Half the Battle (Short Fiction: 150 Words)

It’s not Friday, it’s not a hundred words or less, but following rules was never really my strong suit. Here is my piece for last week’s ‘Friday Fictioneers’ prompt over at Rochelle’s blog. Maybe this week I’ll try to be on time. 

B and C were tied together at the ankle, waiting impatiently for Y and Z to do the same.

“What’s in the house?” C asked, leaning on her free leg while B was rushing the other pair to hurry up.

“B told me there was treasure. Is there treasure, B?” Y asked.

“YES,” an exasperated B, “but only the smartest group gets it, and that’s gonna be me and C.”

“Yea!” Said C.

“Nuh uh,” said Y.

“You kidding? Look how long it’s taking Z to tie that knot around your legs. I bet it’s not even a real knot,” B bent down and pretended to inspect it, but he didn’t actually know what a real knot was.

Without warning, B stood back up and shouted “Go!” while pulling C behind him.

Silent Z tugged at Y’s arm, and pulled her around the outside of the maze. They reached the house first, but the only treasure they found was the sound of B and C’s arguing voices, still lost in the hedges.

Thank you for reading! Tell me what you thought in the comments below, and don’t forget to like or follow the blog. Criticism is always a gift. And don’t forget to check out the other submissions here.

Image courtesy of Melanie Greenwood

11 thoughts on “Half the Battle (Short Fiction: 150 Words)

  1. I thought going with letters rather than names worked. It kept focus on what people were doing, and cut away the notion that the characters had stuff to do which wasn’t directly part of the story.

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  2. Normally I don’t like letters for names but this seemed to work fine. For some reason it made it seem more like a puzzle than it would have had you used real names. I enjoyed reading this and it made me laugh.

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      1. Thanks KT, always appreciated.

        On the one hand, you’re right. On the other hand, you’re still right, but I was afraid four random names would be too much for such a short story. Maybe I should have just named each pair?

        Did you find yourself trying to affix a full length name to each character? Was it a little confusing trying to remember which letter was which character? Or can you tell me more about what was hard to visualize?

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      2. I think… I think the issue for me was that you see ‘A’, or ‘B’ a lot in professional advice (I use it myself) – which I associate with a functional but impersonal type of writing. Whereas a ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ and ‘Yolanda & Zypher’ seem more real, more personal to me. The other time I remember seeing it is in fiction is when there is a businessman we dont know much about, or who is shady (Mr X, Ms D) – again these characters are deliberately faceless.

        That’s not to say that you need to name every character on every story, and indeed I don’t – I’m a big user of ‘he’ or ‘she’ – so maybe I’m being hypocritical 🙂

        (Using Bonnie & Clyde would be an error of course, as it comes with a pre-generated gangster picture… unless that’s the image you want. I used the name Byron in a recent piece because I wanted the association with Lord Byron – poet, drug user, sexual – the connection was intentional.)

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      3. Ahhh, I think I understand you now, KT. The lack of names suggests a reason for a lack of names, other than my laziness/desire to not confuse the reader.

        Maybe some other time, I will write a story more appropriate for the name shortening.

        Somehow a nameless he or she doesn’t seem as impersonal as a single letter. Strange, isn’t it?

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