The late, great Iain (M) Banks once said
only a short story can be truly perfect
Sadly my entry into July’s Scottish Book Trust’s 50 Word Fiction Competition was not and so didn’t really have a chance of winning. However, I’m getting ahead of myself here. The Scottish Book Trust’s prompt last month was “stories set in an airport” along with the picture on the right. The yellow sign suggested an obvious theme to follow when writing my story Departures which can be seen below the cut.
As I said about Departures is not perfect for a couple of reasons. First of all the title doesn’t really make sense. I was trying to recapture the magic I accidentally created with Fogged‘s title but I failed due to the fact that this story doesn’t included multiple departures just one. Calling the story departure wouldn’t have worked as that isn’t the name of the area where planes leave.
Also when I entered this piece into the competition, I didn’t like the ending. At the time I didn’t feel it had the power the story needed. However, re-reading it again I’m wrong, the ending does work. In earlier drafts there was an extra sentence or two after the “can’t” describing She/Her walking through the gate. It is safe to say I made the right decision to cut it.
Apart from these issues, at the time, I felt this was one of my best attempts at a 50 Word Short Story. It has everything needed to tell a successful story and certainly contains explicit conflict – something that my other flash fiction writing often misses.
As I said above, I didn’t expect to win and that expectation was sadly met. However, I’m happy with Departures – even if the title still doesn’t work. What do you think? Does the title not work or do you disagree about my ending?