Flash fiction is a literary genre the goal of which is to render an entire story with a limited word count. The word count varies according to literary group preferences. I choose 100 words to be my limit. The following is an effort at flash fiction from 2011.
She had come to the meeting to support the cause – but now everyone was looking at her like she had crashed the party.
It’s because of that black woman, she thought, who had responded to her magnanimous contribution to the discussion with,
“If you don’t see my color, you don’t see me.”
“I am not prejudiced,” she said. “One of my closest friends is black.”
The black woman shrugged and said, “Alright. I get it. You have a black friend, you don’t see color – just people – and that makes you an okay white woman. Alright. Yeah, I get it. Thanks.”
Unfortunately the story often ends there, with hurt feelings, confusion and reluctance to express one’s truth in future gatherings. It appears to me that both sides tighten their grasp on the ‘truth’ as they perceive it, and abandon the quest for deeper understanding. What are some alternative approaches? How can we edit this story (no word limit) to embrace both perceptions of the truth?