I've never done flash fiction before. Seems awfully newfangled to me. And anyway, I've always been terrified of short stories. Writing them well seems so difficult, employing an economy and elegance I just don't come by naturally.
The rules are to start with "The door swung open." and hopefully, end with "The door swung shut." Extra points for having both and being exactly 200 words. I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of that, but I'll give it a go.
When I'm stuck in my wip, or just want to understand a character or situation better, I write a scene about them- a scene that will never be in the book. This is really liberating especially since my POV is first person. In these 'exploration' scenes I can really let loose. So the below is a snippet of a 'deleted' scene.
I'd love to know what you think. I'd also like to know, what do you think of writing short stories/flash fiction? Can anyone do it, or is it a special talent?
Update: I think I was supposed to say that you can 'like' my entry here. I'm number 196. thanks!
Rachel Sew and the Gold Man
The door swung open and Rachel stopped dead. It was only the black cat she sometimes fed, come for more scraps. It was well past dusk and the gold man was late. He’d said to leave her things behind, but it pained her so. On the day she’d been made, she’d been given clothes, a word locket, a home and a living. But it was a long time before she could barter for things she chose herself.
The first time she’d gone into the package store with a basket of woven flax, Mr. Tend gave her the credit to buy anything off the first shelf. She looked at each item carefully, picking up a tea set, so delicate and white that it had a bluish cast. She passed on to the next item, a clothes mangle that would make washday easier. It was the practical choice and she felt like she should want it, but didn’t. She passed on again.
When she saw it, she blushed. She wanted it desperately, and she was sure wanting something that much was wrong. Still, the shawl was exquisite. It was black and satiny with a fringe that tickled her arms when she tried it on. Embroidered roses bloomed across the shawl; red, yellow, blue, purple. Rachel was sure that there were no such roses in all the world.
The door swung open. The gold man’s shadow fell across her doorway, her cat twining around his legs.
“Aren’t you coming, Rachel?” She wrapped the shawl tighter around her shoulders and stepped outside as the door swung shut.