Tag Archives: free stories

Double-Double: Story + Article

The Story:


Milk

They finally cornered him, his creamy mustache still visible. “You owe us for twelve bottles!”

The thief’s eyes surveyed the dank alleyway looking for an escape route. “I didn’t take them, I’m lactose intolerant!”

The oldest sister, breathless from running while carrying a lead pipe, said, “We know. We tracked your gaseous trail since dawn.”


The Article:


Tips for Writing Flash Fiction

Fictorians – Flash Fiction Tips

Writing flash fiction is a lot like writing poetry. Because of the word limitations, one must take their time discovering concepts and language that speaks beyond the text on the page. Sometimes the selected words must pull double- or triple-duty to get as much information across to the reader.

Here are some tips for writing effective flash fiction.

Consider writing poetry.

Poetry focuses on the same concepts and construction of flash fiction. In particular, learning how to write using recognized poetic forms like sonnets, pantoums, and sestinas can help train you to write conservatively and with precision. Even something as simple as a limerick or a haiku can be surprisingly difficult for a writer to construct effectively.

As one writes poetry, they expand their language skills and vocabulary. Understanding the different subtle definitions of a word can help one write with an overt initial reading with rippling undertones. This skill can help an author to evolve beyond writing a story that happens to be really short.

Find writing challenges.

There are several writing prompt websites such as Fish of Gold and Writing.com’s Daily Flash Fiction Challenge. Google can help to connect you to more. Forcing your brain to write with a specific concept or object in mind can both help you to focus and to open your mind to non-typical stories. These will also help to expand your skills and, at times, can even get you a publication credit.

Educate yourself with story construction lessons.

There are plenty of story construction articles and books to assist you with truly understanding how a story is built. Understanding the high-level concepts of story building can help you to write flash fiction (and longer projects.) Take the time to learn the tropes of the different genres, including ones you do not necessarily read on a regular basis. Suggested books include Story Engineering by Larry Brooks or one of the Writer’s Digest series. If you have the time, try one of Open University’s free courses on writing.

Practice makes better.

Practice doesn’t make you perfect, but it certainly does help you to improve. The more you focus on writing, the better you will become as a writer. The work you produce should be edited and sent out like the rest of your writing. You won’t get rich writing flash fiction, but you can occasionally make a few bucks and progress in your professionalism skills.

By the way, what is flash fiction?

There are several definitions and variants of what is considered flash fiction. Some venues believe flash is 300 words or less, while most consider 1,000 or less to be flash. Here are some common variants:

  • 1,000 words or less: Flash Fiction
  • 750-500 words: Sudden or Immediate Fiction
  • 300 words or less: Micro Fiction
  • 100 words exactly: Drabble
  • 55 words exactly: Double-nickel Fiction
  • 50 words exactly: Dribble

 


 

About the Author:DeMarco_Web-5963

Guy Anthony De Marco is a disabled US Navy veteran speculative fiction author; a Graphic Novel Bram Stoker Award® nominee; winner of the HWA Silver Hammer Award; a prolific short story and flash fiction crafter; a novelist; an invisible man with superhero powers; a game writer (Sojourner Tales modules, Interface Zero 2.0 core team, third-party D&D modules); and a coffee addict. One of these is false.
A writer since 1977, Guy is a member of the following organizations: SFWA, WWA, SFPA, IAMTW, ASCAP, RMFW, NCW, HWA. He hopes to collect the rest of the letters of the alphabet one day. Additional information can be found at Wikipedia and GuyAnthonyDeMarco.com.

Flashes of Halloween

As a token of appreciation for our readers and fans, we present a series of flash fiction stories to entertain and scare you. We hope you enjoy them, as does that ghostly figure reading this over your shoulder…


 

Steaks

Guy Anthony De Marco

Bob hated driving ‘cattle’ trucks. He liked the cargo, but the other drivers drove him mad. Soccer moms cutting him off on their way to the hairdressers and belligerent teenagers flipping him off all contributed to Bob’s loathing of city dwellers. He held his tongue for years, biding his time.

On Bob’s final run, the day he’d retire, he made a detour towards the old Quonset hut on his property. He would butcher and freeze this load to keep him in steaks for months, maybe years.

As he turned the crowded schoolbus into his driveway, he began to drool.


Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

Pamela K. Kinney

 

“Want a unique experience?” asked the woman in a tight mini dress and stiletto heels.

