100-Word Challenge: That Unexpected Spark

100 Word Challenge for Grown-Ups

It’s week 43 for the 100-Word Challenge for Grown-Ups (100WCGU)! The prompt this week is:

“…The flame flickered before…”

I wrote this one quickly – on my 20-minute morning train – but I quite like it. Usually, I fret over the words much more than I did with this one. I don’t know if that means I’m getting better at writing these, or if I “hear” the voices of my Songbirds so much more clearly than the voices of other characters, or if the prompt just worked out right for me, this week. Whatever the reason, I hope you enjoy!

“That Unexpected Spark”

Flame Kiss by Martin Eftimov, fractalsandwords.blogspot.com

Flame Kiss, by Martin Eftimov

She didn’t know when it happened, only that it wouldn’t let her go.

Perhaps, it had begun in the old DVD store, when she’d first seen his lopsided smile. Or in the library, when he’d sat beside her, listening to a history of angels. Or in that moment of desperate terror, when she’d thought everything hopeless…and then felt his arms surround her.

Or, perhaps, it happened the first time she kissed him: an unexpected spark of feeling for a friend who could be something more.

The flame flickered before, but that kiss had made it flare.

Sally wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Other writers I follow always seem to be able to do so much more with those 100 words than I can do. I suppose it’s just my style, that I tell things slowly? Regardless, I enjoy these challenges, and I look forward to more. (I just wish I could write like other people, sometimes.)

How did you interpret the idea of a flickering flame?


10 thoughts on “100-Word Challenge: That Unexpected Spark

  1. Lovely glimpse into how love forms and blossoms!

    As for the 100 word limit – first of all, this is a beautifully told story! Second, my stories generally start with a first draft about twice as long as the limit. That makes me go back and reconsider just how many phrases (you can’t trim a story by half just by cutting single words) aren’t essential for the effect I want to create. Often, I have to slice out whole sentences, and it’s painful.

    My mind prefers to work at novel-length, but even novels are improved by avoiding bloat, so I consider these challenges really helpful as writing exercises. (And after all that, let me repeat that almost everything in your story is earning its place!)


    • Thanks, newpillowbook. πŸ™‚

      It often takes me a bunch of editing to make even a tiny vignette like this fit the constraints of the challenge. I’ve also found that these are helping me write longer pieces, as well.

      Good luck with your projects! πŸ™‚


  2. Well, I think your piece is splendid. I like your lead-up, the anticipation, the deep thoughts of one obviously pivotal moment.

    I find it hard to write solid, substantial material in a matter of 2 days (which is the amount of time I have to read the prompt, think about it, scrawl something, then submit it to LB in time for Friday am). There are several I wrote that resonate with me now and again and I know if I went back to them I could really improve on them.

    Regardless, I like to think these challenges aren’t so much about the quality of the product but that we’re thinking creatively, and challenging ourselves to write something we normally wouldn’t.


    • Oh, my gosh, I know! I have an albeit artificial deadline of Wednesday morning for those 100-word challenges. I find that, if I don’t get “hit” by inspiration by that Tuesday morning, I should just leave it go. I’m always very impressed by your ability to write poetry of any kind in that amount of time!

      Sometimes, it’s better just to let pieces go as they are. Too much finagling will just make me tear my hair out. πŸ˜€

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. πŸ™‚


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