Some of you may be wondering what on earth has bitten me and made me start writing all this flash fiction. Nobody? Oh well, I’m going to tell you anyway. Or try to tell you because I’ve been asking myself the same question recently. I did try to explain the feeling as that of an itch being scratched. But I suspect it has become more than that. I think I’m addicted. And it’s not the first time that something has grabbed me and won’t let me go. Small ads had the same effect on me just a short while ago.
But flashing is nothing like looking for a vintage teak table with matching black leatherette chairs, or an absolutely unaffordable house with both a view and a pool.
At least I’m using my brain doing this and not just wearing out my already tired eyes, scrolling and scrolling through the equivalent of a gigantic messy jumble sale.
How does it work, did I hear you ask? Nope? Come on, ask. So, now the flash fiction contest is over, the regular challenge starts with a weekly prompt from an extraordinary lady named Charli Mills. We then have 99 words, no more no less (not including the title) to come up with an idea and turn it into a story, going down whichever path we choose. Charli then collects all the entries and posts them the following week on her site. The variety is amazing. Everybody has a different take on the same prompt, some funny, others sad, or thought-provoking, or troubling, or just downright insane.
And since Christmas is a-comin’, below is a little selection box of some of my veerings into Flashland.
The prompts for these three examples were a more eloquent and detailed version of the following:
2. Five things we need every day.
3. A chair on a porch.
As soon as I read the prompt my brain moves into first gear and I’m off. By the time I reach the office I have an idea. By the time I get home it is almost in place, or if my boss has left, it is already on the page at wordcounter.net and ready to be pasted and posted before I leave work. But shhhh…
I hope you enjoy these little snippets of fiction which strangely seem to come from somewhere beyond my normal brain cells.
She never knew which one to choose. She owned dozens, all lined up in neat, colourful rows inside a shiny, purple box.
Their names were so extravagant – Mayfair Lane, Undercover Show, Pussycat was Here.
She settled for Misty Jade, a colour from the depths of the Caribbean sea.
Slowly stroking the brush onto her short, brittle nails, she dreamt of an island, with warmer climes, where she wouldn’t have to work so hard.
A place where she could paint her nails, lie back and idly watch them dry, every single day. Not just once in a pale blue moon.
Heather pulled the pink woollen hat over Emily’s curls.
“What do you need to do at school today?”
Emily knew their routine by heart. “Smile. Laugh. Enjoy… I can never say the fourth one.”
“Yeah, that. And play.”
Heather prayed hard that her daughter would taste these five ingredients every day of her life, both now and later.
The yellow bus arrived and Emily skipped aboard, grinning at the driver. She turned to wave.
“Sleep well, my petal-face.”
“You too, Mummy. You must try hard too.”
Heather smiled. It was a start. A very good start.
It was the most beautiful armchair in the whole house. Carefully crafted from a thick coppery leather, it had softened and smoothed since it had left the shop all those years ago.
A faded, red, feather-filled cushion sat far back into its spine, rubbed shiny where her body had pressed hard against it every day, for as long as they could all remember.
They would have loved to drop wearily into its comforting warmth, but it had sat empty for months, ever since she had slipped slowly from its embrace onto the cool porch floor, without even saying goodbye.
P.S. Why not give flash a try? Then we could be junkies together…😉
Image courtesy of notintherulebook