Flash Fiction: Glitterbeard

Before I share my response to Chari’s flash fiction challenge over at Carrot Ranch, I need to share something else.

Anthony Bourdain is in the news this morning. A man who was so full of life couldn’t live with the shroud of depression any longer and took his own life. And while I wasn’t a dedicated follower of his, this loss cuts deep.

I know what the depths of depression feel like, and after something like this happens, people flock to offer support on social media. I tend to find myself speechless in these times, as memories of the dark shroud revisit.

So it would seem strange that Charli’s prompt along with the following Twitter thread inspired a flash fiction idea. I’ll share the thread and then the prompt.


And Charli’s prompt is this: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about man glisten. It was a fun term coined by two men with glitter in their beards.

So with all of this in mind, I offer my flash piece.



Darkness settles on me, around me, through me. It’s impenetrable. Undeniable.

I shake the bottle. Ten seconds is all I need. Ten seconds to escape.

One last glance outside. I used to feel joy on a spring day. I remember it as a cold fact.

Zach sits on his porch with his preschooler. His chin is lifted, and she’s sprinkling something into his thick, black beard.


I set the bottle down and head across the street.

Glitterbeard looks up as I approach. “Hey, man! You like it?”

I smile.

It’s enough to poke a hole in the darkness.

15 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: Glitterbeard

  1. Pingback: Man Glisten « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

  2. A very poignant piece of writing, Allison. Depression is very tragic. I do know people who suffer from depression and it is definitely an illness.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is actually the second suicide I have read about in as many days. Kate Spade was the other…
    I can only hope that the families left behind can find comfort – loss by death by any means is a shroud.

    And then there are the simple things that inspire those who think life is gone… to be reunited with the hope of living. Sometimes joy can be rekindled by a simple smile and some glitter. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

      • I didn’t really know either of those famous folks. I went with some humor for my entry.
        I ended up adding to the 99 words though…
        Sometimes you have to say more.

        I do remember reading some stories through the years where a person was on their last threads… only to have one simple thing change their future towards a more positive note.

        Liked by 1 person

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