#LastLineFirst – A #FlashFiction Challenge: Week 8

last line firstHello, and welcome to Week 8 of Last Line First – the low-pressure, low-reward weekly and week-long flash-fiction challenge. We didn’t have many entries last week, but that matters not. As long as there are a few of you finding the challenge helpful, I’ll keep on running it!

Your last line prompt this week is from Shadows by Kirsty Lee. I picked it because a character’s weaknesses and regrets are great fuel for fiction.

As always, you have until midnight on Sunday to comment on this post with your ≤200 word flash-fictions. Remember: you can tweak the last line however you see fit. For a full run-down of the rules and easy access to previous challenges and their stories visit this page.

So, here’s your new first line:

My weakness is my biggest regret.

Have at it!

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24 thoughts on “#LastLineFirst – A #FlashFiction Challenge: Week 8

  1. Sweet Things
    @voimaoy
    200 words

    My weakness is my biggest regret. I have a weakness for all sweet things–cakes and cookies, chocolate bars, licorice twists, Cadbury eggs, caramels, candies, cupcakes, jelly beans, gumdrops–you name it, and I can’t resist.

    How I wish I could just look at a chocolate cake or a slice of lemon meringue pie. If only I could simply admire the frosting on a cupcake, the sugar flowers or glitter sprinkles, but for me there is no halfway. I can’t have them in my life. It’s that simple. No cotton candy spun-sugar carnival for me. I took that ride, and I had to get off.

    Yes, I beat my sugar habit. I lost weight, I got in shape with yoga and high intensity workouts. I became hard and strong with heavy lifting. Fitness became my new obsession. It changed my life.

    I am a motivational speaker, now. If I can do it, you can too, I say. I tell people how my weakness made me strong. But I wish I didn’t have to. You see, the world is full of sweet things, and sometimes I would like a slice of pie. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about it.

  2. Perspective (200 Words)
    @mikanopy

    My weakness is my biggest regret. Well, maybe I don’t regret it… But I definitely recognise it now. And to think, for years I didn’t even realise that this ‘emotional weakness’ thing existed.

    I know what you’re thinking as you read this. How can one overcome what they clearly don’t understand?

    I’ve been asking myself that very question for months now. A lot has changed in the last few years; the world is different, life’s moved on… Not that any of that is a bad thing, but it just shows that you have to adapt to survive in this cutthroat world.

    Whenever you lose something, it seems you gain so much more. You might not know it at the time; your situation might make you feel like hell… But when you come out the other side and grasp a new perspective, it is clear; everything happens for a reason.

    Sometimes you have to let go to grow… Have some trust in others… Have some belief in yourself.

    If you’re running from your weakness, know that there’s a way out; to an end, or a new beginning. The choice lies inside you. You just have to find it on your own.

  3. Abdication

    198 words
    @el_Stevie

    I regret I was weak, that I didn’t make a stand when I had the chance; he had made it all sound so reasonable. With him at my side we would lead the country to greater stability, greater wealth, greater power … but first we had to get married and I had to declare him King, my equal in all things.
    I look back now on those heady days of courtship, the first flush of romance, his consideration, his attentiveness … his love. All this is gone now.
    He stares at me coldly over the breakfast table; a schedule for the day at his side. We are supposed to attend these events together. Already my head is pounding at the mere thought.
    “You don’t look so well,” he says, showing a sudden, unexpected concern.
    “A headache, no more,” I said.
    “Perhaps you should stay home today. I can manage on my own.”
    As he has done before, as he is increasingly doing.
    I take another sip of my tea, wincing at an unexpected bitterness but still I drain my cup. I notice a strange white silt amongst the dregs. My headache worsens. Pain dethrones me and I abdicate.

