Have you heard the term flash fiction? What does it mean?
‘A flash fiction piece is a self-contained story (beginning/middle/end), 1,000 words or less, that can entertain, intrigue, and satisfy a reader during an F5 tornado. That’s it. No genre restrictions, age requirements, or prior experience needed. Just quick, clean stories.’ – Writer’s Digest
‘Part poetry, part narrative, flash fiction–also known as sudden fiction, micro fiction, short short stories, and quick fiction—is a genre that is deceptively complex.’ – The Review Review
‘Flash fiction is a fictional work of extreme brevity that still offers character and plot development. Identified varieties, many of them defined by word count, include the six-word story, the 280-character story, the “dribble”, the “drabble”, “sudden fiction”, flash fiction, nanotale, and “micro-story”.’ – Wikipedia
I like writing in a short form. I’ve been told I have the sensibility of a poet because I have the ability to distill, so the short form suits me. You may be more of a long distance runner, rather than a sprinter, and prefer the long form of a novel.
Have a read of my flash fiction titled It’s Pot Luck When You Move Into A Unit, winner of the short short fiction UTS Alumni Competition. Hope you enjoy it.
It’s Pot Luck When You Move Into a Unit
A nice quiet weekend? the woman downstairs said. What do you mean? I said, through the open back door, a bag of rubbish in each hand. She smoothed her ironing on the board and said, They weren’t around over the weekend—with the baby. She looked happy. I’m lucky living on the top floor, I said. She nodded towards the other side of the building. Jim isn’t so lucky—he’s got the woman upstairs, she said, When he plays the piano and she thumps on the floor. She put the iron back on its stand. She’s heavy-footed, that woman. Bang, bang, bang. I hear her coming down the stairs every morning at six, and the slam of the front door.
That night the wind knocked my vase off the window ledge. I lay awake wondering if the noise of the smash had woken up the people underneath—the ones whose barbecuing sends smoke and disgusting meat smells into my unit. Nothing clings to your furniture like the stink from last week’s burnt fat. Sorry about the crash, I muttered to the floor, It was the wind.
Copyright © Libby Sommer 2018
Why not try your hand at writing in this short form and enter a flash fiction competition. Good luck.