Here's a 200 word piece called Passing Judgement. The old saying, 'sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me' may be a testament to resolve, but we all know that words cut deep, and when they do, they always hurt. Words have a unique power beyond any sharp instrument.
The theme of prejudice is running throughout my creative fiction at the moment. I'm looking at how destructive it really is, how powerful it can be and the consequences it can cause. Besides, we as writers speak from experience when we write from the heart. I was recently asked if the main character in this piece is me. Well, that's for the reader to decide. What I will say is that it was written with great emotion.
This is the original flash fiction piece, however a longer version is being written for the short story market.
The cloud that hovered close seemed oppressive, tight like a rope around the larynx, pressing against the skin.
Sticks and stones might break bones, but their words were always sharper, and their ability to find their target was matched only by the invisible pain they inflicted, the discomfort braying against her like open sores soaking in salt.
She had taken the pain they inflicted and had woven it into a rope.
Words hurt; they sliced through the dermis and wriggled like maggots beneath the skin, then picked away at the mind, thinning out the rationality from within. Spite and malice and misplaced thought; they had not listened or understood her, and now she was maligned, like a thick fibrous ball of cancer, an unbearable stench.
The anger remained fresh in her veins, seemingly unsullied by their prejudices, but the rope she had forged turned out to be her saviour. Vilified and shown up like a stain, she had beaten them to it, beaten them to the sticks and stones.
Wrong accusations fell like snowflakes on ignorant faces and evaporated into the stillness.
She dangled in silence from the oak tree on the hill. Just as her innocence finally became clear.