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Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers ~ Writing challenge week 7. The goal is to write a story between 100-150 words (give or take 25 words) based on the provided photo.

Thank you to pixabay.com (free to use photographs) for this week’s prompt photos.


by John Yeo

The acid attack was horrific, Joey screamed, penetratingly loud, as pain raced through his head. Skin was burnt to shreds from the structure of his face, Joey’s crowning glory, his hair, was burnt off in seconds. He passed out and was raced to the burns unit at the local general hospital.
One year later after many operations by plastic surgeons some semblance of normality returned. Joey refused to be seen in public and became a recluse. He left our town and disappeared, it was rumoured he had joined some gypsies and was travelling the countryside by caravan.
One day Lisa our daughter, came home from school very excited, “Daddy the circus has come to town!”
Saturday night we had the best seats in the big top and Lisa was laughing merrily at the antics of Joey the clown. He came to speak to her and Lisa asked “How did you become a clown Joey?” His painted smile never altered hiding the tears of a clown.

(165 Words)


Copyright  © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

This is in response to a challenge hosted by Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. If you would like to participate in this challenge or need more information, please click the following link:


38 thoughts on “TEARS

  1. This was wonderful. When I was a child I always thought clowns were just happy people. When I became an adult I wondered if those smiles were really hiding a lot of sadness. This was excellent!

    • Thanks Joy ~ Oh! how to be able to revel in the innocence of childhood. ~ I think it is safer and more empathic to others to try to penetrate the mask that we all wear occasionally ~ I’m happy you enjoyed this and I look forward very much to tackling your next prompt 🙂 Have a nice Easter weekend 🙂

  2. The only other acceptable clown – if it’s not scary, it has to be sad. Poor Joey, though. I love Lisa’s question: To her, it’s all fun, but the adults know the truth… Nicely done!

    • You are so right Sonya ~ The innocence of a child touching the hidden nerve that must burn as fierce as the acid that is burned in Joey’s memory ~ 🙂

  3. It is often said that those who try to make others smile are the ones who are desperately in need of some happiness themselves.
    A great story, you captured the emotions of Joey very well.

  4. John that is so sad. I love the line ” hiding the tears of a clown” because we know Joey is hiding his own real tears. Really well done.

  5. Well written. The few words tell the whole sad story of one with lots of pain inside but to the outside everything looked good

  6. I could feel Joey’s suffering in this, John. How dreadful to be so facially disfigured! It’s so sad that the rest of Joey’s life was spent hiding behind the painted face of a clown. A poignant story, very well told, 🙂

  7. I felt so bad for Joey….but on an up note, I would like to challenge you to the Five Pictures, Five stories challenge! For five consecutive days you would have to post five picutres with a story-fiction, nonfiction, paragraph or longer, whatever strikes you. The other thing you would need to do is challenge another blogger every day as well. I hope you will join, it’s rather fun!

  8. What a sad story. I can imagine how hard it must’ve been for Joey and heartbreaking to reveal why he became a clown. It had never crossed my mind to think if clowns are always happy until one day I witnessed a father and young son doing their show because the father had lost his job. Beautiful story you shared 🙂

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