The Lost City – Flash Fiction

“I’m sorry Jack. You’re too poor. My father will not allow me to marry you.” Guinelda’s words stung like a thousand hornets. With a heavy heart he dragged himself back to his downtrodden farm.

Later, as he slept on his straw bed, a cool breeze blew through the open window and whispered in his ear, Go to the Lost City. It is there you’ll find your fortune.

He bolted out of bed and looked out the window. The withered crops swished in the moonlight.

Jack packed and left his dilapidated cottage. He asked the wizened old woman in the village about the Lost City. “How’ll I ever find it?”

“Listen to the wind. It will guide you,” she hissed.

Jack thanked her and started on his trek.

It wasn’t long before another whisper blew in the breeze. Follow the sun, so Jack journeyed west.

Jack came upon a dark woods surrounded by a high stone wall. After hours of searching, he found a gate. His hand shook as he lifted the latch and it lurched open. Once inside, it slammed shut and the forest transformed into a city made of gold. His heart exploded with joy. He filled his pack with as much gold as he could carry, but as he left through the gate, it all disappeared.

He ran back into the forest and once again it transformed. He stuffed his pack to bursting, but when he walked through the gate, his treasure evaporated.

Jack dragged himself back inside and leaned against an ancient oak. He sat down and cried. He closed his eyes and thought about the last time he’d seen Guinelda.

Then he heard the wind whisper in his ear. Jack! I’m here!

He opened his eyes, but couldn’t believe it. Guinelda stood right in front of him! He was overcome with joy as she fell into his arms. He showed her the Lost City and its treasures.

