Recently, I entered a local flash fiction contest. Write a story in 99 words or less, “Make us weep, laugh, scratch our heads“. Sounded like fun and WoW what a challenge, especially since most flash fiction flirts between 300 to 1000 words. So, I wrote three and sent them in. Unfortunately, none of them were chosen as one of the winners of various gift certificates to local establishments nor as runner ups.
The reason may well be, as one of the judges expressed describing the big winner, “Unlike most of the other entries, this one actually told a story with a beginning, middle and end.” I acknowledge, my 99 worders did not tell a story from beginning to end. I suppose I approached the three writings in the spirit of Ernest Hemingway’s famous 6-word story,
“For Sale: Baby shoes, Never worn.”
For me, a piece of flash fiction this short requires one to tease the words in a manner that reveals, for the reader, something beyond what’s on the paper. The writer has to entice the reader to think about what came before and what may be yet to come, like Hemingway did with his choice of words. What happened to the baby, if there ever was a baby? What happened to the couple selling the shoes? What life’s plans were so utterly changed that left those baby shoes unworn?
So it was from that perspective that I wrote my short-short-SHORT stories. I will let you, the readers here, be the judge as to whether I did any justice to that approach to storytelling.
Here is the first of the three. The others will follow over the next couple of days. (Consider it a dangling carrot to get you all to come back for more.) 🙂
There I was, hanging from a cross in Tijuana, missing my right boot and half my left pant leg.
Last night’s detached abstractions mingling together; a pink feather boa, Martin bungeed to a box-dolly. A wedding this weekend?
“Am I missing a contact?”
A voice from behind, neck too stiff to turn, too beat to try. “We cut this one down?”
Cast below in a fetal pose, clad in obscene teal, a woman dozed cradling my absconded boot.
It’s moments like these I blame my deficiencies in the traits my parents offered, to make me worthwhile.