reasons for looking back but, perverse as I am, I’ve chosen to write about someone who wouldn’t look back.

Don’t Look Back

Don’t look back. Don’t look back.

She pulled her coat tight, pressed her bag into her side and leaned into the wind, quickening her pace.

The footsteps pounded behind her, closing in. She knew, even over the wind’s roar, they were coming for her. She breathed in shallow quick gasps.

Don’t look back. Don’t look back. If she couldn’t see them, perhaps they didn’t exist?

Her eyes stung. The wind stole her breath. Her side split.

Lights ahead. Please. Please … almost.

A hand on her shoulder. A deep gravelly unintelligible voice.  She twisted. “Noooo!”

“Miss, you forgot your umbrella.”

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

34 thoughts on “Don’t Look Back

    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Patricia. It’s interesting that we both thought, ‘don’t look back’. I wonder why. I wonder if it has anything to do with our work with young children; and if so, what?

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  1. Charli Mills

    Norah, you grasp the true spirit of “go where the prompt leads” even if it might be down a dark alley. Great build up of tension. I felt so drawn into what was going to happen next that I laughed at the last line. Time to move forward now with the new year (and umbrella) in hand.

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Charli. I wasn’t sure if I’d created the suspense I was after. I have to admit that I’m not sure of the difference between showing and telling. Would it be possible to have a ‘lesson’ to demonstrate the difference. I happy for my pieces to be critiqued to find out where they could be improved.
      I hope the umbrella won’t be needed too often, unless it’s to prevent being drowned in tears of joy. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. D. Avery @shiftnshake

        It shows; its very visual. You tell what she did succinctly and to effectively reveal the tension and fear that she feels. Then. Twist!
        I think the 99 word limit is conducive to showing vs telling. There’s no room for ‘he did this, she felt that’. This is a great flash!

        Liked by 2 people

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      2. Charli Mills

        Showing versus telling would be a great lesson. Anne once mentioned how it clicked for her one day. What I like about flash is that it challenges us to show more than we have room to tell so by the nature of the constraint, we are directed to show more. You flash “shows.” Maybe you feel like you are telling us her actions, but that is correct. “Telling” would be if you said, “She was afraid to look back.”

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