Flash Fiction

Last night I discovered Flash Fiction.

"Flash fiction is fiction of extreme brevity. The standard, generally-accepted length of a flash fiction piece is 1000 words or less. ..." (Wikipedia)

My brother and I decided to give it a whirl today. He picked the theme "Time" and we set about writing our first flash fiction.

I ended up writing two pieces. Here they are:

The Times they are a Changin’

He wound the pocket watch carefully, picked up his lunch box, kissed his wife and headed for the train depot.

Thirty years he had made this trip and it suited him just fine. He walked past the drugstore on the corner and waved at Sal, stopped at Joe’s to get a cup of stout coffee, bought the Post at the newsstand and continued his journey.

Only he stepped in front of a trolley car at 14th Street and Broadway.

At the funeral his mother handed him his fathers pocket watch.
He wound the pocket watch, grabbed a granola bar, kissed his wife and ran for the subway.

Three years he had made this trip and he hated every minute of it. He walked past the barred drugstore on the corner and nodded at the turbaned owner who was unlocking the gate, stopped at Starbucks and picked up a double-shot to kick-start his brain, grabbed the Times at the newsstand and continued his journey.

Only he stepped in front of a taxi at the 14th Street and Broadway.

His mother carefully wrapped his father’s pocket watch in a clean handkerchief and tucked it into her jewelry box. She would give it to him when he got older.

After his mother’s funeral, his sister handed him the pocket watch.

“Mom wanted you to have this when you got older. I think you’re old enough now,” she said, hopefully.
He grabbed the pocket watch from his dresser, rifled through his sister’s purse and took some cash, kicked the dog on the way out the door and headed for the Grand Central Station.

He had made this trip every day in the three months since his mother croaked. He pawned the watch at the shop on the corner, stopped at Juan’s and bought a pint, stole a Hustler magazine from the newsstand and continued his journey.

Only they found him that night under the bridge at 14th Street and Broadway.

And this is the second:


He had heard that time stands still in moments of extreme stress. It isn’t so.

The minute the doctor pronounced his sentence, time had accelerated, speeding by in dizzying patterns, swirling about him with hurricane force winds. He needed to catch his breath and then he heard himself gasp.

It was a momentary lapse in his stoic nature. It wouldn’t happen again.

Radiation, chemotherapy, daily trips to the hospital, doctor visits, medication and hovering…always someone hovering.

His world began to shrink. His dreams of adventure in the vast outdoors were reduced to wishing he could go outside and mow the lawn.

His days began to shorten…5 hours awake out of every 24.

His independence all but vanished.

And finally, time stood still.

(Copyright © 2009 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)

1 comment:

keri*sparkles said...

So depressing! Ah! I don't like these. Well, I mean, I DO. I really do, but they are sad. Yes.