Humanities Literature Class assignment

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we discussed METAPHOR, what it is and how writers use metaphors in their writing. For this brief module, you will be writing a flash story which relies on metaphor to get across a feeling of LOSS. This assignment is based on our reading of Melissa Goode’s “Pretenders.”


1. Write a flash story using 1st-person POV (I/me/my/our) …

2. The narrator of the story addresses someone (an unnamed character) …

3. Who is dead, or at any rate gone from the narrator’s life.

4. Aim for no more than 300 words.

In Goode’s story, the narrator relies on a SETTING by water (perhaps the ocean, perhaps a lake) and she is imagining talking to the unnamed character. Key to the story is her mentioning “It is the first time I have touched you in ninety-six days …” That statement tells readers that she had been separated from the addressed character and misses him.

Notice the details the writer uses to create setting—seagulls hover and waves are “rimmed silver-white.” As far a action is concerned, there isn’t a whole lot. The narrator tells us she and her lover sing Pretenders songs to each other (that detail, of course, dates the narrator, tells you that she’s not your age, LOL). All of these details extend the metaphor of LOSS. Instead of simply writing about a character whose lover is dead (we assume), and instead of telling us how sorry the narrator feels about her loss, Goode SHOWS us the character’s grief.

In your story, do NOT tell the reader what happened to your unnamed character. See the story through the eyes of the 1st-person narrator (remember: that narrator is not YOU, the writer, but rather a CHARACTER simply referred to as “I”) who already knows what has happened and is simply reflecting/thinking on her/his loss.

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