Flash fiction is an extremely condensed and intense form of storytelling, where all the flavours and experiences and ideas have to be squeezed into the shortest possible space. Or, for the less prosaic, it’s just a tight word limit. You have to find a way to tell your story without resorting to things like, you know, words to help you.
For a writer, it’s torture.
Here are some bits and pieces from along the way. I’ve picked some of the shorter ones, but I’ll rotate in some longer pieces from time to time too. Enjoy – and let me know what you think:
On a Tuesday evening, cold along the river, he sees her, the most exquisite creature he has ever seen.
The following day, he sees her again and now he is in love.
Each day she passes, he tries to catch her eye. He waves as she walks by, holds out a single white rose, plays a sonata of longing on an old violin.
On Sunday afternoon, in the rain, she passes, smiling, arm in arm with someone else.
He stands. He watches. He loves her, still.
No-one knows his heart is breaking.
Archer had never seen a body treated this way. Stab wounds – fifteen, twenty, more. Broken bones. Bruises on the surface, bleeding underneath. He pulled his gloves on tighter as he walked around the prone figure twice. No weapon at the scene. Victim’s wallet and phone in place: robbery not a motive. To many footprints in the boggy ground to tell one from another. Paramedics on the way; homicide too. Archer pulled his coat around him. Admired his work. Time to leave.
Echo of hammers. Creak of board. Engines gun and rev. Tyres recede, crunching in the packed November snow. Everything goes quiet in Kypskoorden when the sun sets.
In the long darkness, a man finds the truth about himself.
In Kypskoorden, in the darkness, they say: travel slowly, travel quickly, you still arrive at madness in the end.
People change in the darkness. Lose themselves in a bottle. Load the gun. Unload the gun. Load the gun. Unload the gun. Watch the four walls edge ever closer every day. People change in the darkness. Hostile husbands become lovers. Wives soften; if you cannot see the past, it is easier to forget.
As the sun starts to rise, half of those who stayed will be pregnant and half will be dead.
In March, they return to count the new lives and the old.
Life circles in Kypskoorden. The sun comes and goes, we come and go. Life circles.