I have a personal soft spot for flash fiction.
The doors to the Great Hall hung crooked, gaping open, the rusted pins of old hinges still clinging to the stonework. War was never kind to old buildings, it took them apart and left the pieces scattered across the land.
Cara left her guards outside the crooked doors, steeping past the long abandoned swords, past the brittle bones still encased in armour, past what was left of Dorimere. Instead she crouched before dais and caught the stare of a carved griffon, still perched at the base of what was once a throne.
Her hand brushed against stone feathers.
‘All that has lasted.’ she whispered, retrieving her fingers from the carving’s flank and curling a lips into a soft sneer.
‘He was a foolish man.’ she said to herself, and perhaps the griffon also but it showed no sign of having heard her. It was stone after all.
She stayed as she was, watching, as if she expected the griffon to move or speak. There was no movement or sound, apart from the muted shuffle of feet as the guards beyond the crooked doors moved restlessly.
Cara rose, smoothing her skirts as she did so, pouting as the centuries of dust fell from where it had clung to the fabric. She turned.
The sound of stone grating against itself stopped her from walking away, stopped her still.
‘Petty Princess, Petty Princess.’ squawked a creaking voice. ‘Petty Princess with no inheritance. Come to search, come to seek, she’ll find no gold in the old King’s keep.’
The Great Hall fell silent and the guards stared in, some with their swords drawn.
‘No gold.’ Cara muttered, her face vacant of colour as she began to walk away from the dais. ‘I suppose I must look elsewhere.’
Perhaps not the best piece of writing that I have ever written, but I do love the way in which flash fiction makes you condense a story line right down to the bare essentials. The reader needs to look between the lines to understand what the writer is telling them, and even then, there is so much room for the reader to explore and twist to form their own opinions.
Flash fiction can be taken to the extreme though, shortening the stories down to a single sentence. Of course, I can’t talk about this sort of flash fiction without alluding to Earnest Hemingway’s six word short story.
For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.
I wonder about this type of flash fiction. Can it really get a story across to the audience, and while the sentences can be amusing, do they really hold any literate value. (I think that’s a phrase…)
SixWordStories holds weekly prompts for, well you have probably already guessed, six word short stories. This week’s prompt seems to be an owl who is currently in the middle of a spa weekend…
It is actually less weird than the previous prompt. Yet I still have no idea what on earth I could write.
The shorted the story, the more difficult I find the words are to write. I like to delve into my stories, and five hundred words is normally the shortest I can go without feeling I’m simply writing nonsense. But that is my own opinion and someone else may find that writing a story in a sentence is far easier than writing one two pages long.
What are your thoughts?