Flash Fiction Friday: “Park Date” by S.C. Jensen

Late again! This is my July assignment for the 12 Short Stories competition. This month, the prompt was “Cats and Dogs” at 300 words exactly. I managed to tweak this one to 300 words on the nose, but I’m not sure if it meets the requirements for a flash fiction piece. Is there enough of a conflict? Enough of a resolution? What would you like to see me do differently? Let me know in the comments!

“Park Date” by S.C. Jensen
Word count: 300
Genre: Fiction

Amy peeled a leg off the metal park bench and crossed it over her knee. A film of sweat sprang up between her thighs to lubricate the transition. How disgustingly efficient, she thought.

“Why did I agree to this?”

The trees sighed above her with thick, humid breath. She pictured stamens spewing pollen and the eager ovaries waiting to receive it. Bursting and gaping, the lurid eroticism of trees. Her nose itched.

Amy inhaled deeply and wondered if all that sweat was making her stink. She watched the people strolling through the park or, some inhuman things, actually jogging. Blonde hair, no. Green shirt, no. Girlfriend, definitely no.

Oh.

Oh no.

Short brown hair, check. Black sleeveless shirt, check. Great, slobbering ball of fur? He hadn’t mentioned that. And yet, he was slowing his pace, glancing in her direction.

“Amy?”

She thought, I never should have come here.

“That’s me.” She stood, wanting nothing more than to give her thighs a little fresh air. “You must be Brian. Who’s this?”

The furball oozed affection. And drool. Amy took a step back.

“Oh, this is Duke,” the guy smiled. It was a nice enough smile. “Don’t you like dogs?”

“I’m more of a cat person.”

“Sorry,” Brian said. He seemed earnest. “He’s not mine. I just thought—”

“Great way to meet chicks, right?”

Brian’s dark skin flushed darker. “Something like that.”

“I’m allergic,” Amy said. “Trees, too.”

Brian said, “Well, this was a bust.”

“Sorry.” Amy turned. “This was a bad idea.”

“Wait!” Duke sat at Brian’s feet and scratched behind an ear. “Let’s try again. You choose, this time.”

Amy smiled in spite of herself. “Meet me at the library, five o’clock.”

Then she left the heat, and the trees, and the dog behind her and turned toward home.

 

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4 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Friday: “Park Date” by S.C. Jensen

  1. Whoa! 300 words is not much to create a conflict and a resolution. You have them both but it feels more like the beginning of a chapter for me. What else could you do? You have the characters outlined with some hints as to their deeper personalities.

    1. I am definitely less comfortable with micro flash. Under 750 is really tough to get a solid conflict and resolution in. I think I need to bring the scope in even closer, a small decision and some thoughts around it. This probably would have been better developed as a 1000 word flash piece like my NYC Midnight Challenge piece (which I haven’t posted here, but you’ve read). 1000 words is my comfort zone with really short fiction, haha

  2. This is exactly why I have a hate on for micro-fiction. Anything less than 1500 words is simply a paragraph. Given the constraints, I think you pulled it off pretty well. Although, considering that your goal was conflict and resolution, it might have had more “bite” if the conversation held more detail than the lead-up. Good luck on the August piece. I sort of fell out after missing both May and June (and now July) so I don’t think I’ll follow it through, but I will keep monitoring your progress. You know I love your work.

    1. Thanks, Harvey! I’m going to try to get the August one done. I’m prioritizing my second Timekeepers book right now, though. So we’ll see how that goes… micro fiction is tough, but I’m hoping that practicing with this form will help me to tighten up my scene-writing in longer works.

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