There’d been a delay at the bank. Kidd ran so fast his coattails flapped, threading close, dingy alley walls toward skybound umbilicals of steam that rose up like smoke signals.

He turned out into a bustling street, narrowly avoiding death by spider-legged carriage; the top-hatted driver scowled.

“Look up,” his guardian said. “If you work hard, you could live there.” The city was currently overhead – always was when he said that – gliding on a colossal cloud. As it chuffed off, burnished spires – bronze, steel and glass – extended up.

He’d worked years to pay; if he missed the ship now, he’d have to start all over.

The gangplank was retracting when they saw him coming. He boarded, relieved. The boiler whistled faintly; enormous bellows sighed heavy belowdecks as massive wings flapped.

Later, up on deck, he spotted a black-sailed ship following in the distance. . . probably headed the same way, Kidd thought.

This flash fiction in 150 words was crafted for the M3 blog’s Flash in the Pan (Up)


    • Yeah, I love how the flash can never be the final word… So how do you hang your reader without leaving them hanging? I like to give them things to imagine, although this one is a bit more obvious. 😉

      • Pronouns. I leave a character in the mist or elude to them. Or I leave two or seven different ways to get to the beginning.

        I was discussing this with a new flasher today. Humor is another way to tell a complete story without leaving readers wanting.

        Check out The Aware Writer, Odds and Ends, QBG ~ Tilted Tiara and Taking Candy from a Baby for some good cliffhangers and complete stories.

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