If He Wanted

by | Sep 9, 2013 | Fiction, Flash fiction, The Ice Cream Vendors Song | 7 comments

I was experimenting with repetition in flash fiction this week. What do you think of this one?

photoIf He Wanted
By Laura McHale Holland

Irons. In the fire. He rubs his eyes. He’s always had too much to do. Leap. He tries to leap up. Chains hold him down. Only his arms and hands are fluid. He cracks his knuckles. He feels. Tortured. Out of breath. Out of time. He cracks his knuckles. Again. He rubs his eyes. Again. He does not see. The chains are weak, rusted. He could break them if he wanted. Badly. If he wanted to reach the fire. The irons. In the fire.


Note: This story is not in the flash fiction collection (The Ice Cream Vendor’s Song) I’m holding up in the picture accompanying this post. It might make it into a future collection, though.

Copyright  ©  2013 by Laura McHale Holland

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  1. jerry

    He wants to be free but loves where he’s at. Some people enjoy the challenges . Not me, love breaking the chains.

  2. admin

    Thanks, Jerry, for this comment — and for your consistent support for my work. I very much appreciate you.

  3. admin

    Thank you, Tara. What a terrific idea to post “ovations” on your blog! I’m honored that you’ve given me one. I’m going to spend some time perusing your site and look forward to learning about you and your work.

  4. Barbara Toboni

    Good one, Laura. Took me awhile to figure out the irons in the fire. Duh! But that’s what makes your stories so interesting. I have to think.

  5. Susan Briena

    The very first thing I thought of was a song (of course!) :) Peter, Paul and Mary’s tune: He Had a Long Chain On. Very moving song and so is your take on a man who had resigned himself to his fate, I think. And he is tortured by the chains and why he must wear them. I think all of us have some kind of chain / cross to bare. Without someone to talk to, such as this man, they eventually “are” who you are. Does that make sense? Neat idea, my friend. HUGS!

  6. admin

    Thanks, Barb! Since irons in the fire is an old expression, it’s not surprising to me that the meaning didn’t come right to your mind. I don’t know what brought it to my mind, but then that’s the fun of fiction; there’s so much we don’t really know when we create it.

  7. admin

    I appreciate your thought provoking comment, Suz; it makes perfect sense. I think you’ve hit upon exactly what I was exploring when writing this one.


  1. A Ray of Light | Tara Staley - […] http://lauramchaleholland.com/flash-fiction/if-he-wanted/ […]

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