Something About 0.1%

This was my flash fiction finger exercise when I was in my sophomore year.  We were tasked to pick a line from a list of famous first lines in the book Imaginative Writing by Janet Burroway ([Burroway, Janet. Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft. New York: Addison Wesley Longman Inc., 2003, p.282] then finish the rest of the story to fit in a postcard.


Once upon a time I was dissatisfied with how I used my brains and with how Sam used his. “That is not the way how to castrate a rabbit,” he said. “You have to cut the skin above the scrotum, see?” he said, pointing the area with a scalpel. I nodded. “You should remove the testicles this way before you tie it with the spermatic cord. Can you pass the tissue glue please?” he continued. I just observed what my science partner did. After a few minutes, he said that I should give the rabbits some analgesics.

I kept the materials back at the cabinet. Then I went back to sit beside Sam, who was already recording our castration experiment. I overheard my classmate discussing about what she saw in the Discovery channel. “You know, the difference between you and the person sitting beside you is just 0.1 percent. That means that all humans share 99.9 percent similarities in their DNA compositions, whether that’s the color of your skins, the length of your hairs, or even how your brains work.”

I looked at Sam who was now stroking the rabbit gently. Somehow, I couldn’t believe that the difference between us is just 0.1 percent. [204 words]


To view how my other classmates wrote their postcard flash fictions, visit our our blog A Mad Desk. 🙂  They also came up with interesting ones – Kring-Kring, Alpha, Maureen, Edwin, and April.  As far as I remember, we enjoyed the activity much.  It was an exercise to practice how to make a story so condensed with limited words but effective, jam-packed plot.  That was a very challenging writing exercise in preparation for writing the standard flash fiction, which is 300-1000 words.  Hence, we called that postcard flash fiction. 🙂

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