Families preserve the weirdest traditions. But, in this flash fiction, preserving tradition takes on a whole new meaning.
This was submitted to Boxing with Pencils  — a challenge that requires all stories to be 100 words or less while including 3 specific words. 
This week’s words: 
Pickles, Family, Carnation
Families Preserve the Weirdest Traditions

Image by Mark Valencia

The sharp smell of vinegar stung as Carol poured the brine into the pickling jars. Dozens of them stretched across her counter in neat rows– just like family tradition dictated. 

Her heart swelled. ‘Mom would have been proud.’ She thought.

With a clank, Carol set the pot down on the stove and rolled her neck feeling that welcome pop of release. The sun peeked through the curtains. ‘Morning. Already.’

Carol looked at the bloody floor, as red as the carnations she’d placed on her mom’s grave.

‘More cleaning…’ She sighed. ‘But, at least dad will preserve nicely.’



Hi there!

I’ve always been fascinated by the twist endings in flash fiction. Lately, I’ve played with a few like these, ones with those darker endings.

I’m curious to know what you thought of this one. A flash fiction where a family’s weird tradition is preserving… literally. What chord did it strike for you?

For me, it feels like a half note that hangs in the air.


But, perhaps someone else would like that half note. After all, the Egyptians preserved their Pharaohs back in the day. And, embalming is specifically preservation.

Of course, neither of those are usually done in their daughter’s blood-spattered basement late at night. 

What part got you? 

Did it inspire your own story or art?
Join our community and share it!

Want to read more flash fiction?
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Mindful Adventurer

Passionate stories from my travels and my kitchen. Find inspiration in my successes (and lessons in my failures) as I travel and cook my way through life.


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