View Full Version : The Cliff Diving Dilemma - 300 word flash fiction

May 8th, 2013, 11:59 PM
Hi everyone. I'm new to writing forums and this is the first story I'm posting. I appreciate any comments or thoughts!

The Cliff Diving Dilemma

Pretty Pete stood staring over the precipice, his mouth drying as he gazed at the sparkling water sixty feet below. He glanced at the girls standing behind him with his friend, then looked back to the water. He swallowed.

“You going to jump?” Alan asked, his eyebrows arched with arrogance.

Pete gritted his teeth. “Give me a minute.”

“Chicken.” Alan pushed him, and he stumbled to keep his footing.

“So you do it then,” he shot back. He’d had a chance with Joanna before Alan suggested this stupid stunt. She was the one who’d called him pretty. Now her lips curled up with disdain.

“Are you boys okay?” she teased. Her friend, Heather, stood beside her, giggling at their dilemma.

Pete felt a flush color his back. He leaned closer to Alan and whispered. “I’m not going until you go.”

“Not happening,” Alan returned. “This peak didn’t look so crazy from below. You first.”

“No way. It’s suicide, man!” Pete’s hue brightened as the girls made chicken squawks.

Alan shot a look at Heather. “Okay. I’m doing it.” He strode to the edge and looked over. The girls cheered.

He gazed at the water for a moment, then looked at Pete. “Screw this. Beers?”

Pete breathed a sigh of relief, despite the ladies’ laughter. Joanna’s face looked horsey when she was being rude, anyway. “You read my mind.”

“You guys suck!” Joanna crowed, as they stepped away from the edge.

“Whatever. We’re leaving. You coming?” Alan stalked away as he spoke, Pete following closely behind.

“Cowards!” Joanna yelled, jumping from the cliff with a gleeful yelp. Heather dove in right after.

The boys exchanged a look, then peered over the cliff. Joanna and Heather played in the water below. “What do you know?” Pete shrugged. “We could have made it.”

May 9th, 2013, 04:26 PM
I liked it, though my only quarrel is with the ending, and even that isn't bad. It sounds like you should have added "after all" and an exclamation mark after the last line, and that's not necessarily a good thing, at least in my mind. I guess I think it was too much of a happy, children's story ending, even though the other parts beg to differ. But all in all, I enjoyed your story. :grin:

May 10th, 2013, 04:29 AM
Hi Indigo,

I hadn't thought about it when I wrote the story, but I agree with your criticism. I think the guys would have been more irritated, looking back. I'll definitely take your thoughts about the ending into consideration when revising. Thanks so much for taking the time to give me some feedback!

CJ Tomlinson
May 14th, 2013, 04:48 PM
Nice, I liked it!

The only thing that really confused me was the age of these... kids? I mean, the nickname of Pretty Pete, and the way they all acted, made me think of them as children. Then when he goes "Beers?" I was like... wait what? xD

But then again, I'm terrible, terrible when it comes to ages. But I'd still like to know how old they all were now, 'cause I'm curious xD

All in all, I did like it; nice way of adding a bit of personality to some of the characters in a short amount of time, and it's a fun little piece that's nice to read. Well done!

May 14th, 2013, 11:05 PM
Hi CJ. Thanks for your comments! They were supposed to be about twenty. I was thinking college kids. I know a lot of people with weird nicknames, though. I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

May 14th, 2013, 11:15 PM
I like it. Having gone cliff diving with friends around the age of 20, I can attest that the conversation and heckling is not age appropriate. Good job. This brought back some fond memories from the Navy.

Thinking Aloud
May 26th, 2013, 10:40 PM
Good story! I like how the two friends display your typical friendly rivalry that any boy could relate to. If anything, I think that the only improvement would be a little more buildup to when the girls jump off of the cliff. It kind of comes out of the blue--unless that was your intention.

May 29th, 2013, 09:38 PM
Hi James and Thinking Aloud. Thanks for your comments! I'm glad you liked the story.

James, I just want to double check because the wording struck me as odd. You meant to say that the heckling wasn't age appropriate?

May 29th, 2013, 09:57 PM
Hi James and Thinking Aloud. Thanks for your comments! I'm glad you liked the story.

James, I just want to double check because the wording struck me as odd. You meant to say that the heckling wasn't age appropriate?

sorry for the confusion, I was not referring to the heckling in your story. I was referring to the fact that twenty-somethings doing things like cliff diving might well engage in immature heckling. It was a statement in support of your dialogue. As I read back, I can see how my statement was a bit ambiguous.

May 29th, 2013, 10:06 PM
Thanks for the clarification :-)

June 14th, 2013, 05:49 AM
I can completely relate to this, and I guess most people can as well. We've all peered over a cliff and had that overwhelming desire to jump, but didnt. I think the ending is solid, and puts an emphasis on Pete's conflicting mind and body, as he continues to persuade himself that it's safe

July 7th, 2013, 10:20 AM
Definitely brought back memories. We used to go up to a place called the Natural Dam up Sharps Creek in western Oregon. It was very much like what you described. It was a sixty-two foot drop and most of us guys spent a lot of time up there trying to impress the hotties that would swim up there. We did everything from dives, to flips, and then finally a belly flop that broke my best friends ribs.