Flash Fiction


Well-Known Member
Mar 21, 2004
Toronto, Ontario
Okay well I thought I would give this excercise a try. I tried to write a story in 500 words or less, with a conflict, character development and some semblance of a plot. I did it, and it is fiction. I want other people to try it too, write 500 words or less and post it here (any genre). We can then critique the story to make it better. Anyways here's mine. Tell me what you think.

“I can’t go on this way, I feel like I’m lying to you, I feel like I’m lying to myself.” He stares into her eyes, bottomless pits of sorrow. The tears caress her cheeks like his hands had, and now there is a gap between them, an un-crossable chasm. The hurt radiates from her in waves, burning him, permeating the air with distress. Her hands bunch into fists as the first of the sobs rock her, such despair in such a small form.

Tears arise with alacrity as her sadness infects him. Staring past her, he tries to cloak his tears behind closed hands, but she sees him. Her eyes peer at his, the spark of confusion evident within. “Why are you crying?” she asks as the beads flow down her smooth cheeks. “You’re breaking up with me.” As she says it, she groans as if it suddenly hits her, a newfound pressure pressing down upon all of her senses. “You’re breaking up with me,” she repeats the words softly, as if tasting them upon her tongue.

His face creases with the effort of denying his tears, the last thing he wanted was to hurt her, and now the pain is clear. “I…” he stumbles upon the words, his mind suddenly going blank, “I…you don’t understand, it’s complicated….it’s…complicated,” his words sound foolish even to himself. He tries again. He cannot hurt her, not this time. “You remember the last time we talked?” He asks quietly, as he stares at her for a sign of recognition. She nods her head faintly. “Nothing has changed, I’ve wanted it too, but it’s all the same….we’re still the same people we were last time, and I wanted us to work…I really did, but it can’t happen, it won’t happen, and I can’t lie to myself anymore, we have to end it.” The thick ooze of regret hampers his every word. He wants to take them back but he cannot, he just hopes someday she will understand.

With surprising gentleness, he brushes a chestnut lock away from her face. She takes a step towards him, and without saying a word, buries her head in the crook of his bare shoulder. She can feel his hot breath upon her own neck, the tender caress of air sending shivers down her spine. “I love you,” she says wholeheartedly, pain and despair coloring her every word.

He can feel her tears as they trickle down his neck, can feel her shaking form like a branch trembling in the wind. The misery of her words sends pain shooting through his heart. With every one of her gasps, he questions his decision, but finally he is certain. He grips onto her tightly, his arms pressing her lithe body to his securely. “I’m sorry,” he says as he finally lets go. The look in her eye is that of a wounded animal, and yet he has no choice. She crumples to the ground, as he steps away. It is over.


Mar 1, 2006
"No, James. You can't do it."

"But it's easy. It just 500 words or less."

"Honey, dont bother me. Im finishing up my hair."

"This guy in SFF said to make a flash story. Five hundred words or less. And I think I can do it."

"Then do it."

"Yeah, yeah. Im thinking what to write about."

The hair dryer started.

"How long it'll take you to do your hair? The hair dryer screwing up the monitor."

"I'll finish soon enough. Dont blame the gadget for your stupid story."

"I can't think of anything that'll fit in 500 words with all that racket"

"Dont strain yourself thinking, honey. It gives you a headache."

"What would be a nice subject?"

"How about a man pestering his wife?"

"With more time, I know I can think of something."

"We're leaving in 10 minutes, dear. Ready the car. Turn off that computer."

"Damn the Raston's."

"Could you give me that hair brush. Thanks"

"Maybe I can write about the Raston party. But I want to finish it now before we leave."

"You're doing good. You got nothing."

" I just can't think of any."

"Im done. Turn off the computer!"

"Just a few more minutes, Hannah."


"Okay. okay."

"Ready the car!"

"Okay, Im going."

"I told you, you can't do it."

The door slammed.

"Damn hair dryer."


olaf capek
Dec 29, 2004
northeast USA
2055 A.D.

As the last wisps of atmosphere slipped off the sloped surfaces of his Z-40 jumpjet, Lt. Mickey Howard looked up from his instruments to the stars. They were like bright diamonds in a field of black sand sky, as he rose above the blue.
“Level 3 , outer atmosphere, ETA autopilot in 67.5 minutes.” chirped the navigator.
Mick looked at his proximity detector & then tried to spot the Apeiron Corp. beacon. His appointment was for 10: 00 A.M. It was 7:56 now, that left an extra hour for trying out the jumpjet. Mick was using it to get to a consult with Apeiron Corp. a government bio contracter.
The Moller Z-40 Coupe jumpjet is the most advanced jumpjet employed by the United Armed Forces, usually used by diplomatic couriers (and sometimes diplomats on clandestine missions). With its titanium-carbon fiber hull, it was a sleek black and silver dragster with ailerons and turbo pods. The Stinson anti- grav pusher provided lift while the cold fusion pods created steam jets for mobility.
“Well lets see what she can do.” He muttered to himself as he suspended auto pilot. The Z-40 had the reputation as the fastest and most maneuverable long range orbiter coupe made.
The navigater burbled that it had located the ATP beacon. Mick looked up over his left shoulder at the moon and pulled around to head for it. The G forces built as he slowly increased the throttle, a low frequency hum filled the cabin as he passed through the last bits of colorless gases.

