Thursday, 30 January 2020

The Drabble about a Mountain

I've been reading and writing some flash fiction recently. It a very brief form of story writing, usually around 1,000 to 1,500 words long, but often much less. There's very little room for character development or scene-setting. The writer just has to get straight into the story, which is no bad thing. One particularly short version of flash fiction is known as 'drabble'. It's exactly 100 words long - no more, no less.

Below is my first attempt at this very short story format. It's actually three 'drabble' stories which work on their own, or together to tell the same story from three different points of view. See what you think...

The Mountain

Mount Yamantau, Russia, located at the southern end of the Ural mountain range

On the Mountain 
Another goat was sick now, just like the one that had died last week. Nicholai sighed, and then bolted the barn shut. He should really separate it from the others, but he had nowhere to put it, and leaving it out on such a cold night would finish it off for sure.
He grabbed his stick and headed back down to the house, his boots crunching on the thin covering of snow. The lights of Mezhgor’ye were visible in the blackness of the valley beyond. Something caught his eye and he looked up. Some slow shooting stars were heading south.

In the Mountain 
Luka watched, his stomach tightening further, as the screen showed the tracking details of yet more objects, all inbound from over the Barents Sea. “Confirmed. Three more.” He said into his mouthpiece, unable to hide his breathlessness and shakiness. The tracking of the objects was now on the big screen: a simplistic and clinical view of the attack. 
He knew that the president was here now, with his family; the announcement a minute ago that the facility was finally sealed had confirmed that. They were all safely accommodated. They would all survive. Luka knew that his own family would not.

Near the Mountain 
As soon as Mama had left Nina got out of bed and crept behind the curtains. On a clear night like this she couldn’t help looking out towards the mountain were Papa worked. He was a kind of soldier, but the kind that just sits down. Not the hero kind. That confused her. 
As always, she looked up at the stars. Tonight some of them were moving towards the mountains. Maybe Papa can catch one for me? She smiled and looked back at her bedroom door. Maybe I should tell Mama about the falling stars. The room filled with light. 

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