How to Start

04 Jul

Prompt: Write multiple beginnings for the same story.

This is what they’ll say. White, male, mid-thirties, normal nine-to-five job; yet another suicide. The poor man was probably feeling the stress of work, his spouse, children, mid-life crisis, etcetera. There will be a picture of my face, probably that photo they took for the company website, below the words ‘a great loss to the community’. Or possibly ‘a great loss to his family’, as a few minutes are devoted to heart-breaking interviews; at least if mom bothers to talk to strangers or Jane remembers to fly in.

I suppose, all in all, it could be a worse news report.

Can you see him over there? That normal-looking man, black-haired, maybe thirty-five years old. I think he’s going to jump. That or he just likes looking down at people walking on the street with a resolute expression on his face.

Do you think we should do something? Maybe tell someone?

He’s covering his eyes. Now he’s looking down again. Probably taking deep breaths. I wonder if it’s his own company’s building he’s jumping from. That would be making a statement.

Now I’m not so sure he’s going to go through with it.

Ten dollar says he chickens out in the end.

Rob hadn’t left a note. He didn’t regret it, precisely, he just hadn’t had the time. As he took the steps to the roof two at a time, he thought there might still be time for a text message. Ultimately he didn’t really know what to say, so the idea, and his phone, were discarded.

Thankfully there were no railings and no one around having a smoke, the two things most likely to make the process inconvenient. He figured co-workers and strangers alike would have tried to stop him and then he would have had to jump with a running start, a feat made even more complicated by a potential balustrade.

He wasn’t sure if he was thankful or disappointed that he had a whole ten seconds to think before he made the jump.

Do you have a favorite beginning? Does a certain point of view work better for this kind of story?


Posted by on July 4, 2013 in Flash Fiction


Tags: , , , , , ,

2 responses to “How to Start

  1. jennifermzeiger

    July 5, 2013 at 3:45 am

    I’ve found writing multiple endings to the same story also helps to figure out what rings true to the story. It’s like playing the ‘what if’ game to figure out all the possibilities.

    • fminuzzi

      July 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      That’s what makes your stories so fun =)


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