The hum faded out until all he could hear was the creaks and chirps of the ship. The craft was accelerating smoothly. He lifted his eyes to the moons bright surface, at all the small cities and habitats and smiled. Thinking about the last time he saw his cousin Jack at the Tycos-Yankees game in December at Tycho Crater Stadium.
“Attencion! Attencion!” Mick glanced down at his vid screen. “This is Europa Command we have picked up an object heading in the general direction of Earth. It is coming at an incredibly high speed, from the internal solar system. ETA unknown. All military personnel go to yellow alert!” The vid screen went silent.
Mick looked back up in time to see the moon swell towards him. He gasped and yanked his craft around and headed away from what looked like an exploding Moon. He was racing away at full throttle and his proximity detector started screaming. He couldn’t get any air in his lungs. He knew he wasn’t going to make it when a piece of moon rock screamed by his cockpit window.


Mar 14, 2006
a few more than 500

"Have you seen this Eileen?" Martin beamed in that way she knew so well. Another bargain.

Eileen leaned across her husband's narrow shoulder making him duck his head in panic as he felt the heat from the frying pan approaching close by his neck.

"Hey, watch what you're doing with that thing." He scolded, as he scraped four legs of the chair across the pock marked lino of the kitchen away from the menacing, still frying breakfast in his wife's grip.

"Sorry love." She cooed as she replaced the pan on the gas ring. "What is it love? What have found this time?"

Martin's widening grin lit up as he showed her the advert in the 'For Sale' column of the newspaper. "Here," he nodded "read this."


"Telepathy? Mind reading?" Eileen turned away in disgust, becoming quite angry about her husband's childish excitement. Not angry because of the obvious practical joke that he was falling for, how could anyone give someone telepathy?, but because of the loft and garage full of bargains which he had bought from car boot sales, for sale columns and blokes down the pub. Everything from OO gauge “Thomas the Tank Engine” train sets to rowing machines to a Pearl drumkit with double foot pedal and 8, EIGHT cymbals and no less than six toms from hanging to standing. All of them gathering dust and all of them bargains.

She knew it was no good arguing about it so she resigned herself to doling her husband’s breakfast so that he could gulp it down and then chase this bargain before anyone else.

* * *

Martin rang the bell of the peeling door of the third floor flat clutching his copy of the newspaper almost hopping from foot to foot in his anxiety about the possibility that he hadn’t got there first and that the bargain had gone.

The door opened, held by a cadaverous figure whose face was decked with unsettling deep-set eyes and almost razor sharp cheek bones. If Martin had been at all blessed with any imagination he would have turned tail and ran as fast as he could except… there was a bargain to be had.

A hollow whisper issued from the figure in the doorway and the only thing that kept Martin from shivering was the newspaper which sported the talismanic Free To Good Home. “I expect you’ve come to ask about the advert?”

“Free. To a good home. Unwanted gift.” Martin quoted.

“Yes. Unwanted. Certainly. Come in.” the man breathed, opening the door wide.

* * *

“Martin? Martin? Whatever is the matter?” concern blushed Eileen’s face as she watched her husband stagger through the door, his face drenched with rivulets of sweat plastering his hair to his skull. “Are you ill? Martin what’s wrong?”

Martin fell onto the kitchen chair, head in hands muttering “Oh God, oh God oh God.”

“Martin.” Eileen soothed “What’s wrong? Did you miss your bargain? Did someone else get it?”

Clenching his teeth martin looked into his wife’s eyes and ground out “No. I got it.”

“Then what’s the matter. You should be happy. You got a real bargain.”

“I CAN HEAR YOU.” Martin shouted, making Eileen leap back at the vehemence. “Every. Tiny. Thought. Every. Single. Idea. Every petty speculation. ‘What if he’s gone mad. Like his father. His mother wasn’t all that bright. His shirt is soaked through he must have a fever.’ SHUT UUUUP.” He screamed.

Susan Boulton

The storyteller
Mar 15, 2006
Broken Glass. This was inspired by the Annie Lennox song-Walking on Broken Glass

I do it mentally every day.

Walk on the broken glass.

It is how I survive.

If I give into that pain I am are done for. There is no one now to save me from the wreckage. They are gone; smothered by the falling shards.

Watch the sun come up from my smeared, cracked window. It shimmers through the haze of the smog trying so hard to reach the surface, but it doesn’t. Like me it is cut off at the knees before the clock on the wall hits eight.

Count the steps away from the window, how many slivers under my feet in those few paces to my cigarettes on the table. How many enter my hand as I reach out, limb shaking, for the packet. The effort of lighting up one slender white stick leaves me gasping for air; air the smoke will try to deny me, but hell, the bitter-sweet haze will stop the shaking. The second drag is not at bad as the first, just the beginning of the welcome release from the self-denial I force on myself to placate my body's need for a few hours in sweat-limed sheets.

With the third pull the glass under my feet has softened; it is bearable for now. I can cope. I stub out the cigarette in the dregs of my coffee. Stuff the cigarettes and lighter into my pocket and head across the glass to the door and the world outside.

I don’t smile at my fellows as they too trundle out of their cages and wait with me by the lift. Smiling would mean the glass fragments had reached my heart, that I had stopped fighting the pain and allowed the world to win.

I step forward towards the glass lift running down the side of the tower of metal and concrete I call home. The others follow me, and I am pressed into the corner of the lift, eyes drawn down as the vehicle slides down, molten, silver smooth. I press my head to the glass. Cold, smooth, unfeeling, uncaring like the hive where I walk on the glass. But I care, that’s why I walk on the broken glass

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