10 to 1

This is one of my favorite flash fiction prompts from What If? by Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter. Tell a story in ten sentences: first sentence has ten words, second nine, and so on until the tenth single-word sentence. Rather than creating new fiction, I thought of my previous writing about my trip from Cali to MedellĂ­n. I used this exercise to tell the first part of that trip when we were on the bus, waiting to leave the terminal. I never felt very afraid of kidnapping, but knew it was possible; this was the first time I thought what might happen if.

She moves down the narrow bus aisle, camcorder in hand.
Pausing at each seat, she frames our faces, close.
Some men say rude things to the camera.
She walks slowly forward, focused and unsmiling.
She is near when I understand.
We travel a dangerous road.
We could be kidnapped.
Held for ransom.
I blink.
Killed.

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