The man grinned. “What do you have in mind?”

“Something I know you never had done to you before and can only be done once.”

He followed her down an alley. They stopped beneath a sickly yellow light.

The man said, “I’ve done every sexual position you can imagine.”

“This is not about sex.”

The prostitute vanished, replaced by a monster. Before he could escape, it ate him.

Costumed as the human woman again, the monster patted her belly. “Now, you experienced being my meal.”


Troubles

Guy Anthony De Marco

 

“All right, you horrible jerk.”

The Mrs. is pissed off at me again. I rack my brain, trying to think of what she could have discovered. My mistress died suddenly, so she couldn’t have squealed about our affair. Nobody saw me hit the crippled guy with my car last year.

She’s not crying, so it has nothing to do with the jerk she was having an affair with while I was at work. I killed him too.

“Okay, I give. What did I do this time?”

She held up a severed, partially gnawed woman’s hand.

“I thought you were on a diet, dear?”


 Trick Or Treat

Frank Morin

He hated Halloween, with all those grasping, selfish children.

This year he prepared a special treat. The children would gobble them down, not even tasting the ricin. They’d die painfully in a few days, and no one could ever trace the source of the deadly toxin back to him.

Halloween night, he hosted a party of dear friends, but when he went to fetch the bowl of poisoned chocolate, he found it filled with different candy.

His wife called, “Give the brats the cheap stuff.”

“Where are my chocolates?”

“Gone,” she laughed. “They were the hit of the party.”


After the Crossroads

Mary Pletsch

I am sorry, my friend…but you are a mother too. You will understand—I couldn’t leave my daughter alone. You often said how you couldn’t comprehend what I was going through, watching my little girl wither away.

You would not have laughed at me if I had told you that in my desperation I had gone down to the crossroads with four black candles and a Club Pack of chicken breasts, $4.99 per pound on sale. You would not have made fun of my sacrifice. You would have known that even at that price, I would be skipping meals for the rest of the week.

You, if anyone, would have held my hand as I invoked Him. You would have reassured me. You would have told me there was no fault in trying.

The next morning my daughter drank from the bottle He gave me in exchange for the soul of the head of the house. My friend, I am so sorry… On my way to the hospital I walked past my own door and drew the mark on yours.

I will watch over your sons as you would have watched over my daughter, had the situation been reversed.


Vultures

Guy Anthony De Marco

The lines were longer than expected. It took a while to dock with the geosynchronous auction house, where robotic transports shuttled bidders to the main deck. The inner wall of the doughnut-shaped vessel displayed flashes of upcoming items; the outer gave the occupants a view of incoming ships.

Hun-Rey appreciated the attention to detail provided by the auctioneers. Disposable holo-vids of the major pieces, organic foods, and many intoxicating beverages — the house expected to pull in big numbers.

Most of the elite stopped by, pumping each other for inside information. Hun-Rey greeted each one, and divulged misinformation with a smile. He was a professional, a bidder with clairvoyance and charm.

A small bell tolled three times, and the auction began.

“Today we have a rarity. One certified dead world, with many antiquities intact. We will start with item one, a tubular underwater vehicle with all sixteen nuclear weapons unfired…”


Leftovers

Kristin Luna

The tabby strolled down the steps, weaving between the banisters. She hadn’t been fed for days, and her short hair began to suck to her body to display her ribs.

When she reached the ground level of her domicile, she peered into the kitchen and sat on her haunches. She stared at her owners sitting still in their chairs. She approached the youngest one that usually had bits of leftover breading from chicken fingers or cheese or cookie bits stuck to her fingers. She smelled the little fingers, but there was only the smell of acrid pickles. All the same, she rubbed against the little fingers and the rope end that dangled from the girl’s wrists.

She quickly passed by the one with the slick, black shoes that kicked her often and went straight for the one in the slippers and nightgown who poured her cat food every morning. She rubbed against the slippered feet, but again, was given no pats or rubs in return.

Demanding as she was, the feline jumped up to the table, as the action demanded attention in the past. But no one batted her away or placed her back down on the floor. Her presence unprotested, the cat sniffed a puddle of a strange liquid, and paused. She looked at the pool as if considering. But after a moment had passed, the tabby bent her head farther and drank from it anyway. At first slowly, the reddish brown coagulations catching on her tongue, and the sharp flavor different from water or milk. But the tabby was hungry, and this red milk would have to do.