Flash fiction is not just short fiction. It’s stories that are 1,000 words or less. How on earth can you tell a whole story, beginning, middle and end, with characterization in under 1,000 words? I found it hard enough switching from 85,000 word novels to 2,500 word short stories. There was no way I could write a flash fiction piece. All the flash fiction pieces I write, though under 1,000 words, could be turned into more. The endings aren’t really endings. You be the judge. Here’s one I wrote based on a sentence I found somewhere.
“Not many people would have required stitches after washing the dishes, but then again I’ve always thought of myself as special.” Fiona Scott held up her middle finger to show off her war wound.
“No! What did your mom say?” Karen’s wide eyes stared at the stitches. The grimace on her face made Fiona smile.
“She practically fainted,” Fiona said.
“She’s a nurse.”
Fiona shrugged. “She said it was different when it’s your own kid.”
“Does it hurt?”
Fiona wiggled her fingers and plunged her hands into the dishwater again. “Nah. Hurt like hell yesterday though.”
“And she’s making you do the dishes again?
“It beats having to take my brother shopping.”
Fiona sighed, enjoying the relative quiet of the house. With her little brother there she never had any quiet time. She cherished the moment.
“Why doesn’t she get a dishwasher?”
“I’m cheaper, apparently.” Karen jumped off the kitchen chair and grabbed a tea towel. “You know you don’t have to help me.”
Karen grinned. “I know but the sooner you finish the sooner we can get out of here.”
Fiona swooshed her hand around in the water to see if she’d missed anything. There was always a fork or a spoon languishing at the bottom. A sharp pain in her finger made her jerk her hand. But she couldn’t get it out of the water.
“What is it?”
“I think I cut myself again and now my finger is stuck.”
Karen reached her hand into the water. “It doesn’t feel like it’s stuck on anything.”
A tug on her finger sent fresh pain up her arm. “Something’s wrong.”
Before she could say anything else the tug on her finger changed to something yanking on her arm. As she was pulled closer to the sink all she could think was it’s not big enough for me to fit. But a splash echoed in her ears, water surrounded her, her lungs hurt and everything went black.
“Fiona, wake up.”
Karen’s voice pulled Fiona out of what had to be the weirdest dream she’d ever had. She opened her eyes and groaned. When had the sky turned purple? Where was the kitchen?
“Where are we?”
Fiona looked around, a chill running up her spine. “I don’t know.”