Micro Fiction Challenge: The Straight Jacket

Sometime last week, I ended one of my blog posts with this deliciously unnerving photo of a straight jacket:

Many of you reported being creeped out by this thing, and if there’s anything I know that’s fodder for a good story it’s stuff that creeps you out.

So here’s the challenge: write a story in 100 words or less inspired by this photo. I does not need to involve an actual straight jacket. It could touch on such themes as insanity or being constricted in some way. Or maybe you don’t care about the straight jacket at all, but you’re really getting a good vibe from that hanger its on. I don’t care. Go crazy.

You can post your entry in your own blog and link to it in the comments section, or, since 100 words isn’t too terribly long, you can just post the whole story in the comments if you’d prefer.

Micro-fiction is a great way to exercise those poetic mind-muscles, so let yourself explore the possibilities of where your words can take you.

I’m looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with.

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17 responses to “Micro Fiction Challenge: The Straight Jacket

  1. Untitled, here is my entry…

    It hung there, taunting me.

    “Put me on”, it said

    “No.”

    “Come on, put me on.”

    “I can’t.”

    “Sure you can.”

    I paced the floor. I looked at it again, hanging there, luring me, pulling me toward it. I chewed my thumbnail and walked.

    “You may as well. It’s not like you don’t want to.”

    “No!” I shouted. “I don’t want to. I don’t.” I hung my head and whispered,
    “And you can’t make me.”

    “No, you have to come of your own volition.”

    And when I did, madness descended.

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  3. When I was 10, father hung a leather strap on my bedroom door, to remind me what would happen when I was bad. Well, father’s definition of bad – bad changed depending on his mood. Father had a lot of moods. I grew up hating the leather strap but it did inspire me. A year ago I used it to hang father, after I beat him of course. Now a straitjacket hangs in my cell, to remind me of what happens if I am bad. I may have to hang my psychiatrist, after I beat him of course.

  4. Woah! I love both of those stories. So dark! I’ve got one going. I’ll post it as soon as it’s finished (later this morning I think). That straight jacket creeps the heck out of me!

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  6. She had to be still.

    It was hard for her to be quiet when forced. The thought of being caught again flooded her with terror, so she tried to focus on the only thing she knew would relax her. In the jacket, there was nothing else. No struggles worth fighting, no words that made any difference – just her, restricted, on the floor of a white, featureless room. Once she had been in it a few times, all she had to do was picture it to calm herself. She remembered the cool hard floor…

    The curious footsteps trickled by slowly.

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  9. The mother looked at her needle. Then she looked at her daughter, playing with her plastic bunny. “Hoppity skippity,” the little girl sang to herself, all innocence, all imagination. The mother grit her teeth, and took a slow sip of her tea.
    The needle weaved through the thick, white fabric. Only one more buckle to sow on and it was complete.
    Without hesitation, the mother suddenly threw her teacup at the little girl. It crashed against the wall and the girl dropped her bunny.
    With shaking arms, the mother pulled on her jacket. To protect her daughter. To protect herself.

  10. Well done fellow writers – its amazing we can each look at the same singular but suggestive pic and yet write such very different stories, and each one as creepy and gripping as the others. I congratulate us all.- Alex Keir

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  12. The photo and your challenge grew on me until I was inspired to write my first piece of fiction since the required writting of my high school days (20 years ago). Thanks! This may become grow to become a short story.

    The shrieking had begun. They had told her it was the old man down the hall. Then they had told her she was hearing things. Then they gave her medication.

    She could hear it moving, the skitter of its claws across the floor, the walls. She whimpered and curled into herself. She desperately tried to wiggle out of the jacket they had said would keep her safe. She heard the tentative clicking of its claws come near and she closed her eyes and mouth tight, but she could feel hot, moist breath against her ear and a low satisfied chuckle.

  13. She was smiling for the first time in months so maybe this was good for her. Even if it was a little tight. Even if it made it hard to breath. Even if she was nervous. She looked good in white. This was her wedding day.

  14. When I awoke my head ached and my tounge tasted like there was a penny in my mouth. I hate it when Earl acts out because I always ended up in the white jacket with wrap around sleeves. Earl never speaks up, never takes responsibilty for his actions so I am the one left to suffer the consequences of his actions. I tell all of them Earl does this shit not me, but they won’t listen.

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