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Breaking Bad

I slammed the hammer down again and again. Loves me not, Loves me not, Loves me not, I thought with every blow. I could not believe he had been so bold as to bring her to the skating rink! I continued bringing the hammer down, shattering one after another. Every word, every love song he had recorded, all lies.

My brother sat down beside me. “Is that making you feel better?”


“I know something that might make you feel even better than that.”

“I’m listening.”

“Don’t listen—just watch.” I saw him pick up one of the spools that lay uncoiling from the smashed cassettes. He stood up, stuck a pencil in it, and threw it above his head fifteen feet into the towering tree. He looked back at me, grinned, grabbed the pencil as it came back down, and handed it to me.

“YES!” I shouted, grabbing the pencil and hurling one strand after another over the branches as I hurled insults into the air with them, telling the unavailable target of my anger what I thought of him and his mixtapes.

Thirty-two tapes later, we looked up at the coils spiraling down from the tree in satisfaction.

We heard her footsteps approach as the reality of what we had just done suddenly set in. We cringed and waited for mad. Instead, we only heard her calmly say. “Hmmm, can’t wait to see how you are gonna get those down.”

We both looked up.

Hadn’t thought of that.

While most of my stories in flash fiction are, well, fiction, this one actually has some element of truth. It took forever to clean that up. Still only 250 words though!


Shannon Leach is a slice-of-life encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart and ARH Inspirations. Her authentic stories and books about leadership, life, and loving people focus on encouraging others and reminding them they are not alone. Her work can also be found in Guideposts and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the co-founder of the nonprofit The Fostered Gift.

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