I roped some friends into doing this flash fiction challenge with me. It’s one piece per day, for the entire month of June. (“One piece,” meaning 300-500 words that tell a complete, albeit miniature, story.)
There are four of us, and I just now realized that we each have two kids – except for one, who is currently pregnant with her second. I didn’t deliberately limit it to us four, except I feel close to each of them (which is weird when we’re scattered around the world), and I felt like each person would benefit, enjoy it, and actually participate, for the most part.
(The only thing is, unlike the 30-day ab challenge or 30-day squat challenge, I forgot to build in “rest” days. Oops.)
If you want to play along, here are the prompts we’re using, curated from various lists I’ve seen online. We’re just going through day by day.
Write a story…
- That takes place in a car.
- Where the weather changes, and this also changes the story.
- In the form of a monologue.
- Involving fire.
- In less than 100 words.
- About a romance.
- Based on something that happened to you yesterday.
- Involving an operation.
- Focusing around a particular scent.
- With the theme of “fault.”
- Featuring the color orange.
- About an animal.
- Composed entirely of dialogue.
- That takes place near water.
- Where someone suffers a bout of bad luck.
- That uses the device of repetition.
- Set in the summer.
- That begins with a death.
- Using the second person POV.
- That takes place while it’s snowing.
- Where the ending comes first.
- Where someone is hiding something.
- That’s scary.
- Where knots are a symbol.
- About a character who is giving up.
- With the theme “the day after.”
- That consists of just one long sentence.
- About someone losing one of their five senses.
- About a child.
- That ends with a song lyric.
I love flash fiction. And it’s only day 2 but so far I’ve loved every story I’ve read by these other writers. This game is the best idea I’ve ever had. =)
Here is my Day 2 story: “Where the weather changes, and this also changes the story.” (It doesn’t make any sense, I know that, but making sense isn’t really the point.)
There Goes The Neighborhood
Ahasbai couldn’t suffer a fool, and didn’t like being ignored, so when the neighbors started up with their hammering and crashing and banging around again early one morning, he heaved himself up out of bed and threw open the front door.
“What is your PROBLEM?” he shouted, but it seemed they could barely hear him over the racket they were making. Wooden beams were everywhere in their yard. Planks and tools were scattered around. The old man and his sons didn’t seem to believe in cleaning up after themselves while they were working. They had constructed a huge wooden structure in the part of their yard hidden from the general view by the house and a large copse of trees.
Even though he was dressed for sleep, Ahasbai quickly crossed his own yard to theirs. The entire family was out, it seemed, and they all seemed to notice him at the same time…all except for the old man.
“I have told you BEFORE,” he shouted. “LISTEN TO ME, old man!”
Noah looked up, and Ahasbai realized that Noah had known he was there the whole time. He had just chosen to ignore him and go on with his own work. This made him even angrier, so he snapped, “Just what in God’s name do you think you’re building?”
One of Noah’s sons started to speak, but Noah held his hand up. “You will see,” he said calmly, then went back to his sawing as if nothing was out of order and no one was furious with anyone else.
Ahasbai felt his blood boil. He stomped back to his home, waking up everyone sleeping within. He organized his large family into a recruitment team, sending everyone from his mother-in-law to his youngest daughter, just six years old, around the neighborhood to rouse their friends. Gradually his yard filled up with their neighbors, and he made it a point to speak to each one individually, ranting around what a disturbance Noah’s family was, and what an eyesore their latest outbuilding was.
Slyly, he suggested they take action to a couple of the most loud-mouthed men, and soon the crowd was chanting “Tear it DOWN! Tear it DOWN!” At this point, Ahasbai slunk away into the back, to watch the action without being at the forefront. He put an arm around his wife, who paused in her chanting to kiss his cheek and smile at him proudly.
The most agitated and aggressive members of the crowd had just started to cross over to Noah’s yard, when the first raindrops began to fall.