Skip to main content

2022 February Flash Fiction Challenge: Day 21

Write a piece of flash fiction each day of February with the February Flash Fiction Challenge, led by editor Moriah Richard. Each day, receive a prompt, example story, and write your own. Today's prompt has your character facing their fears.

One more week! We are in the home stretch—how are you feeling?

Flash Fiction Challenge

It's always really nerve-wracking for me to share my work—call it leftover stage frights from workshop roundtables—but as we're facing down our last week of this year's flash challenge, I'm super proud of all of us who have been writing and sharing together here on the site and elsewhere!

For today’s prompt, write about someone facing a fear.

Remember: As mentioned yesterday, these prompts are just starting points; you have the freedom to go wherever your flash of inspiration takes you.

(Note: If you happen to run into any issues posting, please just send me an e-mail at with the subject line: Flash Fiction Challenge Commenting Issue.)

Here’s my attempt at facing a fear:

Big Change

Lacey had every spice container out of the cabinet and on the counters when Hen walked through the door.

“Um,” Hen said, putting her work bag on the dining room table.

“It looks like a mess, but I’ve actually almost got it all organized,” Lacey said, her head halfway in the cabinet.

“I wasn’t aware they needed to be organized,” Hen said gently.

Lacey scoffed and shuffled around three different types of salt. Hen took a seat at the table, head propped on a fist, and watched her wife for a few moments.

“Would you…like some help?” Hen asked.

“No. But, um, maybe we should order in tonight? I didn’t think about dinner when I started this, and you know I won’t be able to relax until it’s done,” Lacey said.

Hen laughed. “Sure, sure. Pizza? I think that Thai place we like is still—”

“I want to quit my job.”

Hen blinked. Shut her mouth. Took a breath. Lacey’s body was still turned away from her, but she could see the tension in her shoulders, the anxious rattling sound of a jar in her hands. Hen cleared her throat. “What?”

“I hate it there, Hen, they don’t respect me at all. And all of a sudden, they’re hiring all these young people who give me these looks whenever I say anything, like I haven’t been in this field for twenty years, like I don’t know what I’m talking about!” Lacey shoved some jars into the cabinet. “And I can just see it, you know, the writing on the wall. They convinced Leonard to take early retirement last week, and I can just feel upper management breathing down my neck like—”

“Okay.” Hen stood and crossed the room. She put her hand gently between Lacey’s shoulders and rubbed some of the tension out. “Okay. I hear you. I know you’ve been miserable there.”

“Absolutely miserable,” Lacey agreed, miserably.

“And this is something you’ve obviously been thinking about.”

Lacey nodded.

“So, let’s figure it out. We got some savings, you can take a break or job hunt or whatever.” Hen tugged Lacey until she turned around and slumped into Hen’s arms.

“I think I want to go back to school,” Lacey grumbled. “Is that insane? I’m old.”

“Hey! I’m two years older than you.” Hen chuckled and bumped her temple against Lacey’s. “And who ever said there’s a deadline on learning?”

Lacey was quiet while Hen rocked them gently back and forth. She relaxed a little more and let out a hot gust of air against Hen’s collarbone.

“I thought I’d be, like, done at this age. Settled. Riding that last wave to retirement.”

Hen hummed. “I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want to be done until I’m in the grave.”

Lacey laughed. “Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. This is just a, uh…”

“A pivot.”

Lacey pulled back and kissed Hen’s cheek and the side of her mouth. “That sounds so much less terrifying.”

Remixing the Classics: Writing New Flash Fiction From Old Stories

During this live webinar, award-winning writer Ran Walker will teach you how to find and mine ideas for your flash fiction. He will show you how to take stories in the public domain and “remix” them into new stories. Ran will also show you how to put your own spin on these ideas and make them truly yours.

Click to continue.

Writing Goals and Intentions: 25 Prompts

Writing Goals and Intentions: 25 Prompts

Make this year your most successful writing year ever by considering the following questions to set your goals and intentions.

Is a Personal Essay Considered Journalism?

Is a Personal Essay Considered Journalism?

Journalist Alison Hill answers the question of whether or not the personal essay is considered journalism by defining the genre and offering examples. Plus, outlets for you to publish your own personal essay.

Forth vs. Fourth (Grammar Rules)

Forth vs. Fourth (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use forth vs. fourth in your writing with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Bad Place

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Bad Place

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, make the setting the antagonist.

Gaslighting in Romance: From Jane Eyre to the Present Day (and Why Writers Should Care)

Gaslighting in Romance: From Jane Eyre to the Present Day (and Why Writers Should Care)

Gaslighting can work its way into the backstory of a character, but it can also be misused. Here, author Emma Barry discusses gaslighting in romance.

Brad Taylor: On Real-Life Threats Inspiring Thriller Novels

Brad Taylor: On Real-Life Threats Inspiring Thriller Novels

Author and veteran Brad Taylor discusses the research that led to his new thriller novel, The Devil’s Ransom.

How Roleplaying Helps Our Writing—and Our Marriage

How Role-Playing Helps Our Writing—and Our Marriage

As co-writing partners who fully embody the stories they tell in their writing process, authors Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka share how role-playing helps their writing, and their marriage.

How To Get Started in Copywriting

How To Get Started in Copywriting

From writing and reading to majoring outside of journalism, copywriter and author Robert W. Bly shares how to get started in copywriting.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 640

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a pursuit poem.