Who’s dead and what the hell killed them? Read on…
The older I get the less interested I am in contests. Earlier in my writing career I entered far more than I do today. There is nothing wrong with contests and I do occasionally participate, but these days I feel as though art should simply be enjoyed and not judged. Positive reinforcement through objective qualification (such as rankings based on sales statistics) provides much more accurate feedback than being “placed” by someone calling themselves a “judge.”
But this is not a snarky post about contests. One thing that I find very valuable about them is the call to action. It forces you to meet a deadline and for me that is extremely empowering. If I know I have to submit something by a certain date and I’m powerless to change it, I get it done.
Such was the case recently when a flash fiction contest application from IndieBookoftheDay.com dropped into my inbox. A piece of flash fiction is a very short story, usually a few hundred words or less. The one for the mystery/thriller category of this contest had to be even less; 35 words. I was immediately hooked because writing flash fiction is a lot like writing lyrics and that is something I do quite often in Threefold Law. You have to tell a story and you have to do it with the least number of words possible--every single one matters.
Here were the guidelines:
Task: Write a mystery/thriller flash story about 'death'.
Prompt: Use 'party/gathering' as part of the plot.
Restrictions: Word limit of 35 words, including the title.
Here was my submission. Not a “winner” but an “honorable mention,” whatever you care to make of that.
And Then They Were Dead
The pledges swallowed their inheritance powder and crossed the eternal threshold so that the transformation could begin. Only the pristine dead could free themselves from the limitations of the living.
There you go. Try it yourself in the comments section of this post. Use the prompt above and write a story in 35 words or less including the title and I’ll publish them all. You can call yourselves “winners,” if that kind of thing matters to you.