Spoiler: it’s about alligators, but it’s also not about alligators. She knows all her songs, and she sings them just for you. First line: Every year Thanksgiving night, we flocked out behind Dad as he dragged the Santa suit to the road and draped it over a kind of crucifix he'd built out of metal pole in the yard. This winner of the 2015 Barthelme Short Prose Prize couldn’t be much farther from the gritty, sober tone of most flash fiction. The bear itself was gray and stiff, with wiry fur. Sheamus. We publish one flash fiction story a day. When done poorly, it can easily disappoint (but at least it’s over fast!). First lines: Lola’s lost her rational numbers worksheet. The full title is this one is actually “Sorry Dan, But It’s No Longer Necessary For a Human to Serve As CEO Of This Company”... which pretty much sums it up. Well, it all depends on who’s answering. Every year Thanksgiving night we flocked out behind Dad as he dragged the Santa suit to the road and draped it over a kind of crucifix he’d built out of metal pole in the yard. We were allowed a single Crayola from the box at a time. Our final entry also comes from Oates, and probably holds the record for most succinct display of emotion in flash fiction history. First lines: I like you, Dan, I really do. It is a map of a place that no longer exists. Picture in the Locket. A work of flash fiction must have a narrative arc, otherwise it's a mere observation or vignette. Never fear, though: not all short shorts are this depressing… just the good ones. Get new fiction, essays, and poetry delivered to your inbox. And, like all great flash fiction, its ending hits stunningly hard and stays with you for a lot longer than three minutes. Bumble. If there’s a theme to this blog post so far, it’s that micro … “Sun Comes Up Again This Morning” by Chris Red Martiny from Six Super Short Short Stories. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the number of great short stories out there, you can also take our 1-minute quiz below to narrow it down quickly and get a personalized short story recommendation . That may seem like a lot when you're just mentioning your plans for the weekend, but when you're trying to tell a story, it becomes extremely restrictive. The premise of this wonderfully weird story is that anyone can order a perfectly replicated clone of Taylor Swift straight to their front doorstep — or multiple clones, if you want to build yourself a herd. In just 130 words, Kafka is able to suck readers into his world and leave them shaken. Where are you?”. Site designed in collaboration with CMYK. And in the vein of Their Eyes Were Watching God, it’s full of Hurston’s signature lyrical description and historically accurate dialect — both proof of her careful attention to detail. A short-short story has to handle all the fictional elements seamlessly within an extremely tight space. First line: My mother isn’t always Raggedy Ann, but she was when I was born. Bart Van Goethem has published an entire book of micro-fiction. FLASH FICTION 55 words or less 2. Needless to say, her brother isn’t exactly thrilled, and even less so when Lola starts cheating off Billy’s algebra papers. Our narrator happens upon a teddy bear that fits this description, but her feelings for it still overwhelm her — and might just cause the reader to shed a tear, too. Read “Solstice” (Scroll down to second story) Teddy’s Canary | K. C. Frederick. In addition to publishing short stories, novellas, and novels, these writers have created notable works of flash fiction. What does the wife on Ambien do? First line: Sunlight had sneaked in through the window and was creeping toward the chair where my pants dangled. Besides making you crave a fruit smoothie, it’ll open your eyes to the delightful possibilities of imagination when we disregard science for a few minutes. Flash fiction example: Sticks by George Saunders. The narrator describes a former lover and friend who are now together. First lines: Swipe right. He smiled and said: “From me you want to know the way?” “Yes,” I said, “since I cannot find it myself.” “Give it up! All the shutters of the hospital were nailed shut. Support our mission to make literature more exciting, relevant, and inclusive. We didn’t know each other. Loosely defined as writings comprised of 1,000 words or less, flash fiction can include everything from slightly longer works to tweet-length stories. First line: When your wife dies, you find music tastes different and food sounds the same. Flash fiction is no doubt one of the most fascinating creative mediums in this day and age; however, it’s also one of the most difficult to write in. Judge: Sophie van Llewyn Or can it? Flay everything open. Infused with incredible emotion and rendered in beautiful prose, “Possession(s)” is an affecting account of mourning that you won’t soon forget. What I mean is, it’ll hurt, but you can get at what you crave if you want it badly enough. What starts as an impersonal report straight out of a newspaper clipping ends as a vivid portrait of human suffering. There is even a Twitter account for six word stories; @sixwordstories. Examples of MicroFiction. The stranger insists that he’s come to visit his sick friend — the only trouble is, our narrator has no idea who he’s talking about. But rather than using horror to compel readers, Orner turns instead to good old-fashioned wit: “What’s the hurry?” one of the characters says at one point. What are some examples of flash fiction? Never worn. “im sorry, its a girl” said the doctor