When we announced our flash fiction contest, we thought it was only fair that our writers try their hand at the genre.
We found it a little harder than we expected. The word count is 100, and the shortest stories we EVER write are 450. But we did it. Are they all happy stories, you ask. Why, no they're not. That surprised us as well.
Sometimes it's good to stretch your creative muscles.
So read away! And let us know what you think.
@story Marcus Coker
Dad loved Jack Daniel’s more than Mom loved Jesus Christ, if that’s possible. He used to come home, put on a Bob Dylan record, and drink until he either passed out or slammed me against the sheetrock. Meanwhile, Mom cried and read the Bible. I quit believing in God the morning I woke up in our bathtub covered in my own blood. My nose was broken, and all I could do was hate. Mom said that I should forgive, so I started listening to Bob Dylan and drinking Jack Daniel’s, which was the only way I knew how.
@story Anita Paddock
For a moment, she forgot about her knees, her stiff shoulder, her knobby-fingered hands. She was twenty again, and he sat watching for her to enter the restaurant.
He stood when she waved, and he motioned to a chair. "It's been a long time," he said.
He was tall and tanned by the Santa Fe sun. He wore a blue shirt with a country club emblem on the pocket. "You look wonderful," she said.
He didn't reply, so she decided not to tell him about their grandchild, a doctor.
@story Buddy Pinneo
She’s terrified of reflective surfaces. Avoiding them is more important than breathing. If one should enter her periphery, she pivots violently, no matter the situation, or how awkward it might seem to strangers. All that matters is getting away. Going someplace dark. Someplace cloaked in thick draperies and cigarette smoke. Someplace she can drink. And forget. And focus on napkin ink. Just be careful of the glass. One look could destroy. She must not see. She must never know what it was that made him leave. He never said. But her deepest fears knew just what to do with that.
@story Doug Kelley
The ball cap, tan with a red bill, had accumulated dirt and sweat stains from a thousand days of cutting wood, digging holes and building decks and barns. Dirty, filthy, but wonderfully comfortable.
I was quite attached to that hat.
One day while mowing, it blew off my head.
I rode back around to pick it up, but our dog was already happily chewing away the crown. The salts from the sweat and grime were too tasty to pass up, I guess.
Later, my wife sneaked out, gave him a pat on the head. And a pork chop.
@story Marla Cantrell
Outside Epperson’s Grocery, a perfectly acceptable wife fumbles through her purse. Her husband looks across the avenue at the blonde. She stares back, taps her lips like she’s practicing Morse Code. She turns, so that all he sees is her sun-bright hair, the soda-straw heels of her shiny shoes, the sliver of light glinting through the kick-pleat of her skirt.
Let’s hope it stops. But say she crosses over, brushes past him and goes into Abbott’s Cleaners that’s owned by the husband’s best friend. Now there’s a trail for him to follow.
And he will follow. They always do.
@story Tonya McCoy
He sprayed some Aqua Net, flicked his Bic and in a thunderous explosion a spud soared over his chicken houses. Standing on the porch to his doublewide he hoisted the pipe onto his rebel flag tattooed shoulder - reloaded and ready.
Here winter didn’t deter the flies. They zipped around dozens of emptied Busch cans. After a six pack or two he put on his volunteer firefighters uniform, complete with helmet. Dressed to impress, he leaned with a hand on the side of his old Dually while he peed on the tire. She would never internet date again.