    1. Welcome, Stephanie!

      I enjoyed this immensely! I like the way you’ve used the first line and the twist at the end confirmed my suspicions. Nicely done. 🙂

    1. Hi Sarah! Welcome to Last Line First. This is a very powerful piece. We never know whether the choices we make will turn out for the best or not, do we? 🙂

      (Thanks for linking back to this post from your blog. You’re more than welcome to link to your blog from here, but just to make my life a little less complicated, could you also post your future flashes in a comment here as well. Thanks! 🙂 )

      1. Sure. 🙂 Here’s mine in comment form:

        Leaving

        My weakness is my biggest regret. She swirled scotch in a tumbler, sticking her finger in to twirl the amber liquid one last time. Ice cubes clinked as they bumped into each other and hit the side of the glass. She held the drink out to me. “Just the way you like it,” she smiled.

        This was our nightly routine so, when I hesitated, she looked defeated. “I can mix up something else,” she offered. It sounded more like a plea.

        I felt the guilt I knew she wanted me to feel. This was the only thing she could offer me anymore. That saddened me but it killed her. She loved my weakness for whisky because, after all she had been through, she needed to be needed. I understood. But I wanted something more for her. Something better.

        Leaving her didn’t go as badly as I feared.

        It took ten months to learn of her suicide. Word of that sort of thing doesn’t make rounds on the streets. No, leaving her wasn’t as bad as I had feared. It was worse. I spent years cursing my weakness but, ultimately, it was my strength that killed her.

  4. Temptation

    My weakness is my greatest regret.
    I tried to be strong.
    Lord! I tried so hard!
    Everyday I would tell myself that this would be the day.
    This would be the day I would stay strong.
    This would be the day I resisted temptation.
    And everyday I believed I would succeed.
    And everyday I failed.
    Every single day.
    I was not strong.
    I did not resist.
    I could not resist.
    The temptation was just too strong.
    Stronger than me.
    Stronger than my will.
    You were too strong.
    You drew me to you like a magnet.
    Physics, then was my downfall.
    Or maybe biology.
    I was the moth drawn to the flame that would be my destruction. Or perhaps it was chemistry?
    There was certainly chemistry between us.
    Well. Some kind of science for sure.
    Though at times it seemed more like witchcraft, a dark art, the work of the devil, this attraction to you.
    But that’s the trouble with temptation.
    It is attractive and sweet and addictive.
    It pulls you in against your will, wrapping you up in its sweetness, melting away all resistance.
    And who can fight against that?
    Not me.
    I was undone before I even began.

    199 words
    @denisesprrwhwk

  5. My weakness is my biggest regret; the people I love, the ones I would do anything for.

    The one I bottled my emotions for, so I could be strong for her.

    But I was strong too long.

    It bubbled. It boiled. A swirling mess of caged emotion. Of self hatred. Of words telling me I could do more. That I should do more. That I could be worth something, but that I wasn’t. That I had failed. That what little I’d done to help had all been for nil.

    That voice in my head played havoc with my thoughts, twisted any words of hope and encouragement. Every last one. Until I had nothing left to offer, but the bitter truth that I had lost that battle with myself.

    Now though, I think I could word that first line better; I don’t regret what my weakness did to help her, I regret that I let my bottled up emotions overflow and take hold. That it got to a point where I wanted to give up. To leave this life. To give up on her, and everything I had pulled us through.

    I couldn’t do that, I couldn’t leave my little sister.

    ~

    Far out that is morbid, I am so sorry! I really am. I love the weekly prompt idea though 🙂

  6. STRENGTH

    My weakness is my biggest regret. My parents used to moan that I never lifted a finger to help around the house until medical experts backed me up that my fingers (and other parts) really are very heavy for me!

    I am literally bone idle. It’s gotten worse over the years, as these things inevitably do, but the essentials are brought to and taken away from me by the loveliest people. Really, I like people, some at least, so much more than I did before, so there’s nothing to be maudlin about. Being able to see human kindness in action is a genuine gift. I may have a puny body but, boy, my eye muscles are MIGHTY! They see goodness in folk, like reflections off chocolate wrappers.

    Sometimes, lying here, I daydream about joining the circus. I could be a double-act with the Strong Man: the Weak Woman. Flat on my back, struggling to keep a downy feather afloat above my lips with puff after effortful puff. I don’t imagine it would much of a draw, but the image amuses me. I find my lips making the shape, unconsciously.

    Roll up, roll up.

    Feather weight champion of the world.

    @fuzzynick

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