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jenthepen
July 3rd, 2015, 07:51 PM
She didn’t remember his name. They said he was a new brother and their eyes and lips showed that they loved him most.

When they said to kiss him, she leaned into his sticky smell but made no kiss with her mouth, or with her mind.

Smiling up at Daddy, as he reached towards her with outstretched arms, she waited for his familiar words, “Hey, Sugar.” Instead, there was just the heat, burning, as he silently picked up the baby and turned away.

“Matt and Matthew junior,” he announced.

She saw Mummy’s smile, but it was not for her.

Allysan
July 3rd, 2015, 08:50 PM
This made me sad. Mission accomplished, bravo!!

Monaque
July 5th, 2015, 09:21 AM
Very interesting, and yes quite sad. I know a work colleague whos son has written a whole book of 100 word flash and sells it on Amazon. It`s becoming more popular these days.
Nice work.

sailorguitar
July 5th, 2015, 10:09 AM
Yes, very sad. Very good too. The story is like a bullet.

jenthepen
July 5th, 2015, 06:39 PM
Thanks, Allysan. (sorry for making you sad).


Monaque, thanks for the kind words. I enjoy flash fiction because it’s a challenge to produce a story that has any sort of depth in so few words. That’s a cool idea, to make a whole book of flash - not sure I’d have the stamina for 100 stories though. :)


Thanks for the compliments, sailorguitar, it means a lot to know that this story came across as I intended.

I enjoy thinking about relationships and the emotional dynamics of family situations. This little piece was born when it occurred to me that small thoughtless acts by inexperienced parents can sometimes lead to a lifetime of low self-esteem in children. The truth is, of course, that their love for their daughter is no less when the new baby arrives - it’s the small girl’s misperception that creates the pain. It interests me how so much of our character is built on such misconceptions.

jen

McCacks
July 8th, 2015, 06:24 PM
Well done, that was cryptically depressing but I loved it.

Warren40
July 15th, 2015, 01:31 PM
Agree violently with all of the above. I thought it was great and yes very sad. Good work.

jenthepen
July 17th, 2015, 02:11 PM
Thanks for the kind words guys. :)

musichal
July 17th, 2015, 02:44 PM
It is difficult to fit that much impact in so few words. Hat's off to you, Jen.

LeeC
July 17th, 2015, 03:28 PM
I enjoy thinking about relationships and the emotional dynamics of family situations. This little piece was born when it occurred to me that small thoughtless acts by inexperienced parents can sometimes lead to a lifetime of low self-esteem in children. The truth is, of course, that their love for their daughter is no less when the new baby arrives - it’s the small girl’s misperception that creates the pain. It interests me how so much of our character is built on such misconceptions.
Been distracted of late I guess and almost missed this. It does my heart good to see examples of writing that in so few words convey real depth in its seeming simplicity.

I've come to expect no less of you Jen :-)

ACB
July 25th, 2015, 03:37 PM
Pierced - exposes those deep vulnerabilities very succinctly. Well done!

escorial
July 25th, 2015, 04:26 PM
100 words of emotional content...good stuff

Mesafalcon
July 31st, 2015, 01:25 PM
Ya, it read well.

I liked the sticky line.

CodyWright77
August 1st, 2015, 02:36 AM
I'll be honest, I had to go back and re-read this to understand what was going on. Perhaps some italicizing might be good for emphasis, as this is a jealousy piece?
she leaned into his sticky smell but made no kiss with her mouth, or with her mind. "or with her mind," feels off. Perhaps there is another way to say what you are getting at? Maybe try dropping it altogether and see how it sounds...

These are just my opinions :) take them if you like them.

As others have said, lots of emotion crammed into so few words. This is what good writing is made of. I read some quote of an author somewhere, and the gist of it was "I live to see more white on my pages."

DATo
August 1st, 2015, 12:58 PM
A very nice bit of flash fiction. My compliments!

TKent
August 1st, 2015, 01:10 PM
Jen, this was so good. I sure hope you are submitting it someplace!

jenthepen
August 1st, 2015, 03:29 PM
Thank you all so much. It means a lot to know that the emotion and meaning came through in this piece.

Cody, thanks for letting me know where this didn't work so well for you. I'm working at getting the emotion across to the reader in almost the same way as it operates in the little girl in the story so I'd rather reword than use a device like italics. The 'or with her mind' phrase was a bit poetic, I guess. Maybe 'or in her mind' would work better. I'll give that line some thought. Thanks for the detailed crit, I'm glad you brought it to my attention. Love the quote at the end of your post too. :)

Hi, TK. Thanks for the lovely comment. :) I'm trying to gather together a collection of pieces like this - little snippits of normal life that might change the MC's outlook for the rest of their life, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. When I have enough stories, I'm hoping to self-publish the collection. This is a project in progress - one of my dreams in the pipeline. ;)

TKent
August 1st, 2015, 03:31 PM
I love those kinds of collections. I have a brilliant collection by Amy Hempel of those kinds of short works and it works brilliantly together.

mymartianromance
August 2nd, 2015, 10:34 PM
Well, now I know how my older sister felt when I was born, (and because I ruined her lunch that day.) Good Job and in so few words.

jtgrall
August 3rd, 2015, 12:36 AM
Well im going to find some comfort food now!! Nice writing

oceanographer
August 19th, 2015, 10:53 PM
That was great--I especially liked the Matt and Matthew jr. line, which was kind of subtle but really powerful.

HalfRail
August 20th, 2015, 02:17 AM
As a big brother, I can relate to this oh so well. Real nice.

escorial
August 20th, 2015, 05:34 PM
always worth another read...