Flash Fiction: Souls of Humanity

I entered this piece into a Flash Fiction Contest, but did not place. I would love to get some comments and feedback on how I can improve on my Flash Fiction stories.

Submission Guidelines
Seeking fiction submissions that display commonalities in the human spirit which derive from an American ideal. Whether those commonalities display loss, defeat, triumph, humor, abandonment, fortitude, etc… The story should showcase honesty within the human spirit. We admire duality of character, conflict and unique personality.

Souls of Humanity
by D. B. Mauldin

Susan found herself gasping for air. She was bound by chains in a tiny wooden box. She could see a small air hole. She tried to relax, save her energy and breath. Susan heard laughter and voices outside of the box.
“Did you hear her struggling?” “She will die if she doesn’t stop struggling.” “She should conform.”
“Conform to what?” Susan wondered to herself. The lack of oxygen was making here very sleepy. She tried not to give in but it was inevitable. Susan fell into a deep sleep.
Susan was in a large crowd. They were walking, chanting, and some were carrying signs. Susan looked at the sign she carried in her hands. “Freedom and Equality for All” it said. She took in her surroundings and slowly began recognizing some of the people marching with her. Susan remembered it all now. She was protesting the signing of the latest amendment that would take away the last remaining thread of human dignity; the abolishment of freedom.
Everything else had already been taken away. The unenlightened Elite were ruling the world and they insisted that every human being conform to the new laws. The Elite demanded humanity to work for them. In return, they would be housed, fed, clothed, and cared for. The Elite had built compounds where humanity would live.
The ‘Souls of Humanity’ could not bear to conform. They no longer had the right to protest, but protest they did, for this last redemption of their freedom. The ‘Souls of Humanity’ were peace-loving folks and didn’t believe in war.
‘Souls of Humanity’ watched as one-by-one their rights were taken away. They did what they could but it was never enough. The Elite grew stronger and stronger and humanity lost more and more. It was as if the Elite had no souls.
On the day of the protest, the ‘Souls of Humanity’ were marching. The last thing Susan remembered were the Elite soldiers stunning everyone with laser guns.
Susan woke from her dream. Her heart was beating heavily. The box was too small for her to stretch or move about. She was aching all over. She wondered if the other ‘Souls of Humanity’ were being held in boxes too. She became very still and tried to reach out with her heart, mind, and soul.
She felt some small stirrings within her soul. “Hello,” she reached out silently. No response, just the small stirrings, but it seemed one stirring was becoming stronger. “Hello,” she tried again.
“We must not conform,” resonated in Susan’s soul. “We must not conform,” over and over becoming stronger. Susan felt her soul join with the others. “We must not conform.”
“I would rather die than conform,” Susan wasn’t sure if that came from her own thoughts or the thoughts of the joined soul. It didn’t matter. She had blended with the other souls. Susan sighed and took her last breath.

Thanks for any help you can provide! 🙂

5 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: Souls of Humanity

Add yours

  1. Perhaps try writing this story in first-person and see how it feels to you. If nothing else it’s a great way to “be” Susan and understand her character. It also rids your story of the troublesome “She did this, and then she did this, and then she…” It doesn’t work for every story but I just think it might for this one. If nothing else it will stretch your writer legs. Enjoy, Dave.


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