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  • J. J. Hanna

Ink Blot: Flash Fiction Intro and Number One

Updated: Mar 2, 2020

Hello there. If you've been around her a while, or have at least had the chance to read a few posts, you'll notice most of my posts are focused on the craft of writing, the writing industry, or other related topics.

Well, that stuff's fun and all, but I'm hoping to provide a small respite from all the advice every once in a while through a new section of my blog: Ink Blot.

In Ink Blot, I want to take writing prompts from others on the internet, giving them shout outs in the process, and responding to their prompts.

This way, you also get to know my fiction writing. And, hopefully, you'll be entertained.

A word of warning before you read on: This is intentionally casual writing (so I've not polished these--much) and (in case you're unaware) I'm a suspense/crime/thriller writer. If you don't like darkness in your fiction, it may do you well to wander off to some of my other posts and avoid the Ink Blots here.

But, if you want to get a feel for my writing style, by all means, stick around.

This will be flash fiction, so I'm planning on giving you a short snippet without much context, a snippet provided solely from whatever my mind see as I read these prompts.


This week's prompt comes from @writingchallenges on Instagram.


It should have been simple. He would bring the information to the house, drop it in the mailbox, and go to the park. She would review the file once he was gone, and meet him at the swings.

But nothing ever goes as smoothly as it's supposed to does it?

He left the file like he was supposed to. He walked away like he was supposed to. But as she was heading to the mailbox to retrieve it, she heard the quick rush of air from a dart gun and felt the prick as the dart embedded in her neck.

No, nothing ever goes smoothly.

She woke up on the floor in the back of a van. Judging from the wiring on the back windows, the outside likely fit the stereotype--white and unmarked. The van was moving. One of the tires must have been flat, she could hear the wub-wub-wub and feel the uneven roll, like a lame elephant trying to trample everything in its path. She glanced toward the front, trying not to move too quickly and draw attention to herself.

One driver, and one passenger. She glanced around. She was alone in the back, and she wasn't tied up.

That was a mistake.

The van pulled to a stop and the passenger got out. She flopped down on the floor again, closing her eyes and controlling her breathing. Maybe they wouldn't notice she was no longer unconscious.

The back doors opened and rough hands grabbed her ankles, yanking her across the metal floor. The metal rubbed harshly against her ankle, leaving a raw burn spot. Still she waited. For now, she had the advantage. She shouldn't lose that by moving too quickly. The second her feet hit the ground she kicked upward, connecting hard with her captor's groin. He doubled over. She turned to run, but the click of a bullet falling into the chamber as a gun cocked stopped her in her tracks.

"Not so fast, sweetheart. You have something we want."

"Sorry?" she asked, feigning innocence.

"We wouldn't have needed you, except we know this file is written in code. You're going to decode it."

Oh, the irony. She laughed. "If only you knew."


"I only know half the code. I was to do my part and deliver it to someone else."

Her captor scowled. The one she kicked was still trying to recover. "Fine. Where's the meet?" he asked.

"Sorry. That's classified."

The butt of the gun cracked against her cheek. She blinked hard, trying to keep her eyes from watering.

"Get in," he ordered, the gun trained on her.

She obeyed, climbing back into the van. They wouldn't kill her, since they needed the code. But that only kept her safe for so long. Eventually, her luck would run out.

The man with the gun climbed in after her. "You drive," he ordered. His companion got into the driver's seat and pulled the van back onto the road. "Where to?"

She glanced at the gun, her face tingling. She knew the pain would come later. For now, her skin would still give her the relief of numbness.

"You won't kill me." She hoped her voice didn't shake as much as she thought it did.

"I don't need to kill you to hurt you," he growled. "Where to!"

She flinched. "Watershed Park."

"Good girl."

The companion guided the van toward the park, its flat tire wub-wub-wubbing over the road.

"Where in the park?"

"The swings. He'll be carrying a blue bandanna."

They rode in silence until they arrived.

"Keep the van running. We'll be back." He grabbed her arm and pulled her to her feet, poking the gun uncomfortably into her side. She pushed the van doors open when directed and walked without a fuss. He'd made himself clear.

"That's him," she said, hoping to distract her captor long enough to pass a message to her partner. Not that she'd need to say much. After all, she was supposed to come alone.

Her partner looked over at them, his keen eyes taking in the situation in seconds.

"Gun," she mouthed.

He blinked twice in quick succession, their signal for 'I understand.'

"Beautiful day we're having, isn't it?" her partner asked.

"I wish there were more clouds," she responded.

"Awe, you two are so cute with your codes. I'm only going to ask this once. Translate the file."

Her partner moved into position. "It's really not worth all this effort."

"Then translate it, or I shoot your friend!"

"Shhh. Calm down. We're in a park. You're not going to shoot her here." Her partner leaned in close. "After all, a simple recipe isn't worth all this trouble. Just let me get my pen and paper . . ." He reached into his coat and in a single, swift motion, flicked a knife into her captor's neck. He was so shocked he forgot to pull the trigger. She pulled out of his grip and knocked his gun out of his hand.

"Let's go," she whispered. Her partner grabbed his knife, wiped it off on the grass, and the two walked off. For now, the bomb formula for the chemical bomb would still be safe. No one else needed to get hurt, and no one else would get hurt, until they had it safely locked away.


Hope you enjoyed that! I plan on doing this every once in a while, so send me writing prompts if you want to be featured or just get in touch.


J. J. Hanna is a Professional Writing major at Taylor University. In her spare time she creates YouTube Videos and Comics, and practices Karate at a local dojo. If you have a writing question, she'd love to hear from you! She is also looking for freelancing work, so if you have editing, beta reading, writing needs, a conference speaker, or would simply like to chat in a consultation, please let her know. Like what you see and want to get more content like this, or have your specific questions answered? Check out how you can support her on Patreon for as little as $3 a month.


This week's YouTube video focused on the benefits of social media. Enjoy!

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