Flash Fiction Challenge: EMBARRASSMENT

This is our last emotion one for a while, and this one is difficult – but not for the reason you think. Making a character vulnerable tends to endear them to the reader. Embarrassing them does that BIG TIME. Empathy works wonders. It’s how I got through grad school. But that’s a different story…


What has embarrassed you in the past?

What embarrasses other people – since they’ll be the ones reading it?

Connecting with an audience – sharing similar experiences – makes your characters and your story close to their heart and unforgettable. Allegedly. Let’s see how good a job we do and I’ll let you know.

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.

01 postcards (15) d
You gonna argue with Robert Frost?


Same thing applies here.

Get red-cheeked.

Here’s your random character generator


THIS is the poor sucker you will be embarrassing or show being embarrassed in a manner of your choosing, you sadist.

Here’s the list of setting the poor sap will be in. Use a random number HERE generator to see which you’ll be working in this time.

  1. First day at school
  2. First day at work
  3. On a date
  4. On a bus
  5. In an elevator
  6. On an icy sidewalk
  7. In a parking lot
  8. At your/the character’s mother’s house
  9. At a restaurant
  10. While paying the dinner check or at a store cash register

Make us all DIE with him/her at their WORST MOMENT.


NO CHEATING! One spin of the wheel of fate for your character!

(Your Pulitzer Prize awaits. Don’t blow it.)

You know the drill:

  1. Use the Random Generators to pick your character and setting
  2. Write a story up to 500 words that is obviously written using both the character, setting and emotion.
  3. Post your story below in the comments with a link to your blog where
  4. You also post it on you blog (No blog? Just copy paste the whole thing here.)
  5. And mention what the heck this is so people don’t think you’ve gone schizo
  6. Read and comment on OTHER people’s entries. That makes it fun. Allegedly.
  7. You have one week. Noon Friday a week from this posting date (sunny, warm Tampa, Florida, USA time)

Get after it!


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International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

12 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: EMBARRASSMENT

  1. http://soulgifts.com.au/2016/01/30/embarrassed/

    Here’s my story:

    It was her first year at uni. She had just moved to this new city. At nineteen, she was very shy, easily embarrassed. It was difficult for her to make new friends. Just the thought of talking to strangers made her heart thump, her palms sweaty, her mouth dry. The only people she knew in this strange place were her parents with whom she lived. Having to start over was not a prospect she relished. Nevertheless, she had been accepted into a teacher training course, something she really wanted to do. Catching a bus every day to the other side of the city was a bit of a chore. It meant a three hour round trip. Until she managed to get her licence and save enough to buy herself a cheap car she had no other option.
    The first few weeks were taken up with orientation and finding her way around campus. She was beginning to recognise faces. Not yet brave enough to make the first approach, she usually had lunch by herself in the cafeteria, reading a book.
    One day another student asked to join her. Smiling, she nodded her head in welcome. She felt grateful. Perhaps this would break the ice. After an awkward moment of silence, the conversation started to flow haltingly. Names were exchanged. Other preliminary bits of information shared. She was enjoying the company. It was nice to chat to someone for a change. But nerves were making her stomach a bit twitchy. Then, out of nowhere, she felt a fart beginning to form. Nooo!! She tried to stop it. Unsuccessfully. To her horror, the fart bubbled out of her backside in a long and loud kind of gurgly sounding noise. It was probably worthy of Guinness book record for the world’s longest fart. It seemed to go on and on and on. Funnily she could even feel the bubbles travel up along her spine almost to the top. It sort of tickled a bit. Not knowing what else to do, she ignored it and kept talking as if nothing peculiar was going on. Inside, she cringed with shame and embarrassment.
    Sandwich in hand, the other student stared at her not quite believing what she was hearing. With a puzzled look on her face she seemed to be waiting for her to say something. But what? Then, with a look of utter disgust and embarrassment the she got up, collected her things and almost ran to get away. She never saw her again. No-one ever joined her for lunch after that. It seemed to her that when she walked around campus others would look at her, point and snigger. It was going to be a long and lonely semester at uni, thanks to the embarrassing fart that came out of nowhere. The puzzling thing was, this kind of thing had never happened to her before. So why now? Whenever she thought about it, which was often, she just died of embarrassment all over again.

  2. Dan,
    I look forward to these challenges but this one will be difficult. I picked a wealthy 60 year old woman who is shy and my setting is a parking lot. I have to give this one some thought. Hopefully I’ll have something by the deadline

  3. This week’s challenge is going to be hard but I’ll try to come up with something. The location I got was in a parking lot! Have to think up something for that.

  4. Ok here’s my story on embarrassment. The setting is a parking lot, the character is a middle aged woman, Hope you like it.

    The Tablet

    I came back to consciousness slowly. I wanted to hang onto the last vestiges of sleep since insomnia had become part of my life. I fought to not open my eyes, not yet. But, I was not waking up properly. I felt sluggish, almost paralyzed. Why was this so difficult? Oh, I remember now. It was the tablet I took, the new medication from the doctor. The bottle told me not to take it unless I could devote at least seven hours for sleep.
    That’s strange. I felt as if I was no longer in my bed. My body was definitely in an upright position. And the mattress was harder than I remembered.
    I lifted my head from my shoulder and opened my eyes. I blinked several times. I wasn’t in my bed. The image in front of me was not possible. I was in my car, wearing only my panties, parked in the lot where my estranged husband worked. It was still dark. The clock in the car said five thirty. I had absolutely no memory of getting up, driving, or anything else past taking that tablet and going to bed. Why hadn’t I put on pajamas? How could a sleeping person drive? It must have been that pill. What was I going to do now? I took several deep breaths. I was an intelligent, middle aged woman. I could get out of this situation even though I was nearly naked, in the police station parking lot, where my husband who had left me, was the chief. Any hopes of getting back together were gone after this.
    I looked around me—no purse, no phone, no item of clothing to cover my breasts. And I was cold. That was not helping my unclothed situation. I rifled around in the glove compartment. The registration and an insurance document became my makeshift bra.
    I had to get out of here. If I drove slowly, maybe no one would notice. I started the engine and put the car in reverse. The passenger side tire was lower and as I stepped on the gas pedal it made a sound like metal dragging. What had I done to the car? Driven on the sidewalk? I stopped. This was not going to work.
    A knock on the window startled me. I put it down only about three inches. Thank goodness I had them tinted. It was a policewoman I knew.
    “Holly, hand me your phone. No questions.”
    Her mouth was open but she did as I asked. I dialed my son. He answered on the fourth ring. I hope I hadn’t woken the kids. “It’s your mother. Come to the police station and meet me in the parking lot…yes, now…no I’m not sick, well, maybe a little…yes, it’s an emergency…more like a semi emergency.”
    He lived only three blocks but the few minutes passed slowly. He pulled his car next to mine, got out and stood there. I unrolled the window. “Ma, what the hell…” Without another word he turned his back and unbuttoned his shirt. He handed it to me with his hand over his eyes.
    I had to get out of the car to put it on. The money I had spent putting him through college paid off. He had dressed for the office and his white shirt covered my panties. He stared as if he was at a horror movie. I responded with only three words. “Drive me home.”
    I was going to make a clean getaway. My fingers were pressing the door handle waiting for my son to unlock it. Bright, blinding headlights, the screech of brakes, then a sound coming from that thing in a police car that they used for people who wouldn’t pull over. It sounded like a megaphone. I turned red all over.
    It was him, my soon to be ex husband. I looked at my son whose eyes were on the ground. I shook my head. The ironic complicity of men.

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