A Tough Decision (A Flash Fiction Piece)

by K. Kris Loomis in Fiction

He had a tough decision to make, no question about it. He had faced similar threats before and had managed (miraculously) to recover so he tried to stave off the pumping adrenaline before panic set in.

After all, this is what you get for playing with the big boys.

Think, he said to himself. Just think. Weigh your options.

He didn’t have much time left. This decision would be permanent and he didn’t want to rush, but…

Tick tock.

A salty bead of sweat slipped to the end of his nose.

The obvious choice would leave him no better off than he was now. In fact, he calculated, in the long run, he would suffer for it. Recovery was not clear if he went down that road.

No, he needed to be in control.

Tick tock.

Nervous thirst made his tongue thin and brittle.

Maybe he should attack. Of course, he ran the risk of losing everything he had worked so hard for. His position. His advantage. Even his lady. Everything hinged on this one decision.


If he made the safe move his enemy would surely quash him. Of that he was certain. At least it would be a swift death.

No! He would not accept that. Think!

Tick tock.

He tried clearing his throat but the thick phlegm was stuck and made it difficult for him to swallow.

Wait. The objective. Yes! His mentor had told him many years ago to never lose sight of his main objective, even in the midst of impending peril.

So he relaxed his throat, slowed his breath, and calmly reassessed his problem, this time focusing on his long-term plan, his objective, not the immediate danger.

Don’t dismiss the impossible was his mentor’s mantra.

Tick tock.

Then he saw it. The answer was right in front of him. He would need a little more time to pull it off, but he could now see a different outcome.

Yes, it was risky.

Sneaky, even.

But his nemesis would never have time to recover. It would be a bloody battle and cost him those dearest to him, but he now realized he could force his way to victory.

Tick tock.

He rushed his knight to c7 and punched his clock with only twelve seconds left. Then he proceeded to crush his opponent with a quick, but beautiful mate in five.

K. Kris Loomis is the author of the humorous travel memoir, Thirty Days In Quito: Two Gringos and a Three-Legged Cat Move to Ecuador. She also writes adult parables and short stories as well as books about yoga and meditation.

Kris is a determined chess player, an origami enthusiast, a classically trained pianist, and a playwright. She lives in South Carolina with her husband and two cats.

Get a free short story by signing up for Kris’ bi-weekly blog! And you can connect with Kris anytime on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest @kkrisloomis.


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8 Responses to “A Tough Decision (A Flash Fiction Piece)”

  1. Louise Foerster says:

    I felt right there with him!

  2. Diana Wink says:

    So great! I was expecting him to be somewhere in the prison of the London Dungeon, haha. Very cool twist. Great tension. Well done!

  3. Sarah says:

    That was fun! Happy 4th of July!

  4. Enjoyed this. Written in a way that had me right there, hearing every tick of the clock and counting his drops of perspiration. You could tell you were enjoying writing this.

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