Flash Fiction – Party for one



I hold my breath as I hear the whistling approach of the postman, exhaling as he passes my door. Nothing for me today.

I unscrew the whisky, although it is not yet ten o clock, and lie to myself that I will only drink a drop. It’s not as if I have any plans. Besides, this bottle is the only thing I have to open today.

I chink ice cubes into a crystal glass – it’s my birthday after all – and wait for the warm bloom of alcohol to flush the loneliness away.

I check my silent phone. Thirty Facebook friends hope I have an awesome day.

So why am I alone?


Written for Friday Fictioneers. A 100 word story inspired by a photo prompt. Read the other entries here.

My inspiration for this weeks story came from the drops of water. I immediately thought of intending to drink ‘just a drop’, but finishing the bottle. I do find it sad that often people no longer send birthday cards or pick up the phone, instead relying on social media to get a message across. Do we really know how are family and friends are feeling right now, behind their status updates?



44 thoughts on “Flash Fiction – Party for one

  1. I love this line: “Besides, this bottle is the only thing I have to open today.” The narrator has to open the bottle in the absence of cards and present which presumable she’d have wanted to open… You captured the conundrum of the social media age really well in the last two lines.

    One small thing about the second paragraph, I hope you don’t mind me pointing it out. The full stop after the first sentence confused me a bit. I think it would work better as one single sentence with em dashes, like this:
    I chink ice cubes into a crystal glass – it’s my birthday after all – and wait for the warm bloom of alcohol to flush the loneliness away.

  2. Depressing, but undoubtedly realistic. As an aside FB “Have a great day” posts on someone’s birthday are often just an excuse not to buy a card. Easy way out! Makes one pine for good old days when birthday greetings came via the post.

  3. I agree, it is a lazy form of friendship. So many complain about not having enough time, but all it takes is a couple of minutes to buy a gift or card, write it out, then send it. Some say it is the effort which counts, I would have to disagree, as it is the amount of thought.
    Great story!

  4. I guess this is actually happening as we write! I wonder if one day two friends/people sitting right next to each other start communicating via social media. And long gone are those days with letters and postcards…

  5. You’ve really opened something up here, besides that bottle, judging by the comments. I’m a bit odd about birthdays I realise – not telling people so then I can’t be let down! Very twisted I know!
    A little tale that packs a punch!

  6. You have expressed the loneliness well. I love your reference to 30 facebook friends. You show well that having cyber friends still leave you lonely in the real world. Sadly you have portrayed the reality that more and more people are isolated in society. It is something we have to do something about but I have no idea what.

  7. I refuse to do the Facebook thing, so I cannot comment on that. However, I have to say I really like this piece. I’m not in much of a position to offer an actual critique; I simply liked the piece, and I’m envious of the amount of comments you’ve received.

  8. This is sad, and so true in too many cases. I am horrible at writing ‘real’ cards and letters and keeping in touch that way, to me Email is the best invention since chocolate. But with all the social media you need to be careful, they can be great ways to meet people in spirit, even if you can’t travel to see them, but it can also be very deceiving. Forgive the prattle: great story and the loneliness comes through so well!

  9. I can’t keep up on WordPress so it would be an awful thing for me to get onto Facebook. I’m very aware, these days, of people walking around punching text into their cell phones, etc., and not even noticing the world going by. People don’t seem to make telephone calls much any longer – or send snail mail.

    Imaginative take on this photograph and well written.


  10. I think that the bigger the world becomes — and the internet has made it enormous — the lonelier we can become. I know I’ve felt this. Great take on the prompt. I’m just getting around to reading and commenting now — had a death last week.

  11. Good story, Louise. I felt her lonliness. So many of us are apart from some of those we love the most. The phone and computer are not the same as being with the person, even a letter. Well done. — Suzanne

Constructive criticism appreciated

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