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The Words

by Jubbly 

Posted: 08 May 2004
Word Count: 50
Summary: An attempt at flash fiction, the shortest I've done, I'm more comfortable around the 250 word mark so bear with me. Recently edited thanks to comments.

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The Words

As a couple, they'd often mused on what they might say. Perhaps something profound and resonant or even amusing, classic and in the style of Wilde. But when the time finally came and she sat by his bedside, tearful yet eager to hear, all he could manage was...water.

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Comments by other Members

Account Closed at 21:51 on 08 May 2004  Report this post
Hi Jubbly, I wasn't going to comment on this as it's flash fiction and it usually puzzles me. But I read it, and it made me think. So I just HAD to comment on it. It intrigued me.

It's fascinating to read. And, for me, it reminded me of a dying man on his deathbed, uttering his final words.

I like the way you juxtaposed tears with water. I thought that was an excellent use of words. Maybe there's something in flash fiction, a paradox of short words that has a greater impact and effect than longer short stories with more words.

And then there's the possibility of why he said water. Did he want water, was he thinking of water, did he want a bath, to swim one more time?

So your piece of flash fiction, in 47 words, had me thinking profoundly about what you wrote. Excellent stuff. I'm going to have to read more flash fiction now. :)


Jubbly at 22:41 on 08 May 2004  Report this post
Thankyou Steven for your comments. He is indeed a dying man, it comes to us all but once. I think he was thirsty, and to drink would make him feel alive once more.

Thanks for reading


crowspark at 10:48 on 09 May 2004  Report this post
47 words seems exactly the number you needed. The opening question invites you in. I liked "Perhaps something profound and resonant or even amusing, classic and in the stye of Wilde" (just spotted the typo)as a great juxtaposition with the actual word "water." But what a brilliant word to end on as the essential for life. Also with the hint that water would have enabled more words.

Milou at 12:11 on 09 May 2004  Report this post
Hi Jubbly,

Really liked this - you get the span of two people's lives in two sentences.

It may be me being slow, but it took me a couple of reads to understand the meaning of the first sentence. I initially thought it was describing people talking about their ambitions, ie. what they might 'be' in the future. I did wonder whether it might be clearer if the title of the piece was Last Words. But maybe you think that would be stating the obvious!


Account Closed at 13:44 on 09 May 2004  Report this post
Yes, I agree with Milou - I had the same thoughts exactly but I understood he wanted a drink - nice touch.

Jubbly at 15:24 on 09 May 2004  Report this post
Thanks Elspeth, Milou and Bill. To be honest I toyed with writing, 'what they might say' instead, but I wasn't sure. I might change it, I didn't want to call it Last Words and give it away like you said Milou.

Cheers all


Jim Beard at 16:20 on 09 May 2004  Report this post
Almost as though death was a letdown!



Anj at 20:14 on 09 May 2004  Report this post

I found this intriguing, sufficiently so to give it the few reads I needed, as someone else commented, to understand the first sentence. But I didn't feel I still quite understood it - I initially thought "they" were a group of people, maybe the man's family. Then that "they" was the man and the woman (a very morbid couple then!).

But as I say, sufficiently intrigued to bother thinking about it, so it hooked me.

Summed up nicely that, at the end of the day, life is actually very simple.

Take care

ShayBoston at 07:18 on 11 May 2004  Report this post

I like this. Unusually sad for you, but real.


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