Flash Fiction or Micro Flash or countless other names spawned by countless websites that now cater to the art form, are never as simple as they appear nor are they as easy to write as they would seem. Whip out one hundred words and your done – No. There is a precision of language necessary in order to create a story that reads well on the surface but can be dug into and explored on subsequent readings. The good thing is they are so short that it doesn’t take long to read them time and time again.
A few years ago I made a concerted effort to produce and submit flash and micro flash. Honing my skills in order to reenforce the importance of word placement/choice. A skill not too dissimilar to that required of poetry but until like poetry where confusion it part and parcel of the form, flash must make sense and be accessible.
I was lucky enough to have several pieces published, from 99 words up to 1200 words. What follows are two of the 100 word micro fiction pieces that were draped inside the walls of other websites.
The first is called ‘The Grove’, and was published at 101words.org in May of 2016. It’s interesting to note that this was the first time I had experienced an editors hand, helping to shape and enhance the story. surprisingly it went through several rewrites before publication.
The grove had once been a sculpted marvel. Now, discarded it was falling to ruin.
At its heart sits a broken ring of stones. A well: split and scattered, pried apart by weeds, covered in moss, painted in ceaseless shadow.
Amongst the decay is a traveller, lost in exploration: a dragonfly. A flit of movement in the silence, the dancing form weaves between leaf and limb—-sleek lines with metallic hues, a gasp of colour.
The final rays of light from a golden sun, refract off the creatures delicate wings and for a brief, palpable moment, the grove is alive again.
The second it called ‘Dragon Mountain’ and was based on a photographic prompt for Luminous Creatures Press and appeared on their website in June of 2016
I was with my baba and Grandfather when I asked about Dragon Mountain. We had spent the morning climbing a zig-zagging path and had finally reached the plateau just before noon. We were sitting in long grass, enjoying the food my mama had prepared.
‘That’s easy.’ replied my grandfather.
Baba has his head bowed but I could still see his smile.
‘It’s called Dragon Mountain because that’s exactly what it is. A dragon.’
Baba leaned back, putting his cheek to the earth. ‘And if your very still you can hear it purr.’ he said.
We spent all afternoon listening.