Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers: Dying Without His Boots On

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers uses a picture prompt and asks for stories between 75-175 words. I have been absent from this challenge for a few weeks. Call it lazy, call it summer, call it whatever you want. PJ decided to call me out. You can’t really ignore a writing challenge that uses your picture for a prompt, now can you?

I had forgotten I even sent her this picture and even though it is mine I still struggled with it as much as I did when I took it. I just could never figure out why these boots were left here. I hope my story is pure fiction.

I’d like to add that to help me with my story I went back to a pod cast I discovered a few weeks ago when researching a story about a moth (you can read it here). The podcast left such an impression on me that I listened to it in it’s an entirety again tonight before completing this story. I’ll leave a link to it in the comments if you are interested.

My story:

It was so danged hot that day I decided to go to the creek. I thought I might take my shoes off and cool my toes in the water. I parked under the bridge and when I got out of my car I noticed a pair of boots, seemingly abandoned. I look closer and inside I found a note.

To Whom It May Concern,
I don’t want to die I just want the pain to stop. I feel like a coward and so I will not die with my boots on like the heroes of my youth but will leave them here. I hope someone who needs them will find them.
Be well my friend. Enjoy your journey,

I looked up and didn’t see anyone around. I grabbed the boots and ran to the creek screaming out his name “Jim!”
“Jim, where are you?”

32 thoughts on “Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers: Dying Without His Boots On

  1. What a captivating story this is 🙂 I like the idea that somebody merely wants to die without their boots on, although they don’t really want to die at all. Very interesting reading.


  2. Great story Dawn! It gave me the goose bumps when I finished reading it! Very well done. Thank you for loaning us the photo and thank you for participating in the FFfAW challenge!


  3. Aww, I hope finds Jim before it’s too late. I love how a few words can spur a tirade of emotions. Love this. And now it gets me thinking, in reality, what were the pair of boots doing there ?


    • You certainly are intuitive. I wrote the introduction to this story about his childhood and so forth and how he was raised on TV while his single mother slept from her night job. But my word count got out of control and so I had to re write. But you seem to have picked up on his character.
      Thank you.


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  5. A poignant and well written story, Dawn. The ending leaves me wondering whether Jim actually does take his own life in the end – or will he be sitting by the creek…? Somehow I don’t think he will be, and I don’t expect you to tell me. That’s all part of a great ending.


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  7. It seems as if he wishes to give something back. His shoes might symbolise how he hopes another may find comfort. Very good story, Dawn!


  8. A great story, Dawn – it’s such a sad scenario you’ve created. I wonder whether Jim will be reached in time and, if he is, whether it’s possible to persuade him out of his decision. From the contents of the letter I’d say it’s something he’s thought long and hard about. Nicely done. 🙂


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