Flash Fiction (2) The Test

The Test

Beth could actually feel knowledge leak out of her brain.  Just last night her dad asked her to define enfranchise.  And she could.  And even better, she did.  And now all she could think about were franchises which made her think about fast food joints which made her think about hamburgers which made her hungry.

Great.  Now she was hungry.

She stared down at the bubble sheet in front of her.  If she squinted and tilted her head just so she could almost make out the pattern.  And if she could find the pattern, then she could finish the pattern, then she wouldn’t have to read the questions or figure out the answers.

Her eraser was crap.  It left pink smears across the page.

This wasn’t even the real test.  This was a stupid practice test.  And the only reason she was taking this PSAT class was Anna, her best friend.  But on the first day of class Anna had gotten a crush on some kid from another school.  All of a sudden Beth was the outsider.  She was the third wheel.  When the teacher had them practice in pairs it was Beth without a partner.

How much time was left anyway?

But Beth was going to show them all up.  She was going to figure out the pattern.  And once she did, she would ace the test.  Then Anna would want her help.  Then she wouldn’t be the odd-man-out, the leftover, the afterthought.


She read the words that were in front of her.  Then she reread them.  Something needed to make since.  She quit reading the questions.  She looked back at the bubble sheet and squinted her eyes and tilted her head.  But the pattern stayed just out of focus.

“Time’s up.”

Beth hadn’t figured out the pattern.  Nor had she even read all the questions.  She left to use the restroom and saw Anna holding hands and smiling at that boy.

I think this attempt is a little closer to flash fiction.  But I’m still struggling getting plot into something so short.  What do you think?  Any critiques (please critique)?


8 thoughts on “Flash Fiction (2) The Test

  1. Looks pretty good from here. My standard is: does it leave me wanting to read more? The answer in this case is a definitive “yes.”

  2. It doesn’t feel like a complete story to me, but it is a great scene.

    I like the somewhat sporadic nature of it. It really invokes feelings I think just about everyone has felt before.

    Good job!

  3. I love things like this. They don’t need to be finished. I call them ‘snapshots’ or ‘scenes’. You know something happened before, and something will happen after, but all you see is right now. If you want to make a judgment, you have to use only that scene. These things are the writing equivalent of a song, making you feel one or two things before they’re over.

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