Friday Fictioneers – The Mouse

view-from-the-plane

 

My family called me the mouse. Doctors appointments made me tremble, swimming lessons terrified me and school constricted my stomach, pushing it up until it stuck in my throat.

Loving you took no courage at all. Losing you nearly broke me.

I stood looking at the ‘X’ below. ‘Are you ready?’ asked the instructor. I turned and nodded at the group behind me. Our Cancer Research t-shirts cloaked our fear.

I jump. I imagine myself flying into your arms, touching your face and kissing your lips one last time. I pull my harness and float towards the ground.

I am fearless.

 

 

I would appreciate a more experienced writer letting me know whether switching from past to present tense in a story as short as this works or whether I should have stuck to past all the way through.  thank you 🙂

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 word story inspired by a photo prompt.

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73 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – The Mouse

  1. Dear FF,

    You have written a novel in a hundred worlds. Layer upon layer, I feel I know your MC and her story. A beautiful story of overcoming and the power of love.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

  2. I think you’ve gone from past to present beautifully. No excess words. I could see your MC thinking as she stood at the door of the plane. Scenes flashing before her as the wind blows in her face. Then, the noise of the plane kicks in and she jumps. Once again, there is silence as she floats towards the ground. Wonderful!

  3. Great story! I especially liked this line: “Doctors appointments made me tremble, swimming lessons terrified me and school constricted my stomach, pushing it up until it stuck in my throat.” I think all readers can identify with the stomach in the throat feeling. Great job!

  4. Nicely done. You asked about the switch in tenses. I think the story works well enough as it is, but I’d probably have put the whole thing in the present tense anyway. I think the bit “Loving you took no courage at all. Losing you has nearly broken me” seems more powerful than two past tenses.
    I’m not sure what is gained from the switch in tenses, but certainly I didn’t feel there was anything wrong with it. Well done.

    • Thanks Sandra. I appreciate your advice. I started in past but then wanted to experience the jump as it happened. When I read back I decided to leave it as it was and see what the response was. I am constantly trying to learn.

  5. Definitely a lot crammed into your 100 words. Thought for a moment this was a jump without a parachute, but that only goes to show I’ve been reading FF for too long 🙂

  6. Sandra might be right about all in present tense, though it looks great as is. Superbly crafted. I didn’t want to think of her triumphally fearless, but don’t think she was. Rochelle also right, this is a 100 word novel.

  7. Sometimes fate forces us to face those things we fear the most. The strongest of us become fearless in the face of that fate. A neatly woven tale.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

  8. Lovely story! In my opinion the tense switch worked.
    I must admit, after hearing her heart had been broken I was holding my breath until she pulled the rip-cord!

  9. Good story. I did have a little trouble with the line “I jump.” I thought wait, I jump, no, he meant “I jumped” but then I thought, wow, he is jumping. it is now, in the present. And I was with him in the present. So, it still worked fine for me.
    Sandra’s comments also work fine for me, too.
    Randy

  10. Oh the glorious power of love 🙂 Great piece.
    I agree with Sandra. The tense works as is – present tense might be more powerful. That’s the fun part about writing … playing around with it all 🙂
    Ellespeth

  11. It’s amazing how events can make people so powerful, when they never thought they were. I think your story really shows that. 🙂

    Chris

  12. Dear Fabricator,

    This remains one of the best I’ve read this week and I’ve read almost all of the stories. Evocative of loss and the relentless tumble into the unknown that is life. Thank you for writing this. As to the tense change…it passed unnoticed against the backdrop of your beautiful story.

    Aloha,

    Doug

  13. Accepted wisdom is that it’s better to stick to a single tense – unless you have justification for doing otherwise. And I think here you do have justification – the switch in tense echoes and underlines the change from past timidity to present fearlessness on the part of the narrator. So, I think how you handled the piece works really well.

  14. I loved your description of the mouse version of your narrator. The tense switching worked really well – describing what had gone before, then flicking the reader into being there with the narrator in the plane and ready to jump. The love and loss comes across really strongly too. A great piece.

  15. Not a more experienced writer but the shift in tenses worked for me. On first reading, I didn’t notice it but, subliminally, it seemed to make the piece more powerful. Thanks for sharing.

Constructive criticism appreciated

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