flash fiction

stories

Flash Fiction

Flash fiction is very short, usually not more than one or two pages. A writer tells a story with a beginning, middle and end with an economy of words. It’s not easy to write flash fiction, and it’s especially challenging to write flash fiction that is not more than 300 words in length. But let’s see what you can do, all right?  Submit a flash fiction story to West that is not more than 300 words  To learn how to submit your flash fiction story, click on and read the submission guidelines.  Following are examples of flash fiction stories.



Examples: "Marilyn Monroe's Hair" & “Blank and Perfect”
By Nuala Lincke-Ivic

 

Marilyn Monroe's Hair Was That Same
Exact Same Shade of Blonde

(299 Words Without Title)

She’s a big fat lady who smokes cigarettes in front of her kids in an enclosed room. But she’s funny, so people forget that when they watch her sing karaoke, broadcast on the worldwide ’Net from her small, messy kitchen: that she’s gross and immoral and whatever else you might want to call someone like that.

She’s the kind of person who, you might imagine, says, I fart every time I bend over nowadays, and it’s not funny, but when she says that, when someone like her says that, you laugh.

She has a certain something that just leaps out at you from her eyes, and they are eyes that tell you what she looked like when she was a girl.

She was pretty. And she may have smoked, but she didn’t fart every time she bent over. You can bet on that. That’s in the forefront of your mind when you’re listening to her sing on the ’Net: that once she had promise. And she’s still funny as hell. Especially when she sings karaoke in her kitchen in a tight tank and drawstring pants because her belly's so big. But a mike’s in one hand, and a crisp, new cigarette is in the other. And you realize she's bleached her hair so blonde that every last memory of gray went screaming down the drain. And it's true: Marilyn Monroe's hair was that same exact same shade of blonde.

And you want to say to people who criticize her: Wait until you’re in the same exact spot in your life; then you’ll understand what she’s got in her, to keep smiling. To keep bleaching her hair and broadcasting herself on the ’Net, or letting someone else broadcast her on the ’Net as a joke.

You’ll get it. One day.

Listen:

Kellan Rhude Reads - Marilyn Monroe's Hair

 

Blank and Perfect

(300 Words Without Title)

She’s blank and perfect: a tabula rasa and young-and-pretty. How can he resist her? He can stamp her with his opinions and kiss her lips that have known no other man, make her breathe hard just by playing with her hair with one hand, curling it round his fist as they sit at the café table. He gets to be omnipotent with her, a god. At least until she wises up, gets the little bit of mileage on her that he will give her. Wakes up and smells the coffee: He’s nothing special; all men can do to her what he does to her. All men want to do what he does to her.

The older woman watching the older man and the woman-child tightens her lips, a thin line, as she stares at the pair and thinks. She’s not sure if she’s envious of or sorry for the woman-child. Once she had been that girl. Until she wised up, of course, woke up and smelled the coffee. And he stopped being her god. But for that little time, almost a year, when he had been her god...she had loved him, loved him with that kind of blind, unquestioning adoration that a small child feels for a parent. And it had been rapturous.

She muses. Could she ever go back to that happy dream; being as she once was? No. Because you cannot stop the march of time. Nobody can. And everybody has feet of clay.

But as he slides his fingers down the girl’s hair, one-handed, she can see how the girl’s breath catches in her throat, and for one moment she is that girl again; she is bright and shiny and new, and her whole world is his eyes, warm and still upon her.


Editor: LinckeN@WLAC.edu | West Los Angeles College | 9000 Overland Ave, Culver City CA 90230 | www.wlac.edu
Production Mngr: Michelle Long-Coffee | Web Design: Clarissa Castellanos