Daily Archives: March 24, 2009

Using Flashbacks

Several days ago, Becky Levine wrote an entry about the use of flashbacks. They need to be used sparingly, and determining if one is necessary can be difficult.

She reminded me of the only flashback I wrote, located in book two of my TIP (Trilogy In Progress).

I planned to give a little background before showing you the excerpt, but after reading it I changed my mind. I want it judged as is. Plus, I think you’ll understand Zephyr’s feelings in the first sentence, and why I felt the flashback worked.

How about you? Does it work?

Even after the door shut, Zephyr couldn’t muster the courage to look at Kallie. As soon as he laid eyes on her, he wouldn’t see the scared and likely angry grown woman, but the sweet, vivacious little girl he had known before the Center turned her into a killer.

He turned away as he remembered one day when she ran into his lab at the age of six. She squealed with joy as the bright, red-headed boy chased after her. She leapt into Zephyr’s outstretched arms and yelled, “Safe!”

Little Michel tried to grab her ankle and pull her down, but Zephyr held Kallie out of reach. She giggled.

“Sorry, Michel,” Zephyr said, “but she called ‘safe.’”

Jutting out his chin and the very definition of quiet confidence Michel quipped, “You have to come down sometime.”

The boy then sauntered outside as if he no longer wanted to play this silly game, but Zephyr knew he only went around the corner to catch Kallie as she left the lab.

By the smile and gleam in her eye, she knew it too.

“Thanks for saving me,” she said. She kissed his cheek before he let her down.

Zephyr watched as Kallie fled the lab. She ran barely fast enough to remain out of Michel’s grasp. Their taunts and laughter echoed through the hallway as the chase continued.

“I can’t save you this time,” Zephyr whispered as he rubbed his cheek where Kallie had planted that kiss so many years ago.