Microfiction: Alcoholic

So far I have only been writing flash fiction on this site, but today I present my first foray into it’s much more concise cousin: Microfiction

What is microfiction? Well, I’m glad you asked:

It’s a subset of flash fiction—those super short stories typically told in 1,000 words or less. Definitions vary, but for the most part, microfiction is any story told in 300 words or less, and could even be as short as a few words.

Gayle Towell, Litreactor.com

And so, here’s mine. It’s short, it’s somber, and it’s called:

Alcoholic 

The glass is full of amber, and his eyes match it. They’re half closed and a tad cross, but the drink makes it to his lips all the same. He’s dizzy, and when his feet feel ground, he wobbles. A full foot-step before he collapses unto the floor. His hand breaks on glass and bleeds, but he rises back to the chair all the same.

He’s looping. He’s looping. He’s looping.

Back and forth, from chair to floor, then back again.

Takes a drink every time he rises, wants a drink every time he falls.

As he lifts the bottle to fill, his hand is stopped. The bartender grips him, and pushes his hands down.

“You’ve had enough. Go home. We’re not doing this again.”

He sweeps the bottle away, spilling the contents on the counter. Walks away, falling twice, but leaves all the same.

Out the door. Looks around. Cane out to steady, only needed on nights like this.

He’s a cripple by choice; that is, if you could call it a choice.

The bright lights of another bar. His back-up.

He’s looping. He’s looping. He’s looping.

Did you like the article? Dislike? Tell me about it in the comments. I would love to hear your opinions. If interested in specific articles, or want to write as a guest; you can message me at scifibrandonscott@gmail.com. Thanks for reading!

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17 thoughts on “Microfiction: Alcoholic

    • Yeah, I’m not sure why people latched on to this story specifically, but I got a ton of feedback on it.

      Microfiction is all of those things…sometimes :). Thank you for the compliment!

      Like

  1. Pingback: Why I Write Dark Things | Coolerbs Reviews
  2. Oh dear, I committed the sin of ambiguity. My bad, I was trying to say that I write not-quite microfiction, not that yours wasn’t. Apologies!

    And indeed, I went on to look at your other work and it’s much more like a weaving when reading it! I think I have much to learn from you, since I instinctively try to cut down words as much as I can. Where you emphasise flow, I think I try to emphasise efficiency and economy of words. We’re kind of the opposite in that respect, but I think that’s exactly what I need. Thesis and Antithesis leading to Synthesis and all that jazz.

    My blog is very, very new, so it doesn’t have much to offer right now. Still, one story a day will add up. I look forward to working with you in the future 🙂

    Like

    • Oh, lol. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding!

      Well, then I suppose what you write is flash fiction, which I consider quite the noble pursuit!

      That’s the beauty of writing (blogging especially), we can all have different styles, but we can still learn from each other! While I like my flow-based style, there are times where I need to work on making things more brief. (that is to say: I have a problem with rambling.)

      Well, we all had to start somewhere! My biggest piece of advice is something I wish someone told me when I started out doing this:

      Don’t rush things. It WILL be okay. Building an audience takes time, and it can take awhile. But don’t forget to celebrate what you do achieve! There is a reason that you get a badge for your first ten followers! Every step is important!

      I look forward to working with you as well. It will be fun!

      Like

  3. As a writer of not-quite microfiction myself, I quite enjoyed this! I think you’ve managed to capture what someone watching alcoholism from the outside would notice. However, I do think that some words could be removed or replaced without cost to the story. Might even add on to it. I must say that my style permeates my opinions though, and I do understand if they do not resonate with you.

    ‘Back and forth, from chair to floor, then back again.’
    Remove ‘from’ and ‘then.
    ‘Back and forth, chair to floor, back again.’
    Maybe change the punctuation?
    ‘Back and forth. Chair to floor… back again.’

    While I think that ‘from’ and ‘then’ are perfectly good, removing them helps in grabbing the sort of ‘short-sightedness’ of drunkedness. The chair is the goal. No he’s fallen again. I also think it pairs well with the looping triplet above and the taking/desire of drink sentence below, so it’ll form its own triplet sentences.

    The change in punctuation I’m throwing in for flavour. Perhaps it’ll help capture that lull that drunkards have? How one seems to just sort of ‘hang’ there. It also gives a sense of time passing, so it conveys the thought of effort.

    I also think there was a missed opportunity below.

    ‘As he lifts the bottle to fill, his hand is stopped. The bartender grips him, and pushes his hands down.’

    I feel there’s a little bit of telling here which could have been replaced.

    ‘Big hands grip him as he lifts the bottle again. He struggles, but the bartender easily force him down.’
    “You’ve had enough. Go home. We’re not doing this again.”

    There’s quite a bit of my style here, but I think this sentence conveys same meaning while giving more information. We’re given some information on the bartender’s hands (big), some interaction between the protagonist and the bartender (some conflict) and a resolution to this little battle. I’m not sure if you would be comfortable leaving out ‘to fill’ though. I removed it only out of personal preference.

    One more minor suggestion.

    ‘He sweeps the bottle away, spilling the contents on the counter. Walks away, falling twice, but leaves all the same.’
    Shortening the second part of the first sentence, and a bit of the second,
    ‘He sweeps the bottle away. Whisky bleeds on the mahogany wood. Walks away, falls twice, but leaves all the same.’

    We’re told a bit more of his drink of choice, some info on the wood (and maybe even its smell when it interacts with alcohol for readers who know their stuff). I shortened ‘falling’ to ‘falls’ to match your ‘walks’, giving it a more staccato feel.

    Thank you for your time! I myself have a blog I hope to fill with vignettes and microfiction. Perhaps you would like to visit? Regardless, I look forward to more of your microfiction! 😀

    Nemo

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you liked it! Though, I admit, I’m not certain what you mean by “not-quite” the story is a little over 200 words, which to my knowledge is within the parameters of microfiction. But I admit that I may just have a false definition of it.

      I’m glad you liked it so much as to recommended changes, as of course, everything can be improved. However, in this case, I feel that the things you mentioned are just a product of my style. I do like the versions you came up with (especially the beginning drinking one with “from” and “then”) but I feel that changing them would alter the flow I was going for. As, when writing, flow is one of the things I personally focus on.

      On the subject of giving more information, I do feel that I am not always good at giving specifics. But the fact that you immediately jumped to mahogany and whisky is a comfort, as those are what I intended them to be.

      I personally like to leave my readers a bit of leeway with that sort of thing, and if I can just imply, then I will.

      Despite what I am saying, I don’t necessarily disagree with your choices, in fact for another writer I am sure they would suit them fine. I’m sure it suits you fine as well, as your staccato style is quiet electrifying to read. I just prefer my methods.

      I must thank you though for taking the time to write out that deep of a literary analyses of my work. It definitely shows me the level of thought that you put into everything you write.

      I think I may just give your blog a look, I’m sure I will like it! Also, if you like my microfiction, I do have a fairly substantial amount of flash fiction available for your enjoyment! Assuming, that is, that your love of short prose extends to that.

      -Brandon Scott

      Like

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