Ad Hoc Entry- Private Arrangement

Here is another unsuccessful entry to last week’s Ad Hoc competition. Would love any feedback on this.

I’ve been a bit quiet of late as just so busy with work, life etc.  It’s so hard to find the time to write anything more substantial than flash fictions and easy to feel despondent.  When life pressures build up I find my thinking time for writing becomes squeezed more than I would like.  Hoping to redress the balance at some point soon.

The women that came to her all had one thing in common. Other than that, she knew little about them. She didn’t ask, they didn’t volunteer.

They would telephone, asking for Rose. She would make an appointment, take payment. The arrangement was simple. She never advertised. Her reputation preceded her. She never saw the same woman twice- there was no need.

When they came in and revealed their faces, they all wore the same desperate expression. They left calmer, lighter, happy.

There was only one she couldn’t help. She came back under a different name a few months later.

‘It didn’t work,’ she said simply.

‘I’m sorry.’

She stood in silence for a few moments. Then she took out a long knife from under her robe and raised it up to her neck.

‘Wait! Wait. You don’t have to do that. You can work for me. I need an assistant.’


8 thoughts on “Ad Hoc Entry- Private Arrangement

  1. I like this. I’m a big fan of short, simple sentences – particularly in flash fiction – as it makes a story feel lean and stripped down. The ending is good as it gives a sense of completeness while still leaving the reader wondering. Not really anything I can suggest to improve it – I might be tempted to remove the “she said simply” so that none of the dialogue is attributed but that’s a personal preference and it certainly isn’t anything problematic. Solid bit of flash fiction I reckon – nicely done.

    As an aside I can completely relate to feeling despondent because life is getting in the way of writing – I’ve been battling with it myself. Try not to be too hard on yourself and write when you get the chance – putting pressure on an already busy life and beating yourself up will just make it harder. Be positive about the fact that you’re still putting flash fiction out there, have added a blog post and so on – it all counts. That’s what is starting to work for me so I hope it’s of benefit. Hang in there 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Nik for your kind comments.
      I think flash fictions are good for me in a way as I know I have a tendency to over write and there’s no room for that in these pieces! I find it hard to take the same approach when there is no word limit but clearly that’s something to work on. Will carry on snatching a few minutes writing time here and there where I can!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like this – so short, yet very sinister and intriguing. I am now going to spend all night wondering what is was Rose did for the women, and what it was about the woman holding the knife to her neck.


  3. Great piece. If it wasn’t accepted, it was probably a matter of personal preference on behalf of whoever was doing the selecting. Some people get turned off by a bit of mystery and go crazy if you don’t tie everything up and put a bow on it for them.

    As for feeling despondent, don’t do that. I know sometimes feelings and emotions get away from us and that we aren’t always in control of stress or anxiety, but to whatever extent that you can, take a deep breath and clear your head. Take the dog for a walk. Go for a run. Those are my go-tos. When I feel rushed and I’m glancing at the ticking clock every few words, it never feels very rewarding creatively. At some points, I’ve done what you did with this story. Set out to make a really great couple of sentences that you will have time to do justice to.

    Good luck! I hope life gets easier and less stressful for you!


  4. Thanks for commenting and visiting my blog! The Ad Hoc competition is down to the public vote, so there is just one winning entry out of the 50-60 entries which are up on the site to be read each week. I keep entering though, you never know what may take people’s fancy and it’s something to keep me motivated.


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