#LastLineFirst – A #FlashFiction Challenge: Week 15

last line firstWell, aren’t you a cheery bunch! Last week’s screams inspired ailing grandparents, demons, monsters and serial killers. Death stalked the stories, giving my goosebumps goosebumps and even bringing a tear to my eye. Great job!

Your last line prompt this week comes from To Rest by Jacki Donnellan. I picked it because it immediately brought an image to my mind. I hope it inspires you as quickly too!

Remember, you have until midnight (BST) on Sunday 3 May to comment on this post with your ≤200 word flash-fictions, and you can change the prompt however you see fit. For a full run-down of the rules and easy access to previous challenges and their stories please visit this page.

So, here’s your new first line:

Time to turn up the volume.

Happy flashing!

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13 thoughts on “#LastLineFirst – A #FlashFiction Challenge: Week 15

  1. To Hear the Birds
    182 words. @shirl1001

    Time to turn on the volume, I think.

    Jen’s mouth forms the patterns that I read. “How’s that?”

    I focus on her lips but there’s a a burst of words. Her voice is different than I imagined; it’s louder, richer, higher.

    I nod, scared to speak and drown in an alien sound. The buzz of the computer is a giant wasp. In the corridor outside, someone slams a door: footsteps, click, clack. Jen shuffles papers and they sigh like my memory of a disturbed ocean. I place a hand on her arm: stop.

    “All right?” she says.

    I stand up and open the window, lean out.

    “Careful,” she says.

    The roar of cars explode into my head. A pneumatic drill vibrates my bones, but with accompanying notes. Somewhere across the city, cars honk horns. Pigeons strut and peck on the patch of green, their chests ballooned; they’re too far for my restored sense to detect.

    “It’s okay,” she says. “It’s normal to feel overwhelmed. Take a break.”

    I switch off the world until dawn. When alone, I listen for starling, robin and thrush.

  2. Stillness
    98 words (a short one!)

    Time to turn up the volume.
    Past time.
    For too long the still small voice has been left unheard, unnoticed. No more than a whisper hidden beneath the noise and turmoil. A silken thread holding together the chaos of noise and bursting energy, that if left to itself would surely, surely explode unravelling the fibres of their very existence.
    But now a storm is coming and the silken thread may lose its hold and be swept away. Today a quiet whisper will not be enough to hold back the choas. Today the still small voice must be heard.

  3. If I Had My Time Over
    200 words @kirstyiswriting

    “Time to turn up the volume, then?”
    The nurse’s face is close to mine, too close. She stares at me, her large brown eyes imploring me to answer her. I blink a few times to let her know I can hear her, but I don’t answer.

    The truth is, I like the silence that comes with age. My hearing aids work perfectly fine, but sometimes I pretend they don’t, simply so that I can be left alone, in peace with my own thoughts.

    These young people – the staff at this group home – they’re impatient and anxious. They always seem to be rushing from one place to the next, never stopping to appreciate what’s happening around them. Not that there’s much excitement in an old folks home. Yet, we still have something to offer if they would shut up and listen.

    I was like them once, so caught up in the latest trends, the rules and expectations of ‘the norm’; of what society told me to be. I wasted my years trying to be something I was not: a good wife, a caring mother. Now look where I am. If I could have my time over, I would simply be me.

  4. Calling (199 words)

    “Time to turn up the volume” I shouted into the microphone as I took my place on stage, my bass guitar in hand.

    I was still in a state of disbelief. After years of being a support band, we were the headline act! The realization that we had finally made it hit me as I stood in front of the crowd. There were so many people, and they were here to hear us!

    Fighting nervousness, I started playing, the band joining me after I had finished the intro.

    Opening my mouth to sing the verse, not a sound came out. The fear of disappointing the audience was overwhelming. I stood in stunned silence, still playing the intro. The band realized what was going on, and simply joined me in playing the intro again while I gathered myself; focused on the task at hand, what had to be done.

    I closed my eyes; went to my happy place. Opening them as I started singing, I saw the crowd. They had started a considerable mosh pit by this stage, and were well into what they were hearing. They had not even noticed my error.

    Maybe this is my calling after all.

      1. Nothing worse than forgetting your line…and nothing luckier than making a mistake and realising no one has noticed!

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