I’ve heard of flash fiction and very short shorts. But today I learned that flash fiction can be broken down into a whole other slew of sub-genres and tiny word counts.
- A drabble: 100 words
- Nanofiction: 55 words (these are complete stories, people)
- And, my favorite…Hint fiction: 25 words (if you think you’re up to this type of challenge, here’s a contest)
On SheWrites.com, several women writers have formed a group: Flash and Micro/Fiction & Nonfiction. Each week there is a theme, and contributors post their best very, very short stories. You have to be a SheWrites member to participate, but SheWrites is a great resource for and community of women writers.
This week’s theme: Postcard fiction, 250 words or less. What can you write in 250 words?
In 246 words, here’s my story (and I’m sticking to it):
She didn’t look so old three days ago.
I stopped by her apartment after work for our usual Wednesday evening coffee date. She just got back from her mall walking and said she had gotten an eye-full at the Victoria’s Secret display.
“I don’t think their hardware could hold together much of my old body.” She laughed hard. “I’d be a nightmare in satin!”
She talked, while she buzzed around the kitchen. She washed out a juice glass and her favorite coffee cup. She grabbed a cup for me and turned on “the tea kettle.” She dropped a few teaspoons of Foldgers in our cups, then topped the grinds with sugar.
“I put a little extra sugar in yours, honey. I know you like it sweet. That water’ll be hot any minute now.”
She was vibrant as she danced in and out of the late afternoon sunlight that streamed through her patio doors.
But now, laying there in the hospital bed, she looked old. Her hair had gone white. It was gray before, but now it was definitely white. And the skin on her arms seemed looser. Maybe it was always that way, and I just never noticed.
I pulled back the sheet and found her hand. Ice cold. I lifted it to my cheek to try and warm her fingers. She breathed deep.
“Is that you, honey? Is it Wednesday already?”
She turned to me. I smiled and tried to hide the fear in my eyes.