Getting Started In Flash Fiction

Until this year, I had no idea what flash fiction was. Having looked it up, I’m still not sure I know exactly what it is but I know it’s short.  Longer than a tweet and shorter than a ‘short ‘story (however you define short!) seems to be the only consensus. But given a word-count and a theme, I thought I’d have a go at writing one and entered ‘Forty’ into a writing competition to celebrate author Rebecca Emin’s birthday. You can read all about the competition, how it developed and the winning stories on on her blog at http://ramblingsofarustywriter.blogspot.com/

There were 39 entries in all and I was pleased to make the shortlist of 14. How good is that?  It got even better today when I found out I’d come joint fifth.  Normally joint fifth doesn’t jump out, but for someone who’s just starting, that’s great encouragement.   Two groups of people I don’t know read my story and liked it.  And that’s what writing is all about.

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Flash Fiction – ‘Forty’

I can’t move but I can breathe, for a while at least.  I know people are looking for me but the air is running out and I’m losing body heat.  How many minutes left; twenty, thirty minutes; forty at most?
‘Forty, it’s only a number’ I said a few weeks ago.  ‘Life begins at forty’.  I wasn’t sure I believed it but I said it anyway.  I should be at home surrounded by friends and drinking champagne.   Instead I wanted a ‘challenge’.  Now the only thing on ice is me. I remember the avalanche hurtling towards me and a fall that lasted forever.
It’s so cold. I don’t know how long it’s been; I can’t see my watch.  What are my odds; twenty, thirty, forty to one?  I’m feeling tired but I know I shouldn’t sleep.
It’s warmer now.  I can see myself.  The room is packed with people and equipment.  I’m the centre of attention like a birthday boy at a party but there is no cake nor candles.   I am wired to machines.  They are worried about my heart rate.  I don’t need to look at the screen.  Some numbers stay with you, for life.
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