The Art of the Short
Short stories. Flash fiction. Micro. Drabbles. Mini-Sagas. Poetry.
As authors, we have the pleasure of stringing words together in all sorts of lengths and forms. That's part of what makes being a writer so exciting. Every day can be something new and wondrous! The conversation you had with an old friend, the moment of kindness you witnessed on the bus or even the pain you felt being rejected by a lover. All can be turned into short bursts of fiction. Because as a writer, if you aren't writing SOMETHING, well hell, what are you doing?
So, take a step back from that novel and write a short story. Entertain us. Make us feel-- From start to finish, tell as story in as few words as possible.
Here's a stab I took... a little micro-fiction 500 word piece about the trouble with utensils. Also Taco Bell. Get your hot sauce and enjoy.
The Trouble with Utensils
“Where’s the fucking spork, Jane?” Zac howls after pulling out his Nachos Bell Grande from the bag of food I brought home. I just worked a double shift at Joanne’s Fabric; my fuse is short.
“Are you kidding me? How about a thank you. Or how was your day babe? Huh? No– it’s where’s my fucking spork,” I snap. Zac completely ignores me. Engrossed in an episode of Squid Games.
“Hello? Earth to Zac. Aren’t you going to ask me about my day? It was the worst! Some old woman pissed all over the floor in the bathroom and I had to clean it up. Then my manager scheduled me for another double shift tomorrow. So I’m going to miss Kelsey’s birthday party.”
“Don’t get all bent out of shape,” Zac says with a mouthful of food. “Just don’t forget it next time.”
“Are you fucking for real? Did you hear anything I just said?” I shout. He’s too busy chomping his nachos to even look over at me.
“Yeah, work pisser. Can you get me a fork? I don’t want to use my fingers to get all the extra stuff from the bottom here,” he says and finally looks up at me.
My face is fire sauce red.
How can this be my life?
“Well?” He asks.
I storm into the kitchen and rifle through the draws, I come back out and walk over to the couch. I stab Zac in the leg with the fork, letting the four silver prongs slide into his meaty flesh.
“JESUS CHRIST!” He shrieks. Beans and cheese fall out of his mouth.
“Oops!” I shrug.
I can actually see steam coming out of his cauliflower ears while his little brain tries to comprehend what just happened. I watch him pull out the fork and stand up in a square wrestling stance. He was the State Champ at our high school three years in a row before he dropped out to play professional poker.
Not so lucky now, is he.
“BITCH!” He puts his shoulder forward and charges at me. But, I’m not the one with a giant fork wound in my leg. I side-step when he wobbles from the pain and he plows past me and slams into the wall. Idiot.
“I’m out,” I yell as I take my purse and run through the front door. Something I should have done a long time ago.
“JANE!” Zac stands on the porch and screams as I drive off. My heart is racing and I reach over to the passenger seat to grab my phone to call Mom. Something hard and sharp stabs my thumb and I start laughing, like crazy, hysterical laughter.
It’s the spork.
I throw it out the window and flip off the Taco Bell as I drive by.
There you have it! A 500 word #flashfiction story about one woman's final straw. We are all made of stories... big and small, weird and weirder. So, what are you waiting for? Write something! Anything! And guess what? There are people who want to read your work-- even if it's about sporks.
Let me know how your writing journey is going over on the Twitterverse @writingwithreed.