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Fragmented Bonds

flash fiction

By Jazzy Published 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 1 min read
Top Story - May 2024
Fragmented Bonds
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

**Hi! I would love some feedback on this flash fiction please: I will be rewriting and submitting using your suggestions on 5/3**

“Lock, lock, lock.” I counted the locks on my front door out loud as I checked for the third time that night to see if they were, in fact, locked. My little white terrier, prancing beside me, finally made it to the warm bed. I was ready for sleep, to escape the reality of the day. As I closed my eyes and felt my body finally relax, I heard small “clinks” against the window pane in my room. I thought I was imagining it momentarily, so I closed my eyes tighter and breathed deeply. I heard another “clink”. Henry, my terrier, was also alert. I walked over to the window and peered out to see my now ex-boyfriend standing there. He gestured to me to open the door. My heart leaped as I thought he had figured out he made a mistake and was coming back for me. I ran to the door and unfastened the locks. He was standing there smiling ruefully. “Uhh, Henry is my dog.” He said simply as Henry ran out the door to greet him. I wanted to protest, but he was already walking away. All that was left to do was lock the doors, “lock, lock, lock,” I counted as I cried.

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Head of the Jazzy Writers Association (JWA) in partnership with the Vocal HWA chapter.

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Comments (20)

  • angela hepworth23 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story! Really loved this one.

  • Belle24 days ago

    Amazing use of flash fiction! Absolutely merciless that guy! Congrats on Top Story ❤️

  • Mark Graham24 days ago

    I like any type of dog story for I am a dog owner. Good work and congratulations on Top Story.

  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    Congratulations on TS. I loved your story and was sorry for the ending. I agree with one commenter who said to put more detail ❣️

  • Esala Gunathilakeabout a month ago

    Congratulations on your top story.

  • Sid Aaron Hirji2 months ago

    Rather have the dog than ex partner. It should be continued

  • Harbor Benassa2 months ago

    Great premise here! I think the story could be built out more so that the ending is more impactful, like describing the dog’s nails on the floor or his stinky but lovable breath. The little details are what draw the reader in and illustrate the connection between the main character and the dog. I would also suggest turning the main character’s belief that her ex is coming back for her into dialogue instead of telling us that’s what she’s thinking. Expanding the conversation at the door to create tension will give the ending more payoff.

  • L.C. Schäfer2 months ago

    Oh that would hurt more than the fella leaving 😭

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Brin J.2 months ago

    Gutted. Points to leaving me with a gaping hole in my chest.🤣 Only one thing kind of took me out of the story, but not in a major way! It wasn't like I fixated on it or cringed at. It was here: "I thought I was imagining it momentarily, so I closed my eyes tighter and breathed deeply. I heard another “clink”." There's a lot of "I" being used, and so when I read "I heard another "clink"." I caught myself replacing "I heard" with "Then". So it read "Then, another "clink"." I think it was the overuse of "I". My brain did it on its own, and I had to go back and be like, "no, she didn't use "then"." Anyway, like I said, it's nothing major. And idk if I helped or confused you.😅 I just wanted to share what came naturally to my mind as I read that line. Everything else was spot on!

  • Kendall Defoe 2 months ago

    Not too bad at all. Very Raymond Carverish work!

  • Dana Crandell2 months ago

    Oh, that was cold! You've already received some good feedback, so I'll add only one comment, on dialog punctuation: According to the elements of style that I follow: “Uhh, Henry is my dog.” He said simply... would be better written as . “Uhh, Henry is my dog,” he said simply... As you've written it, the second half becomes a sentence fragment with no subject. I do love the story and want to murder her ex. (By the way, I've edited this comment twice now. I really need to lern to type one day.)

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Oh!!!! Never, never open the door to an ex!!! Fabulously written and you packed so much in so few words!!! Love it!!! Congratulations on Top Story too!!!❤️❤️💕

  • Christy Munson2 months ago

    I enjoyed your microfiction. 🥳 Congratulations on Top Story! You've requested feedback, so allow me to offer a few thoughts. First, edit! Be relentless when choosing words for microfictions. Second, use present tense. The action happens now. Bring your readers into that intensity. Third, show, don't tell. What words can be exchanged to show me how the narrator feels and acts. Always remember, the microfiction is your writing, so only ever take advice that resonates with you. That said, here are ideas for how to make some of the changes I'd recommend, if you're inclined: To follow onto Colleen's edit: "He stood there smiling ruefully." I'd offer that the terms "there" could be deleted and "ruefully" could substituted with words that show rather than tell. "He was standing there smiling ruefully" would read something like, "He smiles, avoiding eye contact, kicking at the dirt with the Nikes I bought him." Again, just a thought. Here's another example. You write, "I thought he had figured out he made a mistake and was coming back for me". Instead of telling us what your narrator thought, show us with how it makes her feel and react. "I rush to the door, throw open the locks, and meet him where he stands. I knew it! He wants me back!" Then show the reader what happens to crush this hopeful moment. Last thought, while I understand and appreciate what your use of "lock," you might choose words to, for instance, show the count (e.g., one, two, three or even five, six, seven to show how many twists), or show the impact (open, close, open, close) or the weight (yes, no, yes, no), or the hurt (hate you, love you, hate you). Only you know what vibe you want "lock" to represent. Maybe "lock" is exactly right - if so, keep it!! If not, maybe find your own way to get to the word choice that makes that moment its most impactful. Hope my observations help. Thanks for requesting feedback! Again, great microfiction and congratulations on Top Story! 🤩

  • Colleen Flanagan2 months ago

    Have written flash fiction in the past with fellow authors in a critique group exercise. Making every word count is crucial to hooking the reader. Please consider using less "was" and more action verbs, e.g.: "He was standing there smiling ruefully." becomes "He stood there smiling ruefully." Other than that, it was an interesting read. Thank you for sharing your work!

  • Kenny Penn2 months ago

    Wow, this was really good Jazzy. For a split second I thought it was going to be a horror story when she saw him in the window. What a douchebag! Ok critique: Plot and story flow A+++, really excellent. Micro fictions should tell a story on their own and you nailed it. Even a micro like this should have some separation into small, “paragraphs”. It gives the reader a chance to digest one piece before moving onto the next. Plus it might give you a chance to cut words out if you’re working toward a specific word count.

  • S. A. Crawford2 months ago

    Oh, I didn't expect that ending - that's so sad 😭 but also well done for giving us so much information in so few words. It's really subtle and gracefully done!

  • That's the saddest part of breakups. We can no longer see their pets 🥺🥺

  • Well, that ended much less gruesomely than the opening fixation on locks led me to believe. As far as feedback, my number one recommendation is to use line breaks as often as possible. New dialog is a natural place and is also an accepted standard. Any time a new idea is introduced or the tone shifts. You can even use line breaks for emphasis (in poetry this is known as enjambment). In this day and age of limited time spans, a massive block of text can intimidate or turn readers off. This is doubly true for online platforms like Vocal where distraction is only a click away, but even in print. Read how Poe wrote in 1840 versus how King writes today. Styles will vary between authors, but the modern reader has far less tolerance for unnecessary detail. Which I'm not saying this story has, but that's what a thick paragraph evokes. It's all about presenting your ideas in the format most likely to attract the readers' eye so your ideas have the chance to take hold and keep them reading. (And look! I'm using line breaks even in my comment to make it more digestible and attractive the eye 🤙)

  • Mark Gagnon2 months ago

    Looks like he came back for a clean sweap.

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