Flash Friday Fiction: Charles and the Charcoal Factory

Chemical Factory. CC2.0 photo by Astrid Westvang.
Chemical Factory. CC2.0 photo by Astrid Westvang.

Charles and the Charcoal Factory -135 words

The factory killed his dad. Bled him dry, ma said, with its eternal grayness and dark center.

Charles hated that factory, smokestacks burning up dreams day after day as workers labored to provide for their families.

Provide what? They never had turkey at Thanksgiving, ham at Easter. “Too expensive,” ma said.

The foreman claimed it was an accident, that his da misstepped on a ladder.

Charles knew better.

For weeks, he’d hurled rocks at it, that soul-sucking edifice. His anger and rage only grew, hungry and black.

Yesterday, he’d given up. Given in. He’d picked up da’s backpack, ready to take his place.

But he’d also taken purple paint and drawn lilies on the factory’s face. It warmed his soul, this act of treason.

He’ll kill them with color and beauty. He’d kill them all.


This week, we got 100-150 words in which to craft a short (short!) story based in some way on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryWe got this summary of the novel:

Story elements (base your story on any TWO of these; be sure to tell us which two you chose: NOTE: for copyright’s sake, please make sure the elements are original to you — i.e. do not use Dahl’s copyrighted characters/world):

* Plot: A poor boy along with four other children win a day in a magical chocolate factory; unbeknownst to them, the factory owner is testing the children for an even bigger prize.
* Conflict: man vs man (the children compete against each other) OR man v self(each child undergoes a trial related to her/his greatest flaw)
Character: poor boy
Theme(s): You reap what you sow
Setting: a run-down shack at the edge of a great city OR a world-famous candy factory

I chose these elements: Character (Poor boy), Theme (You reap what you sow). What do you think? Want to read stories from seriously talented authors, or perhaps contribute your own? Head on over to Flash Friday Fiction – we welcome you with open arms (and always appreciate a supportive comment or two . . .).

Whatcha Think?