I recently found a website called 50-Word Stories that features something called “flash fiction” and found myself perusing these wonderful (and sometimes NOT so wonderful) fictional snippets. I did one just as a lark and found myself coming back again and again as new ideas strike me. I’ve also tried distilling ideas I’ve had in my head into little fifty-word stories.
The rules are simple … tell a little story in fifty words. No more, no less. Exactly fifty words.
Here are a few of my entries:
Today was her day and nothing and no one else mattered, the bride thought to herself, as she gaily threw the bouquet over her shoulder to the waiting throng.
The armless maid of honor wondered why she even bothered to stand amongst the gaggle of women as she toppled over.
As he opened his eyes, the assembled Gods and divine beings and legends of old ceased their various activities and turned to stare as him. As Zeus retrieved darts from the dartboard, his opponent Shiva asked “Where did the mortal come from?”
“That meditation tape really worked!”, he thought to himself.
It felt like an eternity he had been fighting. Forever taking revenge on an endless series of opponents, each tougher than the last. As if unseen forces compelled him to forever fight. But soon it would be over. Soon he would rest. He hoped.
Right, right, up, right, A button.
He was always a patriot. As unjust as he felt this war was, he felt it was his duty to stand for his country, no matter the personal cost.
The regimental flag across the field told him he was facing Virginians. “God”, he prayed, “don’t let me kill anyone I know”.
The dead were accounted for as the cleanup and rebuilding began. The world was being renewed, just as it was. Only time could heal societies scars, but the foundations of society weren’t settled yet.
He pushed on a cinderblock wall, its wet mortar giving way. The second revolution had begun.
“It was a joke.” Simon thought to himself, shaking. “So this guy’s wife died. Why am I to blame? A website you pay for time travelers to come back and save you? Who believes the Internet?” The crying man cocked his gun.
Just then future Simon burst in and fired.
All in all it’s a fun little exercise to get the creative juices flowing. You can try out an idea or a bit of dialogue and there’s no pressure. It’s just a little throw away idea, but one you have to put some thought into to keep it within the word limit. Plus, if you strike upon an idea you like, you can always expand on it later.