14 Jan 2016

The Abyss

This is an attempt at a piece of flash fiction. I really appreciate constructive criticism, so please don't shy away from leaving a comment. 

The Abyss

They say your entire life flashes before you at the end. I wonder what mine will look like. Will it be as selective as I have been, burying the unpleasantness deep within. Or will it erode through the layers of my subconscious and dig out that which lies concealed under years of subterfuge.

The wealth, the flamboyance. It feels nothing more than a lie. A brightly coloured wallpaper to hide all the ugliness beneath. The great heights of success I achieved. The great lengths of deceit I went to in getting there.

Will I feel the pain, I wonder. The pain that I have kept hidden away from prying eyes. The enduring agony of loss. They think they know what it feels like to have suffered so. They only really come for the money. It is always about the money. The pretence at sympathy soon replaced by greed. The all-encompassing need to hoard. The devilish desire to grab all within reach and then to reach out for more.

Was I not but one of them? Ruthless, conniving, calculating. Ready to snatch that which was not mine.

We do not always end up where we wish. Destiny has a way of playing cruel games; twists that we do not anticipate and we end up miles away from where we hoped to be.

I am standing here now at the very edge of a precipice. Where do I go from here? Back to that which I have left behind. Or go take the leap into the unknown. Plunge into the depths of this endless abyss in the hope that I will resurface, once again, to rule the world.

One step. One step is all that I need. To go over the edge.

Writing Bubble


  1. Ooh this really intrigued me, Vai! I now want to know the backstory and why they feel the way they do. Great piece of writing x

    1. Thanks Rebecca. I haven't written it yet, but it's bubbling away in my head at the moment :-)

  2. Brilliantly written Vai. The analogy 'A brightly coloured wallpaper to hide all the ugliness beneath.' is fabulous and your writing completely caught my attention #theprompt x

    1. Thank you, Victoria. So glad you enjoyed reading this piece x

  3. Oh, the imagery in this is brilliant! Such a clever piece that leaves you wanting to know more. Thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x

    1. And thank you for such a lovely prompt, Sara. The idea just jumped out at me the moment I read it x

  4. You have painted an amazing image here and left me wanting to know more!

    1. Thank you, Becky. Maybe eventually I will get round to writing it all out :)

  5. Ooh this left me with lots of questions - what has the person done? What will happen next? And I'm also wondering how much of the situation is metaphorical? It could be the prologue of a fantasy novel, or a psychological thriller or all sorts of things depending on how you interpret it. As a stand alone flash fiction I certainly found it gripping! Well done! Thanks for linking to #whatImwriting

    1. That is high praise indeed! Thanks, Maddy. You are right about it being metaphorical. That last bit, I wanted it to read that way :) Glad it came through x

  6. I think A LOT about that flash we may get at the end of our lives, too. I was touched deeply the other day by a post that included the The last words of Steve Jobs. His words and regrets relate exactly to what you're talking about (in my opinion)

    "I have come to the pinnacle of success in business.
    In the eyes of others, my life has been the symbol of success.
    However, apart from work, I have little joy. Finally, my wealth is simply a fact to which I am accustomed.
    At this time, lying on the hospital bed and remembering all my life, I realize that all the accolades and riches of which I was once so proud, have become insignificant with my imminent death.
    In the dark, when I look at green lights, of the equipment for artificial respiration and feel the buzz of their mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of my approaching death looming over me.
    Only now do I understand that once you accumulate enough money for the rest of your life, you have to pursue objectives that are not related to wealth.
    It should be something more important:
    For example, stories of love, art, dreams of my childhood.
    No, stop pursuing wealth, it can only make a person into a twisted being, just like me.
    God has made us one way, we can feel the love in the heart of each of us, and not illusions built by fame or money, like I made in my life, I cannot take them with me.
    I can only take with me the memories that were strengthened by love.
    This is the true wealth that will follow you; will accompany you, he will give strength and light to go ahead.
    Love can travel thousands of miles and so life has no limits. Move to where you want to go. Strive to reach the goals you want to achieve. Everything is in your heart and in your hands.
    What is the world's most expensive bed? The hospital bed.
    You, if you have money, you can hire someone to drive your car, but you cannot hire someone to take your illness that is killing you.
    Material things lost can be found. But one thing you can never find when you lose: life.
    Whatever stage of life where we are right now, at the end we will have to face the day when the curtain falls.
    Please treasure your family love, love for your spouse, love for your friends...
    Treat everyone well and stay friendly with your neighbours."

  7. I'm always so impressed by anyone who takes on flash fiction. And yours is intriguing. As other people have said, I definitely wanted to know more. Do you have plans to develop it or do you like it as it is?#whatimwriting

  8. Thanks for sharing this. I also write (or attempt to write) flash fiction and love anything that touches on the human condition. I love how this is a snap shot of your protagonists train of thought. I think you could build a longer work around it if you wanted.

  9. I like this, it's really intriguing and presents lots of questions which I want to know the answer to. This would be a great start to a longer story.

  10. I'm intrigued by this character... His (I presume he's a he) voice comes over as so self-important, which at first is kind of irritating but actually as the piece goes on makes me wonder about the things that have made him this way... I like the metaphor running through, and the lack of certainty as to what's actually happening in the real world. Looking forward to reading more! xx

  11. As everyone else has said, I want to know more! It is a great piece. It had me at the start, especially: "Will it be as selective as I have been, burying the unpleasantness deep within." There is light and dark in all of us so I am intrigued as to whether it's a real unpleasantness or it says more about the protagonist's state of mind...

    I feel like when my husband lets me have a bit of his (always better) meal and then says, "Ok, no more." But the taste lingers on...


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