A memory of metal

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Jan Wayne Fields

Another 100 Word Flash Fiction Challenge. A quick heads-up: its pretty bleak.

So strap in!


He remembers bargaining.

“John, we’re not staying for dinner, we’re not staying at all. We’re going to mothers.”

He remembers pleading.

“It’s no use, its over. We’re moving on, John. You need to do the same.”

He remembers threatening.

“This! This is why we can’t stay John! You cling too close. Sometimes you frighten me. Frighten us.”

Then… he doesn’t remember.

“John, what do you have th… No! John, put it down. John, don’t do this! NO!”

After, he remembers sounds; a ringing in his ears; a buzzing kitchen alarm; a soft dripping; sirens.

He remembers the taste of metal.


Word Count: 100

Ok, here we are again at the Friday Fictioneers challenge by Rochelle, and this one… well this one disturbed me a bit. (My story disturbed me, not the photo which is lovely and has a melancholy feel to it).  As a result, it is the first one I have ‘hidden’ behinds the click through – normally I put the story first and this discussion afterwards.

I… I’m not entirely sure why.

I write bleak, dark stuff all the time; human sacrifices, a serial killer, sinister pile of leaves… even a previous story on spousal murder. Why hide this one?

I cant really answer that, except that this one seemed a little too close, a tad more emotional than I normally, write. Is it?  I don’t know (you tell me!), I’m not a good judge I guess.

Let me know what you think. Have I overreacted? Is it any good?  Always interested in your thoughts, positive or negative.

Cheers

KT

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42 thoughts on “A memory of metal

    1. Hi Lynda

      My intent when writing was to imply a gun without expressly saying that one was used. I *hoped* I gave an image John had done some terrible violence to his family, using the unmentioned gun (the ringing in the ears is after the bullets are fired, the dripping of blood etc).

      The taste of the metal was intended to show John’s answer to these awful memories – taking his own life, by placing the gun in his mouth (tasting the metal).

      Whether I achieved my intent is another thing altogether!

      Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂
      Cheers
      KT

      Like

      1. Oh no, you were right – he had killed her, he was then turning the gun on himself in remorse.

        Then again, once a story is written, every reader takes something different from it (see Doug’s comment about the metal being a ‘biting on foil’ unpleasantness – not something I considered, but I really like the image).

        Thanks for reading and for commenting 🙂

        Cheers
        KT

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Dear KT,

    The entire piece conveyed the despair and disassociation of a disturbed mind. You pulled this of with a deft touch. For me the ‘taste of metal’ was the feel one gets from biting gown hard on tinfoil. All together a wonderful piece of writing. i wouldn’t worry about writing disclaimers about bleakness. Life is bleak. Life is grand. I love that you write life so well.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Doug, I appreciate the comment – Im particularly happy you used the word ‘dissociation’ – I was trying to convey and element of John’s ‘distance’ after this event.

      Cheers
      KT

      Like

  2. Very nicely handled. I read through this twice. I liked the pleading, bargaining, threatening and the subsequent confusion and despair. I took the ‘taste of metal’ to be his terrible remorse and regret, the way one sometimes gets a sour taste in the mouth over unhappiness – but, yes, I see the suicide clearly. You conveyed a lot in 100 words and in an understated way that made it all the more dramatic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Howdy – well I when i wrote it i intended it to benhe killed her then went to committ suicide (we are at the moment of putting the gun in his mouth)… But im loving the different intetpretations too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Allison, this weeks pic certainly has a brooding, latent drama. Thanks for the kind words – I’m very happy with it.

      100 words is *really* limited & getting a piece with some meaning + beginning/middle/end is tough. It’s great practice in word efficiency and delivering meaning concisely.
      Cheers
      KT

      Like

    1. Hi Bjorn, thanks for reading and for the comment 🙂
      For some reason I found this in my spam folder. I think you might have been temporarily banished by my 1 year old daughter’s grabbing at my iphone!
      Cheers
      KT

      Like

  3. A rather disturbing story, but extremely well written. I liked the one sided conversation, the remembering, then blocking out the things he did not want to remember. I think the style with which you presented the story was what I liked best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Russell – I’m glad you liked the style. I originally drafted it as a conversation, but it was too long & a weaker story overall. Im proud of the structure despite its (apparent) ambiguity 🙂
      Cheers
      KT

      Like

  4. Dear KT,

    I agree with Doug about the disclaimers. You really don’t need them.

    Your story is as effective as it is disturbing. It put me in mind of the movie Spider with Raph Fiennes who plays a very disturbed young man who has blanks in his memory.

    The ambiguity in your story heightens the effect. Next time, no disclaimers. Let the story stand on its own. This one most certainly does.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think when you feel moved to push the boat out, you should. Don’t over-analyse it, don’t apologise, don’t explain. If I repeat this often enough I might even come to do that myself. 🙂 I thought this was very powerful. I didn’t understand the taste of metal thing because he was still alive to write it, and I wondered whether there should be a last line about shame, the sense of cowardice or chickening out. But that’s just me. Well done! Excellent in fact. (Thanks for the tweet thingy – it was you, wasn’t it?)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I too missed the murder -s suicide the first read. On the second. Yeah, it was there. Sometimes dark is there because darkness is in this world. I hope it is more of your “writing world” than your “real world”. Enjoy reading your stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Roger – I would like to assure you that this is strictly imagination! I have never been touched personally by anything this dark… and I hope I never am.

      Thanks for reading!
      Cheers
      JT

      Like

  7. KT, never apologize for your writing, for your inspiration. Some will “get it” and/or like it, others wont, but it’s yours. I followed it, but the metal at the end, through me off. The one sided back and forth dialogue really captured the trauma of such a violent incident, but given that he is talking, the tasting metal pulled me out of the chaotic dialogue… the building of tension, as I questioned whether he was still alive, or all of it was a dream, etc… I also associate a metal taste with blood– had he bitten his tongue, etc. So, that would be my only issue, that last bit pulled me out of the story. Otherwise, tautly written and powerful. Nice job!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you – for reading and the detailed comment 🙂

      I think the metal threw quiet a few people off, and I think If I ever revisit this story I might consider a different sentence…

      Still, this one seems to have resonated, so I’m very happy with it!

      Cheers
      KT

      Liked by 1 person

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