Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

#Friday Fictioneers – 8/2/13 – Test Flight – Sci Fi

with 48 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo to stimulate and inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

Every Friday (or before) the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word stories. Visit Rochelle’s site for the rules on how to join in and check out the other stories by clicking on the blue guy.

Are we still doing the genre thing? I decided to write outside my comfort zone this week. Thanks Rich for the photo.

copyright-Rich Voza

copyright-Rich Voza

Test Flight (100 words) (Sci-Fi)

As the scout ship landed, Devlin wondered how he’d managed to agree to bring Ky with him. The brat hadn’t stopped with his questions.

‘It’ll do him good. Give him a bit of experience,’ his mother had insisted.

If they didn’t both die on the planet’s surface, Devlin might see to Ky on the flight back.

‘Why’s there only one sun?’

‘That’s all the planet needed.’

‘What are those metal birds?’

‘Mass transit craft.’

‘Why are we stopping here?’

‘To look for survivors.’

That seemed to shut him up, for a while.

‘What happens if we find some?’

‘We can eat.’


Written by Sarah Ann

February 8, 2013 at 9:28 am

48 Responses

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  1. Great twist! (I think there’s an edit gone awry in the first line: ‘how he’d managed agree to bring’. I can imagine people looking at our world at some point in the future, but I hope we don’t represent fodder to them. 😦 Nice one.


    February 8, 2013 at 11:00 am

    • Hi Sandra. Yes, missed a ‘to’ out in the first line – can’t see for looking when I make slight changes – corrected now. Thanks.
      I changed the last line too. ‘We eat’ would have meant we were definitely fodder. With, ‘We can eat’ there’s a slight ambiguity – it might be that the visitors don’t know how cook/ prepare food?

      Sarah Ann

      February 8, 2013 at 8:29 pm

      • I prefer the fodder approach.
        Very good story and great twist!


        February 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    • to save a few words, you could make that first line read “why he’d agreed to bring”


      February 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      • Thanks Russell. I think I need to re-visit my word count as my proofreading went a little awry.

        Sarah Ann

        February 11, 2013 at 8:07 pm

  2. Dear Sarah Ann,

    Must admit i was hooked , curious and happily surprised by your last line. Well done. (Some who wish are still noting their genre but it’s not hard and fast any longer.)



    Douglas MacIlroy

    February 8, 2013 at 11:15 am

    • I’m very happy to hear you were hooked, curious and surprised – praise indeed. Many thanks. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      February 8, 2013 at 8:32 pm

  3. Intelligent questions in there. I love your story.

    Charles Oyeleke Williams

    February 8, 2013 at 11:22 am

  4. That made me GOL (giggle out loud)


    February 8, 2013 at 3:54 pm

  5. I liked that your ending could either be taken literally (in a twist at the end) or as an attempt at finally stopping the questions once and for all, leaving me laughing at first, then wondering whether he was being serious. And the boys questioning rang true.



    February 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    • Hi Janet. I hadn’t thought of the ending as an answer to stop the questions. Thanks for another way of looking at it. I think Devlin might be one of those serious people who tells the truth all the time.

      Sarah Ann

      February 8, 2013 at 8:36 pm

  6. Gawd. I loved the ending!


    February 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm

  7. This was great, and I LOVEd the last line. Just loved it!


    February 8, 2013 at 6:33 pm

  8. Ah, I like this bit of sci-fi.


    February 8, 2013 at 9:35 pm

  9. I really liked this! The last line most of all..


    February 8, 2013 at 11:37 pm

  10. great ending, perfect.


    February 9, 2013 at 1:43 am

  11. cool ! That last line got me!


    February 9, 2013 at 2:34 am

  12. Didn’t see that last line coming, very well done.


    February 9, 2013 at 5:03 am

  13. That last line, and the way it was delivered, was just superb! Really enjoyed this very much!


    February 9, 2013 at 9:36 am

  14. Dear Sarah,
    A nice step out this week. Don’t worry about genre. That was a hit that missed. Optional to the writer. Loved the ending. (shut up kid or you’ll be dessert).


    February 9, 2013 at 2:32 pm

  15. Eerie. Loved the kids’ questions, but didn’t expect that last line. Good stuff.

    Shirley McCann

    February 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    • I’m pleased you enjoyed his questions. I’m glad I only had 100 words as he was starting to annoy me.

      Sarah Ann

      February 11, 2013 at 8:19 pm

  16. POW. that was an excellent last line. great job.

    question – why single quotes instead of double quotes?


    February 9, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    • Hey, you used the shift key. I must have done good this week. 🙂
      Single vs double quotes is one of those UK-US things. Single is what I’m used to. (Double clutters up the page?)
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Sarah Ann

      February 11, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      • only use single if you’re quoting inside a quote. you’re welcome.


        February 11, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      • And we use double if we’re quoting inside a quote.
        I would say there’s more on wikipedia but the examples have the punctuation outside the quotation marks, which gives me the shivers.

        Sarah Ann

        February 11, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      • double is always used first. single only used if you’re quoting someone else. “Mom said, ‘Get home now.'” it’s awkward to have both single and double at the end, but it’s correct.


        February 11, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      • ‘But Mum said, “We could be at this all night, if we’re not careful.”‘

        Sarah Ann

        February 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      • that’s backwards.


        February 11, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      • That’s us Brits for you.

        Sarah Ann

        February 11, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      • oh, well, that’s different. maybe that’s how you guys handle it. like the occasional U, like favourite and rumour and things like that. i wasn’t thinking of that.


        February 11, 2013 at 9:27 pm

  17. I loved that last line – that really stopped my questions! The characterisation in such a short piece was excellent too.


    February 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    • Thank you, Claire. I think characterisation sometimes comes easier in a short piece. In longer stories there’s a tendency for the characters to go off-message or start to steal from each other. Or maybe that’s my slack writing.

      Sarah Ann

      February 11, 2013 at 8:10 pm

  18. Yummy.. Nothing’s like some earthling snack. 🙂

    Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    February 10, 2013 at 8:42 pm

  19. are aliens feeding still considered cannibals or will there be another term. Very nice Sci-Fi story you weaved.

    Joe Owens

    February 11, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    • As I was writing about earthlings returning, I think we’re safe to stick to cannibalism. But there might be a surviving cow or two…

      Sarah Ann

      February 11, 2013 at 8:12 pm

  20. I enjoyed this piece, especially the kid asking all the questions. I was a little confused as to the surviors they were searching for. Were they earthlings, or from their world?


    February 11, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    • As I wrote, I was thinking humans returning to earth after some catastrophe that sent them off-world. So the survivors they’re looking for would be similar to themselves. Let’s hope the kid gets to ask more questions on the way back.

      Sarah Ann

      February 11, 2013 at 8:17 pm

  21. Whoa, that last line!!!! Love this.


    February 11, 2013 at 10:20 pm

  22. Brilliant ending! I love the way you think.
    Thank you for visiting me today.


    February 28, 2013 at 5:27 pm

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