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Beyond the Constellations

Flash Fiction

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#1 Offline Eyru

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Posted Oct 22 2012 - 07:01 PM

Beyond the Constellations

...She's gone....I didn't believe him at first, when he told me. It couldn't be true, couldn't be real, never in a million years. I'd only just seen her yesterday, with her long dark hair that smelled of pomegranates and her smile that took my breath away, even after all these years. I'd only just seen her yesterday....Now I'm standing beside a casket. It's closed. I think I prefer it that way; I don't want my last picture of her to be still and pale. Maybe I'm selfish, but I want my last memory of her to be the graceful, laughing girl, glowing with light and life....I stand, silent, as they pray, and then everyone breaks for refreshments and condolences. I don't; I stay next to her, hands in my pockets. She was my compass, the one I could count on to lead me in the right direction. Before I met her, I was a wanderer; now I feel totally lost again. The square of carpet by her side is the only stable ground....There's a box in my right pocket, a box with a ring inside. I'd wanted to tether myself to her, to make her my permanent north star. But the sky is smothered in clouds now. She's gone in a direction I can't; she's gone beyond the constellations while I'm stuck in the atmosphere....I wish I could have talked to her one last time; I feel as though she would have given me a last piece of wisdom, because it's not fair that she would leave without saying goodbye. Why didn't she get any last words? I have the dumbest feeling that she would have known somehow that she was leaving, and told me the secret to life, told me how to go one without her, because now it seems like I've been given a map only to have it ripped out of my hands; I've been shown a path only to have it vanish from beneath my feet, leaving me stranded in a strange and unfamiliar wilderness....Now I guess it's up to me to find my own path, without a compass or a map or anything I thought would guide me. I have to keep moving; I can't stay: the only thing that's keeping me going even now is the hope that, if I go far enough, for long enough, our paths will cross once more. Someday, in a place far from this musty church, the clouds will break and stars come out, and I'll find my way again.***When I took a creative writing class, one of the activities we would often be assigned was to write a story in ten minutes. We'd be given a first line or a last line, or sometimes just a theme, and then told to fill in the blanks. The class is long over, but I often write like this; I find the pressure of a time limit forces me to disengage my filter and write honestly.So, yes, I wrote most of this story in fifteen minutes. After realizing it would be a perfect fit for the Fortnightly Flash Fiction Contest, I edited it and touched it up to make it more presentable, but the bulk of it was written within a time limit.All comments and criticisms are very much appreciated (I don't get nearly enough criticism for my work XD). But even if you choose not to comment, thank you for reading. :e:

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#2 Offline Velox

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Posted Feb 22 2013 - 02:20 AM

Hey there, I'm here from the SSCC with a Charity Review. If you don't know how they work, they're basically just free reviews to keep us "in reviewing shape" since we don't get all that many requests, and stories don't get nearly as many replies as they should, so we're trying to fix that. So, with that out of the way... I liked this piece. It was definitely very short but, obviously, it's flash fiction, so that's totally fine. And overall the story really worked--great emotions, good descriptions, etc. However, you asked for criticism so I'm going to try and point out everything I can (though really there's not much, and the couple things that I will point out are really just minor things).  Reading through this story I almost felt like it'd be better as a poem. Obviously a lot of things would have to be re-worked and cut out most-likely, but all the metaphors were just really poetic. Which isn't a bad thing, I just felt that a few times it did go a little overboard. And honestly it's hard for me to pinpoint which ones exactly or where exactly I felt like this, because the metaphors were all very good. But all of them together was just slightly much. Perhaps part of it is simply because of the shortness of this story--as it's a flash fiction piece, you really don't get much background/characterization. So when you say things like "wanderer" and how he needs a map (or rather needs to find his way without a metaphorical map) or whatnot, they just stand out. I actually somewhat got the impression that this guy could be a captain of a ship or something, with the compass and map and stars. Yet even if that was the case, still out of place, as it reminded me of a Jack Sparrow-esque captain whereas the story seems very modern. I realize I'm kind of starting to ramble here so, basically: some of the metaphors--while great--seem to go against the setting of the story. I think the compass one is great and works, but then when you started mentioning all the others it was just a little much.  But overall it was definitely a very moving and emotional piece, and you accomplished that with very little word-count; well done. I definitely enjoyed this story, and I look forward to reading more by you.  And lastly, the grammar was, as far as I could tell, spotless except for this one thing:  
I stand, silent, as they pray, and then everyone breaks for refreshments and condolences.
 I don't think the comma after "silent" is necessary--"stand, silent as they..."Posted Image

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