Flash fiction is the art of telling a story in no more, I’d say, than 1000 words. Anything more than that constitutes a short story. I personally love flash fiction – it’s quick to read, perfect when you’re strapped for time, and more often than not punchy and quirky.
I prefer to limit my flash fiction pieces to 500 words or less because working to this level of sheer restraint forces me to cut out surplus waffle, making every word work for its placement. I find flash fiction is a great way to hone writing skills in general and, of course, the challenge to discover what’s doable in such a short amount of space is immense fun. On that note here’s a flash fiction piece of mine called Wired, which is a mere 195 words…
Jessie wouldn’t hurt a soul. A gentle giant so placid she didn’t bat an eye as the intruder came in and tied me to the chair. Not even when the masked-man patted her on the head and clipped the leash onto her collar.
She’s on the floor by my feet now, eyes open. It’s nearly that time.
We wait. Sweat prickles my brow. Each second prolonged torture until there it is…
The dreaded sound of Daddy’s diesel engine.
Jessie’s head lifts and her ears prick. I swallow hard.
Daddy’s car door slams and she’s on her feet.
“No, Jessie,” I implore. “Sit!”
The garden gate creaks and Jessie remains standing, her eyes glinting with anticipation. Mine are wide with fear.
She whines, ignoring my plea.
I hear Daddy’s key scraping in the lock.
Tensing, I brace myself.
The door clicks open and Daddy asks, “Where’s my girl?”
Jessie leaps forward in answer, tail wagging, and the chain attached to her collar pulls tight, making the booby-trapped loop around my neck constrict.
My tender skin can’t withstand the slicing length of cheese wire.
And Daddy screams.