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The One Word Challenge for August was, I thought, particularly difficult. On the forum that month, there had been discussions around the relevance of the submitted story to the prompt word. It was felt that sometimes the link was so tentative as to be just thrown in to qualify. With that in mind, I tried to make my story fit on all counts. It didn’t win, but I was pleased to be chosen as runner-up.

The contest is monthly, and the members of Talkback, Writers Online forum, are challenged to write a piece of flash fiction (in this case no more than 200 words, or a poem of 40 lines or less), in response to a single word prompt – the One Word Challenge.

The prompt was water. Here is my submission:


Watered down

It took me eighteen years to get this far. I was born and brought up in a small town on the edge of the Scottish Highlands. I enjoyed the all the good things in life that you can only get from nature; fresh air, open space, and clean, bubbling springs.

It wasn’t all fun though. The heat, and rough and tumble of the factory changes you. I endured the beating. I knew it was for the best, and it made me what I am. Over time, just waiting and mulling things over, quietly and alone, I have matured. I am no longer the wild, raw ingredients of youth. I’ve become more than the sum of my individual parts; I’ve gained a singular, individual character. I have my own strength, standing apart from others.

But look at them! Splashing water around as if there was no tomorrow. It’s not necessary, you know. The last thing I want is my personality to be diluted by a bunch of cheap boozers in a dingy downtown bar.

We single malts must take a stand; stay true to our heritage, and remain untainted by tap water … although a large ice cube is rather pleasant.


(c) 2015, K Patrick Moody