June 13, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a danger zone. It can be an exciting plot-driven story (think “story spine”) or a situation a character must confront. Play with different genres, and use craft elements like tension, tone, and pacing. Go where the prompt leads! Click here for details.
Dilemma – by Hugh W. Roberts
Red lights flashed before his eyes, yet he felt the need to enter the building. He had an idea of what he would find once inside, but the danger would still be lurking. He had to be careful and ensure nothing or nobody threatened his life.
The fact that he was over 25 miles away from home helped release some of his anxiety. As he pushed open the door, adrenalin pumped through his body before danger stared back at him.
“Dad! What? I can explain. Did you follow me? Or did you know this place is a gay bar?”
Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch.
Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love ‘Glimpses.’
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31 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Friday – Dilemma”
Interesting story, Hugh. Sad though because the guy obviously knew where he was going and was approaching the place with a fear of physical injury and danger to his life. But also sad that the son was forced to travel 25 miles from home just to be himself.
Thanks, Michael. It could be that this was the only gay bar in a large area. Unfortunately, I know of some places where there are no bars for gay people to meet in safely, so they must travel a long way to get to one. When I was in my early 20s, the nearest gay bar was nearly 50 miles away.
I left it open to readers to decide why the father had gone to the bar. Had he gone because he was bisexual, the danger would have been that somebody would have recognised him, resulting in his marriage and family life being at risk. Although homophobia is sadly on the rise again, it’s still much safer to go to a gay bar than when I first went to one in the mid-1980s.
Another fine twist. Seems Dad has some explaining to do…
Indeed. Why was he following his son, or why was he there?
Lol, I chuckled. Was dad’s secret out too? 🙂
Maybe it was just about to come out at the same time he was?
It surely could have been! 🙂
Interesting, Hugh. I’m keen to know the backstory.
Maybe this is one of those pieces that deserves more than 99 words, Norah.
I think so, Hugh.
Hmmm was he there for himself? Not uncommon. If I was the son I would be shocked to say the least but understanding all the same.
We don’t know if he followed his son or went there without knowing his son would be there. But your right about being understanding.
I love it Hugh.
Dilemmas indeed, Hugh! I read red flashing lights and thought of danger, not a bar, so nice job leading me down the wrong path for a second 😉 Excellent story in 99 words!
The idea of the red flashing lights was disco lights, Terri. I haven’t been to a disco for a very, very long time, so I hope that’s what still happens at discos.
Thanks for the thumbs up on the story. Glad to have led you down the wrong path.
Yikes! That must have been a very interesting conversation after the initial shock.
I’m sure it will have been.
Fantastic one. Good tension building and fascinating, open ending…
Thanks, Liesbet. Glad you enjoyed it and saw the tension building.
Wow, this was great! I would love a second installment.
Thank you. I like leaving these flash fiction pieces open for the reader to decide what happened. But sometimes, I do come back to them.
Agreed, you left us hanging, Hugh. Would love to read the follow-up.
That seems like a popular request. I’ll have to have a good think about it.
Well done, Hugh. Of course, you’ve left us imagining the rest.
Yes, I love the reader to take over from where I leave off, Dan. Just imagine all the different endings.
Perfect, Hugh. The mind boggles at what comes next.
We can only imagine, Noelle. But if dad is quick thinking, he may be able to come away not hurt or in danger.
I love the ending. Good question who was more surprised or shocked to see the other one…
Exactly, Erika. What a dilemma for both.