This was a tough Free-Range Fiction challenge for me. It came from the insatiable Chuck Wendig, since I do love his blog and his schedule for prompts fits with my goal for flash fiction and getting it out here. But only 100 words is tough when you’re trying to build emotional tension. And it’s flash — no editing, ya know? Already as I get ready to paste this, I’ve figured out a way that could have made it better. That’s exactly why we do this. To learn. To grow. To get better.
Choosing a subject was hard because I’ve been witness and victim to bullying so often. My children have suffered from it. I’ve watched my spouse get bullied at various jobs he’s had. It’s a plague on our society, truly.
If you had only 100 words to tell a profound story about bullying, what would it be? Show me in your comments if you’re daring.
Here’s my horrible attempt. At least I attempted it. I challenge you to take Chuck’s challenge, too.
The commander leaned on his desk, “You have to let your husband back into your quarters, sergeant. Army Regulation 608-99 requires you.”
“We’re separating; he broke our marriage vows,” Sgt. Hurst squirmed and swallowed hard, then breathed in deep.
“Until you have a court order, you have to take him back,” Cpt. Parker said. “You must provide for him.”
“He’s an able-bodied male, Sir…”
“Sergeant! This matter is closed. Take him back or have a court order to me.”
Between two war deployments it would take her four years, thousands of dollars, and multiple heartaches to get that court order.