to the father. George and Mr. Green In the Time Machine. She’s got the whole school bus looking for it — when Lola says to do something, it’s like she’s an orchestra conductor and we all just fall in line. If you read “Cat Person” and loved it, you’re sure to enjoy McCurdy’s writing here too. Each time she opened her mouth she said something ugly, and whoever was nearby liked her a little less. Without further ado, here are 25 flash fiction stories worth a (very quick) read. My Brother’s Girlfriend. The poverty. Given these extreme parameters, what makes a piece of flash fiction truly great? Table of Content. When it comes to flash fiction, you can’t be blamed for raising an eyebrow — especially if your only experience has been a badly-written paragraph on your Facebook wall. Notable flash f i … Shirley Chan on June 11, 2015: I am from Hong Kong. One of the ministers was sick with typhoid. The people would stop, amused, to watch them. Trust real people, not robots, to give you book recommendations. First lines: Wash the white clothes on Monday and put them on the stone heap; wash the color clothes on Tuesday and put them on the clothesline. Our mission is to amplify the power of storytelling with digital innovation, and to ensure that literature remains a vibrant presence in popular culture by supporting writers, embracing new technologies, and building community to broaden the audience for literature. But hopefully, these stories demonstrate just how exciting it can be to read a story that goes straight to the heart without a single wasted word. What a wonderful collection of short flash fiction stories. Edgar Allan Poe once described the need for a “unity of effect” in short stories: the act of carrying a single emotion throughout the piece to elicit a particular reaction from the audience. Read “Teddy’s Canary” (Scroll down) Water | Fred Leebron. Reading (or listening to!) Flash fiction examples 1. Another superb meditation on womanhood, Unferth’s story dissects what comes after the stage of Kincaid’s “Girl”: that is, the process of growing older and becoming less “valuable” in the eyes of society. First line: It was very early in the morning, the streets clean and deserted, I was walking to the station. If you are making the first steps in flash fiction writing, get ready to practice a lot. The Toilet Paper. It’s also riotously funny. Here it is, all four words of it — though of course, you also need the title to understand the full impact: I kept myself alive. Over 5,000 books have been produced via Reedsy since 2015. In just over 500 words, she paints a striking portrait of an elderly married couple and the discord between them, which stems from their inability to communicate. Flash fiction doesn’t usually become popular the way a novel or even certain short stories do, but it is a very valuable form of writing. Flash Fiction Story Examples: How to Write Great Flash Fiction. But as any artist, you can start with copying the works of the professional writers. DO write with the form in mind. Fans of David Sedaris’ dysfunctional family anecdotes: this is the story for you. From how to cook and clean to the most appropriate ways to present oneself to men, “Girl” potently demonstrates the many near-impossible standards that women are expected to fulfill without faltering. This flash fiction story abounds with metaphors, symbolism, and image-lead narrative. One of the most praised pieces of flash fiction in recent memory, … Here are 20 examples of his work. I remember that by the time we’d gone a few miles south on the Stevenson we’d already run out of things to say. You hate Taylor Swift…. Devils fall to the Flames, 3–1. First lines: One time two clowns set themselves to arguing. Flash fiction is many things: hilariously difficult to categorize; confusingly known as “microfiction,” “short shorts,” “minisagas,” “dribble,” and “drabble”; and sometimes, even dangerous. Most impressive is how he suggests a fleshed-out backstory through a handful of asides: Rod’s helmet, the father’s old army medals. Flash fiction, also known as micro-fiction, is a short story that’s usually between 500 and 1,000 words. She’s not even paying attention to them, she’s too busy having sex with her other Taylor Swifts, they’re so fucking loud it’s disgusting. “For sale: baby shoes, never worn” is far from Hemingway’s only foray into flash fiction (if it was indeed his story). Pain, love, and an incisive sense of nostalgia all intertwine in this roughly thousand-word short story. fantasy is the ultimate escape: from stress, work, and indeed all of life’s more mundane realities. It details the circumstances of the narrator’s birth, during which her mother was dressed as Raggedy Ann… or had perhaps morphed into her, depending on how you interpret the poetic prose. Here are seven examples of flash fiction (for a total of 21 minutes or less) that are totally worth your time. Clocking in at just over 100 words, it’s also one of the most impressive feats of flash fiction by an author largely known for his full-length works. “Everybody’s already dead.” However, the ending will get your heart racing with its sudden hairpin turn into drama… and not in the spooky manner you might think. The one restriction? It must have collected while I was sleeping, and to just let it stay there seemed inappropriate. As I compared the tower clock with my watch I realized that it was already much later than I had thought, I had to hurry, the shock of this discovery made me unsure of the way, I did not yet know my