Friday Fictioneers: After

Here’s today’s entry for Friday Fictioneers, a weekly Flash Fiction prompt. You can read other entries by clicking the blue link  at the bottom. 100 words based on the picture below. Try it yourself!


You chicken?

I told him I wasn’t.

The door was set in the ground. Both of us went down the stairs. Narrow, steep cement. The gravel sand gritted under my sneaker.

Near the bottom I got a spider web across my face, but I wasn’t scared.

It’s just a basement. I been in a basement before.

It’s a cellar. It’s different.

He came up behind me, then. Boys are a lot stronger than girls, I realized.

When I came up it was past supper, almost dark. I put my head against the board fence. Mushrooms.

It just happened. I’m sorry.



Add Yours
  1. J Hardy Carroll

    Well, it’s first person.The speaker’s words are not in italics, but the other person’s are. We can infer that the speaker is a girl and the other is a boy, but it is never overtly declared. The name of the story is “after,” so that begs the question: after what?

    But that’s just my take on it. ;-)

  2. kirizar

    I remember an incident in my childhood, in which my brother shut me in our unfinished portion of our basement. The light bulb was broken and I was terrified and had hysterics until someone let me out. That’s what I read into the above story. I wonder how much of what is written gets colored by the reader’s experience.

  3. rochellewisoff

    Dear J Hardy,

    “It just happened.” I’m afraid he’ll have to do better than “I’m sorry.” Well written. You’re right be both went rather dark this week.



  4. Susannah Bianchi

    I loved this…and there is a difference between a basement and a cellar…the latter is dark and rarely visited where the former sports a pool table and all the stored patio furniture. Rochelle is right…very well-written…Shabbat Shalom mother fucker.

  5. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    It is quite clear to me that the boy’s comments are in italics and he raped the girl although I think she knew why she was going down there I think she was too young to know what she had let herself in for and protested when she found out how strong he was. He should have stopped but he continued and it turned to rape. A raw well-written story.

  6. Joe Owens

    It just happened can lead to conflict of a eternal nature in days to come. She should make a big deal about it before she or another becomes a victim again.

  7. mjlstories

    Is it me, or maybe I’m watching too much Russell T Davies…
    I assumed it was two boys (one of whom was more used to girls) and I wasn’t certain it was all bad – they were down there a long time. Perhaps they enjoyed themselves.
    If you’ve got ambiguity, why not make the world a better place?
    Good story – got us all talking!

  8. gahlearner

    That’s heartbreaking. From a dare to this… I agree, he should not just get away with this. Who knows, how often it will ‘just happen’ again. Your story is so real, makes me all worked up. Great work.

    • J Hardy Carroll

      Thanks for the great comments, everyone. I am a big believer that a principal element that makes a story work is what you leave out, especially in flash fiction. I think it also applies to a lesser degree in longer work. Glad you like it, and I appreciate your comments very much.

Leave a Reply to Sandra Cancel reply