Dan O’Shea’s Flash Fiction Challenge…

Over at Going Ballistic, Daniel O’Shea has thrown down the gauntlet and asked anybody interested, to join him in writing a piece of Flash Fiction.  The guidelines are that the story can be up to 1,000 words and based around “where the good folk hit their knees.”

Now, there are some great writers that have added their name to the challenge, so my effort may end up being very mediocre indeed in comparison but hey-ho…..a challenge is a challenge. 

Here is my story – The Heart Breaker

“Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.”

“When was your last confessional?”

“Three days ago, Father, but not here. It was at another Church in another town.”

“That’s fine, son. The Lord allows confession in all of his houses of worship. Speak to me, my son.”

“Well, Father, I’ve hurt someone and I’ve broken their heart.”

“How long have you been carrying this burden?”

“Well, it happened this afternoon.”

“In our lifetimes we all hurt someone along the way. Many hearts are broken and tears are shed but eventually tears dry and hearts mend. Even our own hearts are broken sometimes, but it is a strong and powerful organ and heals quickly. Don’t worry yourself. God forgives…”

“No, Father, you don’t seem to understand. I’ve really hurt someone and it’s not the first time. It’s happened four times up to now and I can’t make it stop. I can’t stop breaking their hearts.”

“Are you crying?”


“Let the tears flow, my boy. God is forgiving you now. Don’t carry this burden with you; cast it aside, let it flood out of your body with the tears…”

“Ha, ha, ha…I’m not crying Father. I’m laughing; laughing at the ridiculous fucking way that you keep telling me that God forgives. You really don’t believe that shit do you Father?”

“Please, watch your language in the church of…”

“FATHER, I’ve really hurt someone. What don’t you understand about THAT? Why has it always got to be about love? I’ve not broke up with someone, I really fucking hurt them; all four of them.”

“Please, calm down and watch your language or I’m going to have to request that you leave the church.”

“HA! Leave the church? It’s not that easy when you’ve been a church-goer since you can remember; since you were dragged there, kicking and screaming by your God-fearing parents. Where you were made to worship by a father who thought that a leather belt would have been God’s weapon of choice to make you read the bible. The church is with you for life, as well you know, Father.”

“Please leave now. I command that you leave my church now and beg for forgiveness as you go.”


“Are you still there?”




The curtain flew open.

“You see Father. This is what I was talking about. I’ve really hurt someone.”

The still warm organ landed in the Priest’s lap.

“Oh…dear…God, this…can’t be a…p…person’s heart…”

“Yes it can be, Father, a broken heart. And guess what? That there is your wife’s and it is soon going to be joined by her husbands. But as you say, God will forgive me, especially with me being a man of the cloth.”

The End.

Please also take the time to take a look at Daniel’s site, there’s a lot of good stuff going on over there.  And here’s the list of the other writers and their stories for the contest.  Contest Entries.

You know the drill, leave a comment if you want to and thanks in advance for reading my story…



Filed under dan o'shea, david barber, david barber's fiction world, flash fiction challenge, going ballistic, the heart breaker

25 responses to “Dan O’Shea’s Flash Fiction Challenge…

  1. Bloody hell!That was really powerful and I didn't see the end coming at all.I might have a bash at the comp. Not that I can write so good but for the hell of it.And no old bean. Whatever that is it is certainly not mediocre!

  2. Thanks FD. There really some top writers on that list though.

  3. G

    Interesting twist, although a bit confusing. Like the previous commenter, I didn't see the ending coming either.Thanks for sharing.

  4. I did think that perhaps he had killed someone. Especially when he kept saying.. "I've REALLY hurt someone". :PA priest with a wife?? I'm guessing they are not Catholic! It was a great story. I loved the ending. ((Hugs))Laura

  5. Dave! How do I mail my effort to him? No idea…Help!

  6. Man, he punched his ticket to h-e double hockey sticks!

  7. Nice stuff. Really pulses with violence. Well done.

  8. Yikes. Like the repetition of his statement-I really hurt someone.

  9. Forgiveness doesn't come easy, does it? Nice one, David!

  10. I like this a lot. A certain weight and menace conveyed by the dialogue. Good work here.

  11. Enjoyed this as well. I love a good, literal "heart torn out" story.

  12. Excellent David. The wife part caught me off guard. I am so grateful when I decided that being an acolyte was not for me and that the Anglican Church or any church was not for me, my parents stopped insisting I go. Long story, but at one point(age 13) in my life I considered going to seminary. In retrospect, what happened was timely and probably the best thing that happened to me to that point in my life.

  13. You got me with that one. This would make a nice beginning to a serial killer novel. Next chapter: The detective at the crime scene.

  14. Oh! Nice twist! I did not see the end coming; I felt that something bad was going to happen, but not what…

  15. Oh, come on, Dave, mediocre? I don't think so! Your story was obviously traveling down a dark path, but I had no idea what was waiting at the end. Love a nice literal interpretation of "now you really have no heart" kind of thing. This was great. Thanks for sharing it with us all.

  16. A very big thank you for your kind words. It is very much appreciated.

  17. Apologies Dave, I’m a little late catching up on the entries but I’m glad I caught yours. No way is this mediocre – it’s a dark, cracking tale and left me wanting more – just the way I like them. Very well done mate.

  18. Wow, I knew he meant it when he said he really hurt someone, but I had no idea he was still carrying the pain around with him….literally. Nicely done, will there be more?Dottie 🙂

  19. We can fault him for many things, but he's definitely not dishonest. A good turn, Mr. Barber.

  20. I hope he didn't really break anyone's heart. Fetch a pretty penny on the black market, I'd wager.Good stuff, can never go wrong with bloody violence. 😉

  21. Ouch — sick, sick mind — and I say that in the best way possible 🙂 nice twist there — cheers

  22. Alan, Dottie, Cormac, Randal & Chad. Thanks a lot for looking and commenting. Much appreciated.

  23. I heart lapsed Catholics.

  24. That was great writing bro! Anything more I could contribute would only be an echo of everyone else's previous statements. Enjoyed it

  25. Looks like your army of fans BEAT me to it. But it was BLOODY good that, Dave! Certainly not a half-HEARTed attempt. I PRAY you win the comp.Am still pissed up from yesterday… I'll get me coat…

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