Shameless Self-Promotion

If you cast your mind back to two days ago (I know – those were heady times), you may recall a micro fiction piece I posted entitled ‘The Intervention’.  The piece was one hundred and fifty-five words and written as a response to a visual prompt. Here’s a refresher.

Anyhow, I’ve just found out the piece was judged runner-up for round forty-three of Flash! Friday Fiction’s weekly competition! What this means, effectively, is that my piece was the judge’s second favourite out of nearly a hundred stories! I know: not the biggest achievement in the world but it was a huge boon to me. The news really made what was otherwise a pretty shitty day. I’ve only dabbled in flash fiction for about two months, so the recognition that I’m doing something right – at least in this judge’s eyes – is reassuring.

Here’s what contest judge Kinza Carpenter Shores had to say about the piece:


Tom O’Connell, “The Intervention.” This story was a very close second for me in the running. Often setting up complicated stories involving Science Fiction or fantasy can take up so much space in a 150 word story and leave no room to build up the meat of the story. The introduction, short and to the point, retained the same flow and diction as the bulk of the story, remained relevant and impressively telling. Instead of falling into the very easy trap of telling rather than showing, this story gives you clear images of the characters and the relationship of the story. The dialogue blew me away with how well it was put together, and the characterization– spot on. The flow of action to imagery suited the story well, and it was a refreshing take on the prompt.


Flash! Friday #43 Story – ‘The Intervention’

ImageMy response to Flash! Friday’s forty-third prompt (the above picture). One hundred and fifty words was the limit (with a five-word leeway). Enjoy!

* * *

‘The Intervention’ (155 words)

At midday, the aliens arrived in their stealth ships. Suspended above the humans’ nesting ground, the city, they observed man’s arrogance. It was time for an intervention.

* * *

Rubin couldn’t understand it. Flash fires raged in buildings. Explosions sounded. Everywhere he looked, the telltales of destruction licked at his peripheral vision.

He grabbed Jason, his girlfriend’s son. Rubin hated the little shit, but he’d sworn to protect him.

‘Woah,’ Jason exclaimed. ‘A laser!’

‘Kid, we’ve gotta go.’

It all happened so fast. Rubin reached out as Jason began to levitate. He gripped Jason’s ankle and began the invisible tug o’ war.

‘Let go, you big jerk! I wanna see!’

‘It’s not safe!’ Rubin shouted.

‘You’re not my real dad!’

Then it hit Rubin. Jason had been at the root of every one of their fights – including their non-existent sex life. He watched as the invisible current dragged Jason away. This would be best for everyone.