Short Stories & Flash Fiction
Comments 51

An Unusual Formation


PHOTO PROMPT – © Copyright Marie Gail Stratford

“So tell me what we’re looking at?” asked Amelia, clipboard and pen at the ready as her wife Grace stepped past, black cocktail dress hidden beneath the newly acquired lab coat. Behind them, the night staff of St. Gregory’s clustered around the yellow tape marking off the far corner of the hospital car park.

Amelia sighed, they’d been having such a lovely date night.

“Well it’s not man-made,” said Grace, crouched down in front of the mess of crystal implanted in the tarmac. “It looks like it grew here.”

“Grew?” repeated Amelia.

“Yeah,” frowned Grace. “It looks familar, almost like——-


“It’s representative, not literal,” shrugged Noah, arms folded, watching the journalists clustered around his newest exhibition. “The idea just came to be, like a bolt of lightening on a clear day,” he smirked.

“Or a meteor at three o’clock in the morning,” snorted Poppy, his daughter. Tucked away towards the back of the exhibition she was out of earshot.

“I wanted to examine the complex, nature of human life, fractures yet still one whole.”

“You’re first words were awesome… it’s so shiny.”

“I really poured myself into this piece. Blood sweat and tears.”

“You had me dig it out.”


Now I’m really hoping that I’m not going to get in trouble for posting two responses to this prompt, but I really wasn’t sure about the first and the second sort of just popped up immediately after. I also wanted to use the same title for both pieces and it makes life less confusing if there aren’t multiple posts on a blog by the same title I find.

If you want to join in the Friday Fictioneers madness then just click on the badge above and it will zip you strait to the lovely Rochelle Wisoff’s site where you can find all the nitty-gritty. Tally ho bloggers!  [Clearly I’m in quite an excitable mood, blame the very large mug of tea I just downed.]

This entry was posted in: Short Stories & Flash Fiction


Carol J Forrester is a writer and a history geek. Her debut collection 'It's All In The Blood' came out November 2019. She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University, enjoys judo at least twice a week, and tries to attend poetry events around the Midlands when she can. Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry. Her poems ‘Sunsets’ and ‘Clear Out‘ were featured on Eyes Plus Words, and two of her poems were included in the DVerse Poets Pub Publication ‘Chiaroscuro’ which is available for purchase on amazon.Her poem ‘Until The Light Gets In‘ was accepted and published at The Drabble and her poem ‘Newborn’ was published by Ink Sweat & Tears. She has been lucky enough to write guest posts for sites such as Inky Tavern and Song of The Forlorn and has hosted a number of guest bloggers on her site Writing and Works.


  1. Dear Carol,

    I’ve heard that originality is merely the art of concealing your source. 😉 It sounds like Poppy’s going to blow that for her dad.



  2. Hi Carol, I liked the second one more – Poppy’s unheard responses were witty and you get a real sense of her.

    The first one… I don’t know, it just seemed to hang a little *too* unfinished for my tastes.


    • I thought the same about the first one when I wrote it as well, but I was interested to see what readers would think. I’ll admit I much prefer the outcome of the second, and the creation of Poppy. She was wonderfully fun to write.

      Thank you for the feedback.

    • I’m with Bilbo. Didn’t feel there was enough of a story/hook. I’m happy with open-ended but for me there wasn’t even enough to leave you wondering. Needed something else.

  3. Shafia says

    Hello! I really like your blog and therefore have nominated you for the versatile blogger award! Please look through my blog for more information. Cheers 🙂

  4. Shafia says

    Hello! I really like your blog and therefore have nominated you for the versatile blogger award! Please look through my blog for more information. Cheers 🙂

  5. I really like the first one – there’s so much going on – the two women, the date, the thing on the tarmac, and what the hell is it?

    • Well we might just find out if I do re-post this as a more fleshed out piece. The audience seems pretty split on if they like how open it is or not, which is fabulously interesting for me. It’s great to be getting such targeted feedback. Thanks for commenting.

  6. I think the first one has such a great rhythm, I was hooked from the get go. Just wish you finished that last line. With anything.
    The second one was very entertaining, I keep imagining Poppy delivering these great lines. What a character!

  7. I’m glad you told both stories, Carol. These are two fun takes on my photo. I’m thoroughly enjoying the many different tales this shot is inspiring. Thanks!

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    • No, thank you for the photo. It’s wonderful that you opened it up for us all to use and I’m glad it’s bringing you such entertainment to see what we’re writing.

    • Hi Marie,
      I just thought that I should check with you to see if it was okay if I used your photo again for the expanded version of An Unusual Formation. I’ve included also the usual bump underneath and linked it to your blog. Let me know if there’s any problems and I’ll take it down immediately.

      • Thanks for checking with me on this, Carol. Yes, feel free to use it. Please keep the copyright line on it any time you wish to use it, and if you use it off your blog, please add the line “Used by permission.”

  8. Having a daughter in art school, I got a good laugh out of the second story. (BTW, “earshot” is one word.) I don’t mind the openendness of the first one at all. It lets our imagination run wild.


    • There seems to be a fifty-fifty split on the first. It seems I also could of had an extra word in the second, thanks for pointing out my typo.
      I’m glad you got a good laugh, that is definitely the response I wanted with Poppy and her father.

  9. gahlearner says

    I love open endings, so I liked the first one very much. The second one was great, too, though, with the daughter’s replies. I like it when the readers are challenged to continue with the stories any way they want.

  10. I like them both, but actually had and easier time reading the first. I got lost a bit in the dialogue – who was saying what. Maybe it’s just too early.

  11. I really like both of these responses. I don’t mind the open ending of the first one, though I would have liked there to be a little more too it, and I love the character of Poppy in the second. Well done. 🙂

  12. Both entries were great! I don’t know which one I like better, because both were so enjoyable and left me wanting more.

  13. I was rather intrigued by the first one and it left me wondering. Like almost everyone else, I loved Poppy and her role in the second story.

  14. Lots of tension in the first story (but don’t tell us Grace is her wife, let the text reveal that) and the second was great fun. I thought smirked is a good word to use – artists can be so pretentious at times when describing their work.

  15. I also preferred the first story, although both were well done. Good description That was a real cliffhanger. 🙂 — Suzanne

Please take the time to tell me what you think, I love receiving feedback. :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.