Wednesday, December 8, 2010


This is it, kiddos—the last installment in the Flash Fiction Challenge. I’m sorry to see it go, but it won’t be the last piece of creative writing you see here on the blog. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I’m happy to announce that the last prompt comes to us courtesy of Jo Stapley, who blogs at both Once Upon a Bookcase and Ink and Paper. She suggested the phrase “What the eyes can’t see,” which I’ve also used as the title for December’s entry:

“What The Eyes Can’t See”
Holly Schindler

Ice struck Heather’s forehead as her numb fingers struggled to latch the chains her father had put in her trunk last month, when she was home for Thanksgiving. She panted, having already tossed every four-letter word she knew against the night sky. Her glasses slipped farther down her nose as she fought.

She’d heard the forecast; she knew she only had until seven-thirty, eight at the latest before getting caught by the storm. But Professor Franklin was famous for his sadistic streak. That, and his scarred face. Gouges and dips and silver stripes, evidence of a boyhood nightmare. Dog attack—the words circled through the English department, around the TAs’ mailboxes and the coffee machine in the student lounge. Wild stories about some crazed, rabid encounter.

Heather had told her friends that the attack had changed Professor Franklin into something wild, dog-like. He’d barked at her, in class and in red ink on her essays: Poor citations. Weak argument. She couldn’t win with Professor Franklin, any more than he could have won against the dog who had tried to chew him to bits when he was little. Someone had to save him, then. She’d wished someone would save her, too.

She should have known he’d unleash a brutal all-essay Brit Lit final. The kind of test that made her legs feel like crumbly, overworked dough. The test she’d worked on until a quarter after nine.

And now, the ice.

Heather coughed against the stream of exhaust pouring from her ten-year-old Dodge. Her fingers slipped; the chain gave. Her glasses flew off her face as a black sedan passed.

The crunch of lenses made Heather’s stomach drop like a bowling ball into a pile of feathers.

She just wanted to go home.

Now, though, there was no driving anywhere. Not with 20/900 vision. She’d have to buy another pair of glasses first.

She screamed, unleashing another round of violent curse words as she picked up the mangled fragments of her glasses.

Disgusted, tired, and lonely, she climbed into the car to cut the engine. Without her glasses, the world beyond the windshield was a smear of colors. The street lamps at the edge of the parking lot were planet-sized gold balls from her mother’s Christmas tree.

But Heather wouldn’t see the tree for another couple of days at best, now. Her friends had already left town. Stupid night class, she thought, through tears. Stupid suitcase college.

A knock to her window rattled her. “Heather?” The voice through the glass was saturated with such kindness that her tears stopped, instantly.

Rescue? But by whom? Who was left?

“Are you hurt? I saw the car—he didn’t hit you, did he? Please, open this door. I need to know you’re okay.”

Heather squinted. Her heart leapt. Yes. Rescue. It had actually come. “Who?”

She rolled the window down, thrust her face forward. The truth, blurry and clear at the same time, attacked her with its teeth.

“It’s me—Professor Franklin.”

…Now, it’s time to vote on your fave! If you’d like a look back at the past entries, check out:

September: “The Fear Of Clouds”

October: “…Until The Laughter Dies”

November: “Free Of Charge”

Go ahead and vote below! (If you'd like to view the form on a larger screen, click here.) Voting is anonymous, and you can vote as many times as you’d like! But be sure to tell your friends, because voting ends December 15. I’ll tally up the votes and notify the lucky winner…Good luck to the entrants! (Can’t wait to see who comes out ahead…)


  1. Oh, I have been in that place where the glasses are toast and you can't see anything. The only good thing about being without your glasses is when you look at a Christmas tree – the lights look spectacular, all blurry bright!
    I can't wait to see the results of the voting

  2. P.S. I also had a professor that chewed you up. He turned out to be the best teacher I ever had. I once asked why I got a "c" on a paper when I thought I had done better. His response was, "You tell me why you got a "c". I thought hard about his question and after cussing a little, I reluctantly figured out why I got the "c". It was a greater lesson than the paper itself.

  3. Nice work Holly. I like the surprise ending.

  4. Oooh, that was soo awesome! Thank you for using my prompt!


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