I was once short listed for a six word flash fiction competition at https://www.magicoxygen.co.uk/ The excitement in the house (mainly mine) was of Olympic proportions. If I had won the £100 prize it would be the most £s per word I was ever likely to be paid. The six words?
‘I am starting again’ said God.
A tale that covers the whole universe and time itself? Is it fiction, does flash fiction need to tell a story. Could ‘Instructions’ be the sequel?
‘Just follow the instructions,’ said the exasperated father ‘you put too much water in last time.’
‘But it looked so beautiful and shiny.’
‘Sparkle and glitter are no good if it doesn’t work properly. You need to get the axis straight for a start.’
‘The axis would have been fine if my stupid sister hadn’t thrown lumps of rock.’
‘You must learn by your mistakes, the structure has been unstable all along, you were over ambitious. Now it’s time to get back to basics and before we can do that you need to dismantle E1. It’s all recycling these days… Don’t look at me like that, you knew we’d have to put them down; you can have new pets when I’m satisfied with E2; not so many this time, pets that don’t eat each other or kill one another.’ 141 words
How long is flash fiction? Paragraph Planet publishes a daily piece that must be 75 words exactly. Several of us at writers’ group had one or more paragraphs accepted and for a while it became an obsession to tailor a piece to 75 words. http://www.paragraphplanet.com/
A crystalline cold dawn; heavy snow had reached their valley for the first time. His master had just made it back. Usually Nicolai hated the long winter nights, but each breath that seared his lungs brought hope. In late afternoon the clear sky brought a violet shimmer to the virgin snow at the graveyard. Nicolai thrust his stick through crystal layers; it juddered on the iron cold ground. The master would not be arising tonight. 75 words
Several of us once entered a one hundred word competition with the theme of inventing a new word. We were unsuccessful. The winning entries were very serious and intense.
Her Majesty’s minister barely read the title of the document ‘Reursinement – Natural Culling’ before scanning the paragraphs… environmentally sustainable… ecological balance… and signing his name. His constituents and the Forestry Commission should be delighted, fewer complaints about car accidents, trampled gardens or ruined saplings.
Operation Goldilocks took place at night, the team quickly assessed their new environment; those experiencing freedom for the first time guided by the migrants from North Eastern Europe.
Nearby, a stag sniffed the night air and felt a primeval fear.
Days later the news headlines read
Walker Killed as Bears Introduced to Beauty Spot without Public Consultation
Do you prefer something longer?
Caroline hated crematoriums, but Felicity had been her best friend. Mathew looked drawn, ill; thankfully the thirty minute slot meant a short ceremony.
Always look on the bright side of life…
Fliss had joked she wanted that song played at her funeral; some of the elderly relatives looked shocked, already upset there would be no vicar, no service. Her friend was an atheist who abhorred hypocrisy. They had discussed funerals after enduring a requiem mass for a colleague. Felicity had not expected hers to be so soon, but she had made one serious request; her body should be used for medical research. Only Caroline and Mathew knew of this request; under the circumstances cremation was the wisest option.
Mathew was seated in the front row, Felicity’s parents either side. Her sister, a tower of strength, now rose to speak. Caroline clasped her open bag, checking again that her phone was switched off and the throat lozenges were handy; she would speak next.
Her eyes darted back to the bag, a glow, a text message…
Seems I got it wrong; I am to meet my maker…
Caroline shivered as the message rolled, was someone playing a joke? She tried to switch off.
No joke Caro, you and Mathew will have to account one day. I was blind, hindsight is a wonderful thing, especially on the other side. Tell the truth, don’t let them press the button, forensics must speak for me. Then I can move on, perhaps forgive you both… Fliss 250 words
If you can think of an original six word story, please add it in Comments.
I included flash fiction in my collection ‘Someone Somewhere’.