During April, Writers Victoria ran a fun Flash Fiction competition. Each day, they released a new word prompt and participating writers had until midnight to submit a story up to 30 words.
I decided to use this contest to challenge myself to complete a story every day. I’m pleased to say that I succeeded, but it wasn’t an easy ride. I started with lofty optimism, but creating a new story every day was a strain on the creativity, and not all words were easy, like Day 13, as you’ll see. By Day 20, I’d had enough, and never wanted to write again. Luckily, that mood only lasted three seconds, and I bounced back with renewed enthusiasm and pushed through to the end.
Below are my thirty stories. They range from fun, to thought-provoking, to ridiculous, to possibly wasted ink, but I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. You’ll find more stories, plus the daily winners, on Twitter @Writers_Vic #WVFlashFic21.
Day 1 – Crease
He was a crease in her life she couldn’t iron out. She cried. She begged. She left. He stalked. When he threatened, she invited him to dinner. To discuss. To kill.
Day 2 – Develop
“It takes years to develop a memorable story. Characters have a whole life, too.” Holding my mentor’s words in my mind, I pick up my pen and continue to write.
Day 3 – Segmentation
Sharpened knife, Segmentation,
Tangy, citrus bliss.
Day 4 – Blossom
Strange how slime grows on the moon rock when I touch it. For life to blossom, it must draw sustenance from somewhere. Too late, I realize it’s feeding on me.
Day 5 – Hands
His hands snake around my throat, leaving me numb, breathless. But I’ve never felt more alive. Free to haunt, I’ll stroke his neck, take his life. Like he took mine.
Day 6 – Illuminate
I’m unsure about my new boyfriend. Cold hands. Pale skin. But I love how the candlelight illuminates his eyes. Mesmerizing. It makes me wish he’d nuzzle my neck.
Day 7 – Crumple
I smile for my children’s sake, but forced by illness to leave my home of fifty years makes me crumple like the newspaper they wrap around my memories.
Day 8 – Renew
I study the painting Leonardo left for restoration. I can’t see any damage to the portrait. But the woman’s mouth is too straight. Grabbing a paintbrush, I renew her smile.
Day 9 – Open
Years of marriage open our eyes to irritations that threaten our commitment to each other. But true love is magical how it soothes the rough, making us blind.
Day 10 – Pop
“At 6000 feet, pull the …”
Pop. The pressure in my ears explodes, drowning out my last instruction. Then I’m freefalling, screaming, was it the red cord, or the blue?
Day 11 – Elaborate
Furious at the obscene payment, he holds up the incriminating bank statement. “Care to elaborate?”
“I’d love to.” Meeting his glare, I slip on my new red lace lingerie.
Day 12 – Unravel
An involuntary crunch threatens to unravel my string of lies, but he doesn’t hear and keeps searching. I offer to take out the rubbish; before he finds the candy wrappers.
Day 13 – Manifest
No amount of imagination will make a story using the word ‘manifest’ appear in my mind. Sighing, I turn off the computer and go outside to weed the garden.
Day 14 – Scrunch
Lured by the promise of eternal youth, I creep into the witch’s lair. I stop, hearing brittle bones scrunch beneath my feet. And run, when a baby wails.
Day 15 – Consciousness
I glare at my reflection. “You’ll never be me. You lack my consciousness.”
My doppelganger smirks. “You’re right.” Reaching through the mirror, it stabs its finger into my temple.
Day 16 – Burst
Curious, I poke the cotton ball, wondering how it got stuck to the wall. My finger sticks. Then thousands of baby spiders burst from within and run up my arm.
Day 17 – Learn
“You will learn a new skill, but it will end in tears.” Wishing I’d read my horoscope before my ice skating lesson, I shove another pillow beneath my broken ankle.
Day 18 – Explore
Like a vulture drawn to rotting flesh, the predator circles its prey. Detecting sustenance, it lands on light feet, creeps forward, eager to explore for oozing eruptions—
Day 19 – Reveal
You sort my belongings into keepsakes and trash, but hesitate on finding a diary. I should have destroyed that. It reveals your real mother’s identity, and the secret we kept.
Day 20 – Origami
“Yes, Mum,” I say into the telephone as another paper plane sails across the living room. “He loves it. Origami is the perfect birthday present for a five year old.”
Day 21 – Expand
Breathe in. Breath out. Expand. Contract. Pull in. Push out. Through time. Through space. Sun warm. Moon cold. Dieback. Renew. Unfurl and change. Forever rearrange. Rejoice. This thing. Called Earth.
Day 22 – Emerge
At the first hint of teenage rebellion, I send my wayward daughter to a dystopian world. She emerges, a changeling, eyes shining with hero’s triumph, and helps attack the dishes.
Day 23 – Unfurl
Mid-winter, ferns unfurl, confused by warmth from a creature’s false sun. At dawn, the creature smothers the flames and moves on, ignorant of its evolutionary disruption; the ferns’ icy demise.
Day 24 – Letter
We regret to inform your submission, “Let’s eat Grandma”, has been rejected. We strongly suggest you learn about comma placement before submitting elsewhere.”
Editor, Cookbook Creations
Day 25 – Unwrap
Dad hovers with garbage bags and Mum pretends to smile while we unwrap all the Christmas presents, bar one. That gift is for Tommy, another train set—ageless, like him.
Day 26 – Display
In a spectacular cosmic display, all the planets aligned, causing a kaleidoscope sky and a red ring around the Sun. It was precision timing. While cameras clicked, they arrived, unnoticed.
Day 27 – Betray
Betrayed by the promise of a ‘forever home’, Mishka dug a bed in a pile of newspaper next to a dumpster. A warm hand reached out and patted her nose.
Day 28 – Become
“That colour becomes you,” said the shop assistant when I tried on the hat.
She was right. Caught in the rain, the colour leeched and turned my whole face blue.
Day 29 – Discover
Determined to discover the identity of the midnight cookie thief, I hid a motion-sensor camera in the kitchen. The photos revealed another shocking discovery. Apparently, I sleepwalk.
Day 30 – Unfold
… it can be a painful process, this dredging up subconscious notes about life, but only by exposing raw emotions can the notes unfold and release the hero that someone needs …