Later as the lovers sipped from golden chalices, they shared their dreams of a life together. But when they walked out of the gate, Guinelda disappeared.

~~~~~

This flash is a bit longer at 350 words, but after seeing the fabulous photo prompt by Stacy Plowright, I thought, “The Lost City!” This is a continuation of my Twisted Tale series and is my 150th post! Yeah!

Have you ever dreamt you found a treasure and then were disappointed when you woke up?

Feel free to leave the link to your flash fiction in my comment section. For more from the Fictioneers click here.

The party is still rolling on my Use Me and Abuse Me Day post. Stop by and make some new friends!

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72 Comments

Filed under Fiction, Humor

72 responses to “The Lost City – Flash Fiction

  1. That was a good fairytale, Susie. The sky in the photo was well represented in your story. I don’t think this line is quite correct… She took her gnarled hand in his… flog me if I’m wrong with one of the branches from the dark woods.

    Like

    • Oh your right! There were a couple of errors in this one. I was really late on Friday since I had been partying on my Use Me and Abuse Me Day post.
      Blame it on the hangover….. Hahaha!
      Thanks Ted! And you can keep the branch as a souvenir!

      Like

  2. Poor Jack. He isn’t getting it. He needs to stay to have it all. But is his Guinelda there real or just a copy of what he could have? Sorry I’m late.

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    • Such a great question! If I expanded it, I think she would be a copy in his “virtual” world!
      No worries! It was a wild weekend for me too and I am still catching up!
      Thanks so much for taking the time Debra!

      Like

  3. Pingback: Tall Tale Tuesday: Kick the Can « Ellie Ann

  4. I like the idea of flash fiction; it makes you edit and re-edit until the narration is taut. I loved your piece here: the idea, the use of action verbs, and smooth narration. I look forward to reading more!

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  5. Pingback: Kitchen: Flash Fiction Meets Chicago | Two Voices, One Song

  6. Your flash fictions are the Bomb! You make such effective use of the words, even with so few as your cap. Lovely and lush is that tale. This one is at the traditional ceiling for flash fiction, it is a little backstory or ‘meanwhile…elsewhere in the city…’ http://wp.me/P1T1hf-8n

    Thanks for ‘The Lost City’, just a wonderful story.

    Like

  7. Authentic fable style – I could read another 150 of these!

    Like

  8. Sorry I haven’t been around much lately, but my book, The Bellman Chronicles, will be FREE to download on Sept. 10 – 11! Check it out on my Amazon Kindle page.. You won’t be disappointed. And if you can slip me a review, I’d be forever grateful…

    Like

  9. This was such a well-executed piece! I really, really loved how it read like a classic short fable — the pacing in particular was so reminiscent that I had couldn’t help but smile the whole way through, despite the sad ending. You have some serious talent. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Darn.. I thought he’d at least get the girl:) Excellent short story today!! xx

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  11. unfetteredbs

    love this… you always give a good twist at the end

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  12. unfetteredbs

    you always zing us in the end… man are you are good woman

    Like

  13. Awww…! This is really a prominent tale, wise lady. The twist you had made by the end of this tale is truly an apparent one.\m/ :)

    Rahul

    Like

  14. Hot flashes lasting longer all of a sudden or what. I think you captured Jack in a good frame of trouble and solution. How often we would like to just stay in The Lost City but life reawakens us from that rest periodically. Great post.

    Like

  15. I guess Jack didn’t know Jack, did he? I enjoyed your use of wonderfully descriptive adjectives such as “gnarled”, “dilapidated” and “wizened.” I do love words!!

    I’m a bit confused here, though. I think you might need another word. “He ran back into the forest and once it transformed.” Maybe “once again”?

    Like

  16. Cool story. Jack had a lesson to learn, methinks. Distracted by so much, when all he needed was with him, if he only changed his priorities.:-)

    Like

  17. Although there are a couple of places it felt like you repeated yourself…ie when he came to the gate and his treasure disappeared, it was a good story. Sounds like he learned quite a lesson.

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  18. Stay, Jack! Stay! Love this Susie… well done.

    Like

  19. I was gonna say, you did go longer than usual. But you went where it carried you, and that’s how writers go. I so often say, writing is a lot like reading, I keep going in order to find out where things are gonna end up.
    If Peyton can go long with such effectiveness, I’m thinking the Broncos can start punching Super Bowl tickets now.

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  20. Poor Jack! He didn’t get the true meaning of the Lost City. Love this little story, though. I hope Jack keeps searching…

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  21. Nice imagination. Very will written.

    Like

  22. Amazing as usual…so when s the book coming out?

    Like

    • Wow! Thank you!
      I hope to finish the first rewrite (which is major) by the end of September. Then I will have a couple people read it and I’ll go through it again. After a third go round, it will go to a professional editor then the great debate begins. Get an agent and publish traditionally or self publish. I sure hope I have something in the works by next spring! Fingers and toes crossed…..The second will be so much easier and faster! It’s been a learning process!

      Like

  23. Congrats on 150 posts! I love this! it reminds me of the King of Midas. He should have known not to go through that gate again, did they stumble through it drunk? ;)

    Like

  24. John Hardy Bell

    Easily the most imaginative use of the prompt I’ve seen so far. In this case I suppose the prompt doesn’t matter as much as the story it inspired. And what a story it is! So many images and emotions, great twists, and the fact that it’s 350 words absolutely rocks! You always seem to go against the grain with these stories. And it alway works! :)

    Here is mine – http://jhardyb.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/friday-fictioneers-wrath/

    Like

  25. Well-written. I enjoyed the ride.
    Scott

    Like

  26. Wow, well written! Had me wanting more. Poor guy though, seems cruel.

    Like

  27. NOW, I discover your prompt for comments is “Any wild thoughts?”

    If only I’d known. Much snark could have been randomly posted in your comments section.

    LOVED your flash fiction piece. I wondered how you were going to twist that ending, but I knew you had to. Boy/girl/love. What more could they need? What would they buy and from whom? Clever girl.

    I’m tempted to sign up for Flash Fiction Friday, but [subliminal note-to-self] ihaveawiptofinishihaveawiptofinishihaveawiptofinishihaveawiptofinish.

    Like

    • I love it! Snark away!
      I had to really think about the twist in this one and then it finally came to me that if the girl appeared she would have to stay! Some are harder than others. This fairytale genre is something else. I am ready to go back to killing strangers in mysterious boat rides. Hahahaha!
      Good luck with your WIP! If a flash comes to mind, jump in to the mix!
      Thanks so much Gloria!

      Like

  28. Well written. Vivid. Intriguing. Magical. I could almost smell the chamber pots. Now I need to wash my hands.

    Like

  29. That’s the way it goes. You get the girl or get the dough. She was no good for him. She would’ve stayed on instead of listening to her father. Now that Jack has the bucks he can marry a gold digger like Guinelda’s dad did.

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    • There you go! Hahaha!
      Actually it was a magical place where everything Jack wanted existed, but he could not leave with the treasure or her…. Sort of like Hotel California! Or not! :)

      Like

  30. I missed your party, I’m sorry as I wanted to come by. My mind betrayed me time wise . Anywho nice little story. I must be wise as I don’t believe in fairy tales or golden wishes…hard work n a pinch of luck r my motto.

    Like

  31. Really? Jack & Guinelda? Not a lot of music there. LOL!

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  32. You give us a whole fairytale in a short piece, once again, Susie! I certainly felt for Jack and enjoyed the imagery of the dilapidated farm versus the golden city.
    If anything, the story felt a little too short (although I’m thinking it’s already more than 100 words!) – some of the stuff I’d have liked you to linger on was rushed. Maybe you should write a full version sometime!
    I’m over here – http://elmowrites.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/friday-fiction-white-pegasi/

    Like

    • No kidding! It could be a full on fairytale book. I had to rush in order to be fair to all of you wonderful 100 word Friday Fictioneers! Hahaha!
      Thanks so much Elmo! I will be over to read.

      Like

  33. Loved this one. Nicely constructed. Liked the “wind”/ the “whispering” words; leading to the sun / gold /treasures/ dreams then gone.
    Gold star..(uh, it’s paper so it won’t disappear…but having trouble forcing it through the screen…pilling and shredding…but bound to reconstruct itself on your side)

    Like

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