way very well in this town; luckily, a policeman was nearby, I ran up to him and breathlessly asked him the way. A quintessential work of microfiction, this single sentence encapsulates the experience of a bored but clearly aspirational housewife. flashfiction shortstory flash fiction short microfiction shortstorycollection barryallen horror sciencefiction fantasy oneshot collection theflash anthology romance contest ... A collection of short stories, flash … Pry free the heart. Though translated from the original Russian, this piece retains a stunning sense of clarity in its rumination on “unnecessary things”: items that do not, or no longer, serve a commercial or useful purpose. Whether you’re self-publishing a book for the first time or you’re a veteran indie author, the idea of launching a book is always going to be a little daunting. Although no clear-cut definition of flash fiction exists, both classic authors and experimentalist newbies have used the form. Example of Flash Fiction. The bright colours of Bangladesh flash into my mind suddenly. Those were just six words. Want more quick reads? “John Redding Goes to Sea” delivers on its title in a surprising yet sweet way: John is a 10-year-old boy, and the “sea” is the nearby river where he launches his twig ships. National Public Radio's Three-Minute Fiction contest asks writers to submit stories that can be read in less than three minutes. He hovered over us as we poured ketchup saying: good enough good enough good enough. The spark in sunken eyes. Or try something a little different (but just as fast) by picking up some of the best graphic novels! […] The pole was Dad’s only concession to glee. Non-Fiction - Flash Fiction 100-500 words (POEMS also ACCEPTED) PROMPT: There is no one like Mom. Literature Short Fiction. There were pools of water in the courtyard. Her mother claims that Idara’s aunt is an evil witch — but from what she knows of Aunt Adesuwa, this can’t possibly be true. This post is dedicated to  those dazzling works by the masters of flash fiction, from Franz Kafka to Joyce Carol Oates. Contemplative and haunting, this story (and especially its resolution) has the staying power of a much longer piece. The parkbench’s curvature felt familiar under his tiredold spine. From the author of A Small Place comes this insightful passage on what it means to be a girl, presented in an almost stream-of-consciousness series of instructions. Trust book recommendations from real people, not robots . Twitter fiction is among the most challenging to write because you're limited to 140 characters. Mama says so sometimes. Enjoy strange, diverting work from The Commuter on Mondays, absorbing fiction from Recommended Reading on Wednesdays, and a roundup of our best work of the week on Fridays. Knicks lose again at home. Wedge your knife below the bumpy ridge of spine to separate cartilage from fat; loosen tendon from pink, sticky meat. Be unable to remember which, but this younger, generically handsome boy whose face reminds you of a Playmobil figure has driven from the suburbs tonight to meet you. She would shake her head sadly, and observe to John’s father: “Alf, it’s too bad our boy’s got a spell on ’im.”. In isolation, “I kept myself alive” might be construed as a feel-good mantra — but in the context of the title, it provides a morbid twist on the setup-punchline structure of a joke. First lines: The map was printed on a handkerchief. “no, im sorry, youre … The Haunted Honeymoon. This goes to show that flash fiction’s sole purpose isn’t just to depress readers. More of a thinkpiece than flash fiction per se, “This Is How You Fail to Ghost Him” nonetheless deserves a place on this list for its acerbic wit and all-too-cutting observations of modern dating life. She has a miniature Taylor Swift she keeps on a perch, a Taylor Swift with wings. The difference between worlds … ... Only writes micro and flash fiction to inject some drama into his life. Not to mention that its apologetic-but-firm tone flawlessly imitates actual downsizing notices. I was lying bare-chested in bed, rubbing some gunk from the corner of my eye. A gorgeous piece of almost folkloric flash fiction, “The Huntress” describes its titular predator in ambiguous terms (“a stench of fur,” “she left a streak”) that somehow makes its terror even more palpable. Things that are left out. First lines: “Why is the sky blue?” you ask. First lines: This Teddy bear once had amber eyes made from special glass — each one had a pupil and an iris. Not all flash fiction needs to be breathlessly blunt like Hemingway’s. Here’s an excerpt: You’re in love; it’s great, you swipe on your phone and order: the next day a Taylor Swift clone shows up at your house. First lines: The wife on Ambien knows the score. When done well, flash fiction can be memorable, and even magical. The best part? They shot the six cabinet ministers at half-past six in the morning against the wall of a hospital. Hello? See here. Heck, our wives attend spin class together twice a week! Our final entry also Comes from Oates, and inclusive will leave the main character changed somehow I … write... Give them a reason to believe something in the morning, I really DO the ones have... A father ’ s feel flash is a short story that ’ s curvature felt under. Two clowns set themselves to arguing of life ’ s a bizarre story: a lot of my eye history. Friendship only means so much in today ’ s also not about alligators of my friends are following the too! 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