Flash Fiction (10) Bones

Here goes another

bones and rocks

Prompted by Madison Woods.  Go check out her blog to read more stories inspired by this prompt.

Bones

“Looks like rocks to me.”

“No, they’re not.  Look at that one right there.  That’s a bone.  See?”

The kids backed away.

Curiosity got the best of them and they crept closer to look at the bones.  Mostly they were old, but there were a few that looked very fresh.

They giggled as they tried to scare one another, “those are other kids’ bones,” one whispered.

A twig cracked in the trees behind them.  They squealed in fear, their hearts began racing and their feet struggled to keep up.  As their house came into sight they slowed.

Their giggles returned.

Oh yeah, I’d love some constructive criticism.  I’m trying to improve my writing, so if you notice something that can be tweaked, changed, or improved please please please let me know!

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58 thoughts on “Flash Fiction (10) Bones

  1. I think this is a perfect example of childhood, and well written. No critique from me, the whole scene flows together perfectly, and reminds me of what it was like to be a kid and how fun it was to be scared.

  2. Enjoyed this, good description of childhood fear, felt I was there in the woods too, giggling over mystery bones…liked that they all scampered away at the end, THEN laughed once they were safe. Or are they? Grin.

    • Are they indeed, the story kept changing as I wrote, so I honestly don’t know if they’ve escaped whatever it is that’s out there. Thanks for reading!

  3. I thought this story was great. If I can just offer one comment: delete your last sentence. That way the reader is left unknowing if they really were safe or not and I think it would add a lot more drama to the piece.

    • Thanks for feedback. I toyed with that line a bit, but I left it in hoping for a happier piece (no thanks to a prompt of a pile of bones) so I left it in. But I’ll definitely keep that in mind if I work more on this piece.

  4. Brings Stephen King’s “It” to mind, with the children being chased by this unknown entity. Maybe they’re safe and it was all in their heads, or maybe there’s a darker end here that isn’t hinted at with your final sentence?

    Or maybe I just need to get away from the horror angle…
    Either way, it’s a great little story that has so many different angles for us readers to explore!

  5. I really liked this; there’s nothing more spooky than children in the woods. i think the house coming into view happens perhaps a bit too quickly; maybe just another line about their flight to even out the pace of the tale. But I still enjoyed it.

  6. Hi Miq, I think your story perfectly conjures up that feeling of being a kid, deliberately seeking a chase or the next thrill, the giggles brought on by a scare, be it real or imagined. For me, your writing is really strong here and maybe this scene could form the basis for a short story or similar? Great stuff 🙂

  7. Hello,

    That was a fun little story. The only critiques I have are vague: Maybe someone could have mentioned some kind of monster that eats children? So that they would have something to be running away from. And how many kids were there? Do they all live in the same place?

    Mostly might be better replaced by Most – if you follow the advice to avoid adverbs.

    Uhm, that`s all I got. Loved the giggling.

    • Thanks. I had the kids mention a few scary stories, but I took it out. I’ll definitely have to reread it for adverbs. Thank you so much for the critique.

    • My fiance will love to hear that. I was complaining about not getting any inspiration for the prompt and that was word for word our dialogue (except for the “other kids’ bones” part 🙂

  8. I’m not overly qualified to offer critiques but I’ll give it a try. As other’s have mentioned the dialogue reads true-to-life, which can be difficult when it comes to writing children. The writing itself is very sparse, which I’ve come to see as a positive. There is the temptation to show off and be quite wordy, or just waffle on (I’ve fallen into this trap in the past). That’s not alway a bad thing, but sometimes it’s just better to come to the point and keep things moving at a fair old lick. You’ve done that here. I don’t think it needs anything adding to it, it accomplishes its goal effectively as it is.

    • Thanks! When I’m not doing flash fiction I tend to be very verbose. That’s one of the reasons I really like this exercise. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to blend some of this succinctness with my normal wordiness in my outside writing.

  9. My only critique for this piece is the word “their.” This is just an opinion, so don’t feel as if you have to rush and change anything, but it seems to pop up in the story a bit too often for a piece this short.

    For example, (not that this is the best fix, it is just AN example of a change), “Their giggles returned,” could easily be changed to “The giggles returned.

    Besides that, this drabble read excellently. I felt as if I was spying on my nephews playing in the yard. Well done!

    My link is here: http://quillshiv.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/let-flow-what-is-left/

  10. Delightful read. I know these kids well. I was one of them, Growing up in the country surrounded by woods (in my back yard), we used to scare each other…get frightened and would race home. But you said it best: “Their little hearts and feet” struggling to keep up.. in my case, with the older kids. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the memories. Here’s mine:
    http://www.triplemoonstar.blogspot.com

    • I just tried to leave a message on your post, but I got too frustrated 😦 here it is instead:

      Oh. That broke my heart. What a sad way to start my day. On the bright side, you wrote it brilliantly otherwise I wouldn’t be so gutted by the story. Well done!

  11. Hi Miq, I didn’t read every one of the comments (you’re a popular gal), but two things: fantastic sense of children experiencing that goofy sort of fear. You hit a chord powerfully with that and having had the experience myself, I feel you recalling it to me easily.

    Some concrit: in this sentence “They squealed in fear, their hearts began racing and their feet struggled to keep up.” I would change “racing” to “to race,” and you’ll get a parallel structure to the back half of the sentence.

  12. I didn’t see anything wrong with your story at all. It’s a nice little capsule of childhood fears, the dialogue seemed real, and I would certainly keep that last sentence; it adds profundity to what would otherwise be just a mystery. I guess it would read more smoothly if it weren’t all double spaced, but that’s not writing as much as formatting. Well done!

    • I’m glad you liked that last line.
      As for the formatting, is there a way to change it? Everything just gets double space when in word press. (As I wrote that I realized I could probably type it in word and paste it into wordpress and there probably is a way to change the formatting I’ve just been too lazy to figure out how, I’ll work on it 🙂 )

  13. Well, I’m late to the party 😉 I can easily imagine kids getting spooked for no other reason that a snapping twig in the woods. Especially when they’ve just discovered a pile of old bones that belonged to another kid! My only crit is the sentence everyone else loves, lol, so it’s probably not very useful…it just seems a little too vague and at first I didn’t realize they were actually running until you mentioned the house came into view. Feet struggling to keep up with hearts could have been just them gathering themselves to begin running…horses do that sort of thing before they bolt and sometimes they don’t actually go anywhere but their feet do a lot of moving to get ready to go. But these are kids not horses, haha. Loved your story, it felt VERY realistic.

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