6. Feb 2013
So this piece of flash fiction was inspired by a fabulous piece by Elizabeth Talent called, “No One’s a Mystery.” If you haven’t read it, then do yourself a favor and fix that. The whole piece is around 300 words long (maybe less). The compression and tight prose really blur the lines between fiction and poetry.
The rest of this month, I'll be working with Flash Fiction for a few reasons, 1) it will eat up less of your time, 2) it will eat up less of my time, and 3) flash fiction teaches a great deal about the economy of words, and the importance of subtext which allows the story to unfold off the page.
Perhaps the most concise piece of flash fiction comes from Hemingway (allegedly, anyway).
"For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn."
Enough history. Here's the story. I hope you enjoy it.
by Heydon Hensley
The diary he had given her felt heavy as a dime in her palm. She turned it over, remembering the truck, his hand forcing her down while his wife’s Cadillac sped by.
How does one address a diary? It had no feelings, not empty as it was.
“Dear Self,” she wrote, but she mumbled, “I guess.”
I have to do it today. For three weeks, I’ve told myself that I would do it, but today – today I’m so in love that I’m sick. Kirk won’t leave his wife for me. Who was I ever to hope that such a great man would want me? Over our three years together, I’d hoped, but – I still feel all tingly every time I remember our first time together. Every sixteen year old deserves such a great man her first time. Kirk makes me so happy, I just want to burst. That’s the hardest thing. I can’t tell anybody about how happy I am. I suggested it to Kirk once, and he cuffed me. Not hard, you know, not mean, just stern.
But that’s why I have to do it – to end things with him. I just love him too much to risk hurting him. He says people wouldn’t understand if they knew. What’s not to understand? Love doesn’t discriminate over ages, and my love for him would make me ten times the wife he’s currently got. I can cook and clean as good as anybody! That’s just me hoping, reaching for what can’t be mine, what I don’t deserve. I’ll sneak out tonight to be with him one last time. His truck’s always so warm at night. Maybe I’ll show him what I wrote. He’ll be glad I’m using his present.