#AtoZchallenge #flashfiction: U for Uncharted worlds

As part of the A to Z Challenge,  through the month of April I’ll be posting a story a day based on photographs by Joseph W. Richardson and prompts given to me by blog-friends.

Writing prompt: Uncharted worlds

Provided by: Samantha  Redstreake Geary friend, fellow writer, and one of the Magnificent Seven of #TeamDamyanti


#AtoZchallenge : U for Uncharted worlds
#AtoZchallenge : U for Uncharted worlds

       First thing she noticed about him, he wore pale pink lipstick.

        They had to stand close, way too close, for the audition. She could feel his biceps under her hands, smell the coffee he’d just drunk on his breath, and the cologne on his shirt collar. The director urged them to stand closer, come on show some chemistry, did they want the role or not, he didn’t have the whole sainted day, all right?

       She had leaned in then, but today, in the flickering light of the fire, she tried not to look at where she’d left him on the grass. This was meant to be a reunion trip, camping together all by themselves in the middle of nowhere, only now she had a camp, a fire, and no family.

        She wanted to remember him from that first night, when he’d whisked her away from the dressing room, into his studio with its creaky bed, and the landlord had knocked on the floor, asking them to keep it down, and they’d kissed and giggled and kissed some more.

        She wanted to remember him reading bad poetry to Tara, who calmed down in her cradle, and listened to her father with big, droopy eyes. He talked of uncharted worlds, of adventures at sea, of frightened pirates, of stars, and haunted ships. When the book ended, he made up his own stories, and Tara chuckled. She wanted to remember Tara grinning, blowing raspberries, lisping words from her father’s poems, the words of which she barely understood.

        She’d been on movie shoots in different countries, not knowing that behind her back, he babysat by playing dress-up with Tara, put lipstick on her, everywhere. Her brain tried to imagine his hands on Tara, on her budding breasts, her throat, and her bulging eyes as he strangled her, till all she wanted to do was fling herself into the fire.


But enough about what she wanted.

          She hauled him, thank God he dieted and wasn’t too heavy to pull. It would smell, but bonfires often smelled like barbecues.

          She looked up, at the stars flickering from between the trees. Up there, somewhere, was her daughter, on a faraway, uncharted world. As his hair and clothes, then skin and flesh began to crackle and burn, she hoped Tara was watching. 


Are you taking part in the A to Z challenge? Do you read or write fiction? Ever write based on a prompt? What do you look for in flash fiction? What sort of fiction satisfies you?

54 thoughts on “#AtoZchallenge #flashfiction: U for Uncharted worlds

  1. Pingback: Soulless | Simply Poetry

  2. This took me through a range of emotions… including disbelief, anger… and the usual, but how does a person do that to his own child…?
    And then I imagined her just killing him… and then realised she had… ha!
    And your piece reinforces my belief that anybody, even the “most sensible, rational, good, upright and well respected member of society” can be driven to taking a life…
    The human desire to nurture and protect (as I understand it) is so deeply ingrained… or it should be, shouldn’t it?

  3. I have never written a post based on a prompt, but I have written a post that was inspired by another. Maybe I’ll try it soon. In the meantime, I’ll live vicariously through yours.
    Great writing!

  4. That was too powerful on me that i couldnt help writing this:

    when the inner thought,
    left to rot,
    Dead you are,
    and none on par,
    in your burial bed,
    out of victims dread,
    with the evil shroud,
    that you loved

  5. Very good and the link left on your comment guided me here. Of course, after visiting here, I will go and visit you, Damyanti, over there, over yonder at your other site. No wonder I get confused.

    Such a smoking hot ending to this marvellous post. Now then, where did I leave my pale pink lipstick?

  6. At first I was thrown when I read he wore pale pink lipstick, but then I kept reading and realized why. haha

    This story was . . . chilling. There really is no word for it!

  7. Wow! That’s powerful stuff! You are some kind of a writer. Good luck with that. Thanks for visiting my AtoZ – Now I’m going to Tweet you – I do a lot of that but never thought of it for AtoZ folks. Thanks for the tip. Mary at Variety, the Spice of Life

  8. My goodness – that’s like someone’s whole life story and you shrunk it down to so few words, but I still understood everything. King does that. (I wish I could.)

  9. Chilling so they say and rightly so. The ending leaves a lot of mysterious episodes that grip the imagination. Great prose, a refreshing post against many of the poetry. Nicely Damyati!


  10. This story evokes so many strong emotions. They flow one to the other and then you find yourself reading with your eyes wide open, tearing your hair, and hearing yourself scream in your mind. What a ride!

    • I don’t know if it is justice, or the beginning of a new vicious cycle– but the violence would not be denied, nor a mother’s vengeance, so I just let the end be as it came. Thanks for coming by to comment on my stories.

  11. I don’t even know what to say. I am impressed. I am sad. I am angry. So many emotions inspired by this piece. Although the comments make me wonder, in Western culture, karma is always called upon in a “get even” way. Why isn’t it mentioned when people are good and good things happen? Hmm…makes me think.

    • The idea was to unsettle the reader– because a lot of the time, we don’t react any more because we’ve become inured, through repetition.
      I’m from the East, from India, where the concept of Karma first evolved. I don’t know if the belief in Karma is that simple…there isn’t always good for good and evil for evil in one life…there’s also the concept of reincarnation, and a variety of checks and balances. When I wrote this, I didn’t have Karma in mind at all. :)

    • I don’t know Jacqui. When writing these pieces, I let words come from words, mostly.

      Perhaps it comes from my helpless rage at watching kids all over the world being abused, on the news through mass media.

      I think my fiction channels the subconscious, the part of me I suppress in my day to day life :)

    • Yes, Michelle, I wrote this sentence by sentence– I didn’t know who the two were when I started, and i was stuck after the first para, but then the image of him reading to their daughter floated up from nowhere, and then the flames in the picture showed me the horrific, but imho, completely justifiable ending. Child abuse is the only thing I find very hard not to stand in judgment of and condemn.

    • Thanks, Csenge. Though I really didn’t think of the construction at all :)– I love that line too, it came to me while watching a soap, where the hero did have lipstick on.

    • I heard the music just now, and you’re right it fits the building crescendo of the story. Thanks, Sam, for the prompt, for the link to this fab piece of music, and for being on my team. I couldn’t have asked for better.

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

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