Flash Fiction Friday: The Runaway

Hello Readers, Writers, and Friends,

Welcome back to another flash fiction Friday. Every week I take a couple of writing prompts and do a short piece of improvised fiction with no editing. Spellcheck is the only reason it’s even remotely readable. Which I hope is an excellent reminder to all my writing friends that everyone needs an editor. Nothing ever manifests in its most excellent, most readable form the first time around. We all need someone else’s eyes to pick out our blind spots and our comma splices. If you know good editors, people who give good feedback, take a moment and thank them. They are the reason we all don’t publish junk.

And today’s prompts are juicy. I have no idea if I’ll be able to produce something up to snuff, but man these are good ones. I really hope, even you’ve only been a reader before, that you will give yourself permission to take these prompts and do your own kind of no net writing. See where these ones take you. And let us know in the comments how it went, or where we can find your stuff.

Today’s prompts are: runaway, the story of the scar

The autumnal mug season is upon us in the northern hemisphere. This display had me wondering if I had enough room at home for one of each.

Kara’s sneakers pounded the pavement, each foot fall echoing off the empty warehouse walls.

Three years.

That’s how long those sneaker shad been one step ahead of him. She hadn’t thought he would catch up to her, not really. She thought that putting him in the hospital and disappearing would be enough to keep her safe. She thought hundreds of miles and a new city could hide her.

She’d found a decent place to squat in the old offices located above a factory floor that hadn’t created a thing in decades. The closed off nature of the offices meant they were dry. Ish. And that she could bolt the door at night. She’d learned how to scrounge and scrape and piece together just enough of a life until she was old enough for a job that paid in cash not a meal and too many questions about who she was and where she was from.

The winter that year though. The winter had stolen all her baby fat and left her shaking too badly to fill out a resume. So she’d caved. After three years of making it, avoiding the dealers and pimps, waiting for her birthday to make her social security number viable, she went to the back door of a men’s club. She’d hoped to get a night or two of bussing tables and dealing with lurid looks, but when the back door opened, she knew she’d made a fatal mistake.

She knew that face, that scar. It ran down his face, puckered and red. It hadn’t healed right. It pulled his lip into a permeant sneer and squinted his eye. He’d known her too, and his hand had gone straight for her throat. It was that night all over again.

He still smelled like booze and cruelty. Panic took her, like it had three years ago.

Then she’d had the lamp, the one he’d knocked over and smashed as she struggled.

Now she was weak with hunger and cold, but a street smart girl doesn’t walk around unprotected. Even has his hand started cutting off her airway the rag wrapped piece of sheet metal she kept up her sleeve went into his arm.

Fueled on nothing but adrenaline Kara kicked her step-father’s left kneecap hard enough that it popped. And then she ran.

She didn’t look back, she didn’t stop.

The sound of her door closing and bolting behind her dismissed the rush, and she sagged into her pile of blankets. She couldn’t feel the cold. She didn’t hear the constant drip of the melting snow plinking through the smashed windows in the warehouse below.

She knew she would have to run again. She couldn’t stay now that he knew she was here in the city.

But she couldn’t think about that just now. As the shaking took over all she could see was her step father’s face marked forever by the scar she’d made.

That was fun. Sorry if it was a little dark for anyone’s taste, but is the All Hallow’s season. I think letting your atmosphere act as an extra prompt can give you great setting and tone fodder. And the prompts lent themselves to it. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you’ll do some writing of your own.

~Anika

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