Flash Fiction Challenge

So there I was at the self service check-out yesterday purchasing my body weight in Diet Coke and waiting for the receipt. I refuse to walk out of the store without it for fear that the long arm of the law will collar me, accuse me of theft and I’ll be hauled off to the nearest police cell quicker than you can shout ‘But honestly officer. The receipt is sitting on the counter if you’ll only just let me……AAAARGHHHH……… those handcuffs really chafe!’

As the check-out spewed forth said proof of purchase I noticed that not all of my fellow customers were as paranoid as yours truly. There were half a dozen discarded receipts lying in front of me. It struck me. I wonder who made these varied purchases and then wandered out of the store back to the trials and tribulations of their everyday lives? What kind of days were they having? What kind of lives?

I am an avid people watcher. It must go hand in hand with commuting to and from work every day. When I was on Twitter, back in the day, I ran a daily series called ‘Train Tweets’ where I created imaginary lives for the regulars who shared the 7:13 express to Belfast with me. I was the original geek on a train until Hollywood turned me into Emily Blunt. Serial killers, angry solicitors and Arsene Wenger lookalikes. We had it all on the 7:13.

Earlier this week I was educated as to what ‘flash fiction’ is. A light bulb popped on in my head as I realised I write a lot about writing fiction on the blog but don’t actually write a lot of fiction on the blog. Did that last sentence make sense? I sincerely hope so. For otherwise you might struggle with the rest of this post. Which would be a terrible shame for everyone concerned. Most of all me. But also for all you lot.


I have a challenge for you all. Should you choose to accept it, in true Mission Impossible style. Below are two of the receipts that I ‘borrowed’ from the Tesco empire. All you have do is write a piece of prose describing a day in the life of the person who made the purchase. Oh….and post it on WordPress. If this takes off then I will run it on the blog as an occasional feature. If not, then I will probably sulk for a day or two but then forgive you all and we can awkwardly agree that this was a terrible idea that should never have seen the light of day in the first place.

Over to you now. Gauntlet thrown. If you choose to accept the challenge then feel free to name check fracturedfaithblog on your accompanying post. If not, then at least leave a comment and say hello. We can talk about the weather. Or maybe the extortionate £2:50 that Tesco charge for a coffee. And what’s a San Pellegino anyway? I had to Google it. Sparkling mineral water apparently. Hmmmmm. Somebody must have had a sore head.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

72 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge

  1. I was just telling a friend today about your people watching skills and imaginative past time of creating stories. This is certainly an exciting challenge. I may look into this further. 🙂

    Also BREAKTHROUGH! I finally wrote through the piece I was struggling with and definitely have a lot of ambition now to keep getting through. Thanks for your encouragement!


  2. I’m just going to write my ideas on here, the Muller rice and banana girl was on her way to the gym when she decided to pick up breakfast and a banana for after her workout.
    Coffee and mineral water guy works in an office and takes both drinks in with him while chatting to his colleagues about the evening he had last night in a beer garden with friends.


      1. I love making up stories about people, I’m a nightmare in a beer garden 😄 or in a restaurant, im like awh look they’re on a first date, bless, it’s still at the awkward stage, where do you think they met? 😄 no problem, it was fun.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this idea, and I’m definitely going to do it! It might be up in a few weeks due to when I’m posting, but I’ll make sure to link back to this post!


  4. Incidentally, I’m no good at writing short fiction, “flash” or otherwise. I’ve produced only one short story in my life, “The Daughters of Zeus,” which is about how I came to write my first novel. I serialized the story into six consecutive posts on my main blog a couple of years ago. The link to the first part is https://wp.me/p30cCH-1Zj and if you scroll back up to the top after reading, you can link directly to the next part of the story.


  5. Done! Thanks for the inspo. I haven’t written a blog post in about six weeks! Hope I have linked back to you okay. Great post 🙂 I’m intrigued by other people’s bank receipts. A high school art teacher of mine once brought in a bank receipt that was left in the machine and the person had $116, 000 in the bank. He was gobsmacked someone would have that much money just, you know, lying around in their bank account. At the time I thought he was so weird but I’ve never forgotten it. He’s now my spirit animal.


    1. That’s an amazing tale and I’m really pleased that my challenge got your creative juices flowing again. Thank you for taking part. I’ll be sure to read your post and will reblog it later in the day 🙂


  6. My roommate has been bugging me for months to try writing something other than bible study testimonial stuff because he felt I would be good at it. I have been blowing him off and not finding the inspiration but I’m happy to report that your challenge became the inspiration I needed. I also now have an incredible desire to visit Ireland, I feel like I’ve just been there!


  7. Challenge accepted! Will post this week. I had never heard of flash fiction either, by the way. Also, I love San Pellegrino!


                  1. Aw, thanks! Have a great day as well. Shae and I just finished yoga and it’s a cool, rainy morning here in the Midwest. Headed to church soon.


    1. Oh this is beautiful. What a wonderful tale of a slightly frazzled new mother’s love for her child. Touching yet grounded in the reality of sleepless nights and tired bones. Thank you so much for taking part 🙂🙏🏻


  8. I wouldn’t have understood the whole story if I hadn’t clicked on Jon’s link to you at:
    now I get it! Excellent idea…fun too. I’ll try to play along but I have limited WordPress pinging skills and I’m currently being taught via email by another kind blogger Amy Blount at: A New Life and already I’m behind on my Random Acts of Kindness post…but I wanted to say Hello anyway!


      1. Ok! Going to,slee,right now, but I’ll work on it this week! Thanks. What a creative idea to use the receipt items to create a story. Genius of you to think of it! Take care. Will write soon! 💕

        Liked by 1 person

          1. So…… I have an awkward update. I tried it. And, I found out I’m not very good at flash fiction. I shared with my writing group that meets on Sunday and it was redlined to the nth degree. So, embarrassingly, I’m gonna pass on this one. Maybe I’ll keep trying later. Lolz! Have a groovy day and I will still read your guys’ and your readers’ amazing flash fiction stories! 💕🌸


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