Towards the Finish Line

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Fantasy

Towards the Finish Line is R J Dent's short story about a car race in which literary devices compete for the ultimate prize.

Towards the Finish Line

by R J Dent



I am in the driver's seat of my brand new Metaphor 2005.

It is a gleaming, streamlined creation, fresh from the manufacturer. It has been fitted with a variety of meanings. The powerful engine is turning over steadily, promising undreamed of power.

The official waves the chequered flag.

I put the Metaphor into Narrative Drive and press my foot down, accelerating forward fast.

Utilising some of the Metaphor's state-of-the-art functions, I quickly pass a slow-moving Simile, cutting it up like a wire through cheese, then find myself -for a few seconds only- neck and neck with a Cliché which had – against all the odds – been last year's winner. Then I pull ahead.

Powering around the circuit, I ease up a gear, then grip the Metaphor's wheel. In front of me is a clanking, clunking Alliteration, which I roar past in no time at all. A brand-new Agon puts up a show of resistance for a few seconds, and then it's gone - a quickly receding dot in my mirror.

Surging forward, I swerve the Metaphor around an irrelevant Aside, tear past the flashily painted bodywork of a Synecdoche, and then race forward, suddenly aware that I am accidentally scraping the side of a Symbolic, before passing and overtaking it. Further acceleration takes me past an old, sepia-tinted Analepsis and a futuristic-looking Prolepsis.

In front of me, a Metonymy spins and skids off the track, its wheels on fire.

The finish line is now visible in the distance.

I zoom past the four remaining competitors who are still ahead of me - a Mimesis which is – rather cheekily – the same colour and shape as my Metaphor; a roaring, belching, rattling Onomatopoeia; an overly-ornate Hyperbole; and an Anaphora Anaphora, which is attempting to make another comeback this year – and which, if I hadn't moved forward quite so quickly, might have succeeded.

Then I'm across the finish line, first again.

An Epigone – which I almost always have on my tail – comes in second.

An Antonomasia finishes third.

Standing up in the Metaphor, I grab the champagne bottle from the marshal and do a victory lap, shaking the bottle and spraying the crowd with carbonated alcohol.

Later, I go up to collect my trophy. As I make my way to the podium, I salute my supporters and sign a few autographs.

I am looking forward to the next event.






Metaphor: figure of speech & writing in which one thing, idea or action is referred to by a word or expression denoting another thing, idea or action.


Narrative Drive: The momentum of reading a set of fictional events, determined by narrative pace, sentence structure, subject matter, etc.


Simile: An explicit comparison between different things, ideas or actions, often using the word 'like' or 'as'.


Cliché: A hackneyed phrase or opinion.


Alliteration: Repetition of the same sounds - usually initial consonants of words.


Agon: A contest, debate or dispute between two characters.


Aside: A remark made by a dramatic character to the audience. Not heard by other characters.


Synecdoche: Figure of speech & writing which refers to something indirectly by naming a constituent part of it.


Symbolic: A word or phrase referring to a concrete object or event - usually an evocative image.


Analepsis: A form of anachrony, better known as flashback or retrospection.


Prolepsis: (Greek) Anticipation. Also known as flash-forward.


Metonymy: figure of speech & writing that replaces the name of one thing with the name of something closely associated with it.


Mimesis: (Greek) Imitation. A central term in aesthetic & literary theory since Aristotle.


Onomatopoeia: Use of words that imitate the sounds they refer to.


Hyperbole: Exaggeration for the sake of emphasis.


Anaphora: Rhetorical device of repetition.


Epigone: An inferior or derivative follower of someone more distinguished.


Antonomasia: A figure of speech & writing which replaces a proper name with an epithet or an indirect description.



Towards the Finish Line

Copyright © R J Dent (2016)


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Submitted: April 22, 2016

© Copyright 2021 R J Dent. All rights reserved.

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