I often compare novel writing to running a marathon, and like running a marathon, you are more likely to survive the experience if you train. For me, pushing my creative muscles involved dabbling in the occasional flash fiction or taking part in a micro-fiction prompt. It occurred to me that recent changes to social networks, where many of these challenges take place, could soon result in the loss of many writers’ words unless we take steps to preserve them by republishing them elsewhere.
As a result, I thought it best to share some of my past entries through the years:
Tap. I stare at the screen. Tap. The letter ceases to be. Tap. Pause. Tap. Nah, that’s not it either. Tap – the pulse of writer’s block.
My finger hovered over the publish button before dropping back to my side. No one will read this. Why bother? I shut the screen.
As she stared at the pile of bills, surpassed in size only by the pile of laundry, she moaned, “Why me?” The heavens answered – why not?
A figure—a gruesome visage—came stumbling into the room. Groans brought others. One reached for me. I handed over coffee. Our workday began.
Retirement is in my five-year plan, Joe told everyone each year. A decade later, he toiled still in the ground, while others rested.
I looked into a pane of glass. Windows of what if and could be reflected back at me. Behind me were a thousand might-have-beens. I stood in the center of the hall of mirrors, lost in the infinite possibility.
Hairs on the back of my neck tingled while thunder crashed all around, however, the time for fear was over, for I was the larger storm.
“A cup for every occasion! An occasion for every cup.” The merchant called. I walked on, preferring my poison straight from the bottle.
“Did you hear…?” Did you see…?” I listened closely. I was vain enough to think they were talking about me.
99% of patients experienced no side effects at all, the package read. Just my luck. I was finally a member of the 1%
The glow of the outlet store’s doors beckoned in the pre-dawn morning as deal hunters checked the ties of their laces. The race was on.
Her face, which caught my eye in passing, did not launch 1000 ships. She did better. She made our family whole.
Bits of colored paper, tangled string, and broken crayons. What others saw as junk, I saw as memorabilia of a childhood well spent.
She gave the children candy and took away their mother’s coffee. This Nana was not to be trifled with.
Some photos I take to record innocence of childhood. Others I take to help preserve innocence of a different sort for when my child tries dating.
I opened the door. My eyes widened at what I’d found. A pile of socks—lost from laundry days past—there once more. Magic must exist.
A peculiar odor tickled Nancy’s nose. Did Drew leave his socks out? She chased the scent. The hamster hadn’t gone to the farm after all.
Once there was a girl who laughed and loved. It was only when she ventured outside that she learned her life was considered a fairy tale.
Staring into the mirror, the girls chanted Bloody Mary. Laughing, they tumbled outside only to realize too late what had answered.
$1,000,000 flashed on the screen. All I had to do was buzz in and claim it. A single word. A single answer. That was all I needed. BEEP!
A black screen reflected my image. I looked up from my depleted phone. I was the only one. My world was dark, though the sun shone.
Troubled thoughts swirled. Unanswered calls. Receipts for gifts unreceived. Her gut told her one thing, but her heart another.
A series of beeps, playing on repeat over radio waves. An upside-down flag. The zombies stumbled on, oblivious to it all.
The wave crested while we lay sleeping, its approach silent until far too late. I woke to the sea’s icy touch and then I knew no more.
If you enjoyed these short tales, I encourage you to check out more of my flash and micro-fiction. This can be found alongside of the work of a wonderful mix of other writers in The Shadows We Breathe, vol. 1 & 2, short fiction anthologies, edited by Sarah Brentyn.