Flash Fiction: A Challenge to My Readers

Okay, so I'm changing the "micro fiction" project around a little bit.
Yeah, it's been a fun experiment for the past week, but I'm finding that all the arbitary rules (forcing themes, setting time limits, etc.) makes for some ... well it makes for some bad writing. And since all of the microfiction thus far has been my own, I can say that without sounding like a huge ass.
So here's what I'm challenging myself (and you, dear reader, if you so choose) to do: Write at least 600 words each day. Yes, it may come out horrible (God knows you'll see that below), but it doesn't matter. Just write something, anything. Get words down on the screen.
Forget time limits. Forget outlines. Just write something and see where it takes you.
And most of all, forget worrying about if it comes out like total shit. This is for fun! It's flash fiction freewriting aimed at improving your skills.
I'll continue to file something at least five days a week. I'm hoping I'll get better and I'm excited to see where this journey takes me. I'd love it if you came along for the ride.

Flash Fiction 6/18/09

Julian pushed his way to the crowd's front just as his mother prepared to give herself to the gallows.

The execution was a lot of things, but it wasn't dramatic. Simon Baxter, town minister, led Julian's mother up the steps and looked on impatiently as a hooded man looped rope around her neck. Simon didn't relish the executions, but he had the look of a man who'd come to accept them in due course. He didn't want to be here, but he was, so he might as well make the most of it. Regardless of how badly he wanted it to be all over.

Julian listened attentively as Simon read out the charges. One count of illict substance abuse and two counts of stealing thirty rubics from Tom Conlin's corner tavern.

"Does the accused have any statement she would like to make," Simon asked.


It was kind of what Julian was hoping for. He didn't want to hear his mother's voice again. They'd made their peace last night. When Julian cried and asked her why the 'bad man' was going to string her up.

"I've betrayed him, Jules," she said. "He gave me, he gave you life and I betrayed that. We all know the rules living here. If you don't abide by 'em, you die by 'em. That's rule one. You know that. It's okay. Everything's gonna be just okay, don't you worry baby."

Julian still

over her set face and badidn't even flinch when the floor ripped out from underneath her legs, leaving her hanging, lifeless.
The whole thing was over in less than 2 minutes. At 13 Julian understood death, but as he lookd at his mother's vacant eyes and lifeless features he wondered what it had all been for. Had her sacrifce been for him? Had it been worth it?

Of course, the town of Castle River didn't need a reason for an execution. In this case, however, they had one - Julian's mother had relations out of wedlock. The fact that it was nearly 14 years ago was immaterial. She'd been found and she was still a criminal Simon said. And criminals got puinished.

For the past several years Julian was aware of his mother's death warrant. He had been the reason for it, after all. But Julian's mother was a caring woman. Always eager to help her son in anyway possible - be it skinning the rabbits they ate on the road or helping her son learn how to read and write.

They'd been on the road for as long as Julian could remember, Castle Rock, of course, was the only civilized settlement this side of the Rockies, but there was a lot of land out West, his mother used to say. And they intended to see all of it.

Still Julian was lonely. He often inquired about visiting the city of his birthplace, knowing selfishly his mother would scoff at the idea.

She must have known what fate awaited her had the village found out. That was, of course, why she fled. Why she raised Julian on the road for these past 12 years. Spending all her waking hours with the boy -- helping him along as he learned to walk and ultimately teaching him how to read and write.

R-I-V-E-R, that spells 'River' Julian thought. C-A-S-T-L-E that spell's 'Castle.' Castle River, the town where I was born.

Julian's mother had to sneak back to Castle River to have her son. There were people sympathetic to her. People who understood how hard it was not to get pregnant in a small dustbowl village where the males outnumbered the young ladies 3 to 1. She'd had help delivering the child. And when Julian was born the couple simply disappeared.

Eight long years of exile. They'd traveled all over, setting down in burnt out hotels, abandoned campsites, long-emptied schoolhouses. All relics of time past. They travelled freely, but in the past six months Julian began to question when whether they would ever settle down.

"I want friends mommy, like the ones I read about in the Tom Sawyer books. When am I gonna get a Huck Finn to pal around with, huh?"

And that settled that. They'd return to Castle Rock. Julian would have his friends. In a few years maybe he'd even have a wife. She'd be a lucky woman. Momma didn't raise no cheater, Julian would stick with her. Protect her. They'd raise a family together. They'd have love. They'd have each other ...............

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