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Flash Fiction
willie
I won't make a habit of putting you all through the awkwardness of polite praise --I know you lot. My latest hobby is writing flash fiction, mainly for weekly comps on another site. For those not familiar, flash is a short story, example 350 words, on a given subject. Or a poem. It's great fun, really focuses the mind. I urge anyone with an interest in writing to give it a go. Anyhow a recent prompt word was 'verity'. Having philosophical issues with the concept of 'truth' I thought I would have trouble. As it happens I was rather pleased with my entry, got my message across with giving a lecture.

I'd like to share it with you guys, as it may appeal particularly to the atheist mind.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Walls come tumbling down.

Faith is not a virtue. Faith is the final refuge against the jagged shards of mutually exclusive truths. When Verity (oh, the irony) vowed to love me until parted by death, she did so with the ease of a throwaway gesture; she then proceeded to throw it away. Only my blind trust and dogged belief carried us as far as this bitter end.

We sat together, emotionally separate, opposite the jolly solicitor, who wore his best sombre face for the occasion. Over his shoulder, framed in the floor to ceiling window, vast shining towers loomed; monuments to the irrefutable success and unstoppable march of capitalism. He spun the paper in front of him through 180 degrees and slid it across the table. Sign here and here, he said pointing. Verity, her own pen already in hand, added her elegant script above her printed name. It’s not too late to start over and honour our commitment, I pleaded, reaching my hand toward hers. She placed the pen firmly into my upturned palm.

A rumbling crescendo sent ripples through a jug of water and rattled at the window. My eyes rose to a scene that beggared belief. Fragile Wedgwood blue sky filled the space where a tower of concrete and steel had previously stood. A boiling cloud of dust and debris rushed along the street towards us like water from a breached dam. The solicitor slid from his executive chair to his knees and prayed for mercy and forgiveness  (moments before, ultimately the same divinity was called upon for strength and guidance to start the catastrophic chain of events). I pulled Verity from her chair, simultaneously ducking behind her. Verity’s ‘fulsome’ figure adequately absorbed the Armageddon as it forced its way, uninvited, into the room.

Shaking the grit from my eyes and the ringing from my ears, I stood, unscathed, to behold the broken, shattered remains of the office, of the solicitor and of my wife. Strictly speaking, in the context of a binding life insurance contract, she was still my wife.

I can hardly believe the miracle that occurred that day.


End.
 
willie
That said, I wasn't over happy with this section
The solicitor slid from his executive chair to his knees and prayed for mercy and forgiveness  (moments before, ultimately the same divinity was called upon for strength and guidance to start the catastrophic chain of events).

Not exactly what I wanted to say, but the best I could do with the 350 word limit.
 
seeker
Looks like a fun format to play with. Kind of forces you to focus on being concise.
 
catman
willie: Nice. That reminded me of a particularly unpleasant day in my life. (October 29, 2001, to be exact, a day which will live in infamy.) You described it all too well.
Edited by catman on 09/16/2008 23:41
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
derF
Willie! You wordy bastard! That wasn't half bad. I LIKED it! W T F G ! Maybe we should keep this thread open for others to submit their wordy windage whenever the urge strikes them.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
neilmarr
Nice going, Willie.

If anyone's interested in having a go or reading some other examples of flash fiction, microfiction, smoke fiction, call it what you will, you'll find Willie's work along with others at http://www.biblio.../index.php (hit the flash iction section in the forum list).

You can also go to the main site at www.bibliophilia.org for more examples and for short stories, usually under 2,000 words. It's a wee site I kicked off a while ago with another old Atheists.com member, Tony Szmuck from Canada. I think Willie's been a member almost from the start.

Cheers. Neil
 
willie
seeker wrote:
Looks like a fun format to play with. Kind of forces you to focus on being concise.
Exactly. I used to write, just for fun, but would play around with it until I'd lose sight of what I started with. This way you get some inspiration with the prompt word and no time to faff about. You can always change (and improve) it later.
 
willie
Thanks Cat and derf. Like Neil says all are welcome at Bibliophilia.
Don't tell Neil, but I always have half a mind on Neil lurking in the background. Tutting and shaking a sagely head at my grammar.


Neil, I was just informed by bint that I've been there 8months. That's from the first (not to good) story I posted after you mentioned the site at BigA. It was a while before I realised they had a forum.
 
Photon
That's short and sweet. Hunkering down behind the overweight soon to be carcass of your dead wife to protect yourself from terrorist attack. At least the marriage ended in death, and not divorce. Wouldn't want to become another statistic.
 
neilmarr
Flash is all about saying a lot in as few words as possible. Purists say it should contain fewer than fifty. Some will stretch the definition to stories of 5,000 words or under. Bibliophilia.org hits a happy medium with a 300 limit.

The art form probaby goes back to dear ol' Aesop and his moralistic fables, and there's a fine example in the shortest sentence in the Bible: Jesus wept. But it's seen something of a renaissance in recnt years.

Often, there's a sting in the tail. It's amazing how good flash can stay with you for years after reading it, even more so than a good novel.

Take this perfect flash piece, for instance, attributed to Hemingway:

Baby clothes for sale. Never worn.

Superb. A story doesn't come more poignant and tragic than that. You see, in flash fiction, more than in any other form of writing, the intelligent reader must do much of the work himself, with the capacity for creativity and imagination being unlocked by the author rather than usurped.

Have fun. Neil
 
HolyRolyPoly
Dig the story, Willie! You have a very engaging style, great visuals.
Welcome (back) to the (new) site.

;silly;
 
catman
HRP: Great to see a post from you again! Willie writes a mean story, all right (or is it alright?).Grin
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Hypatia
Willie - you can write! I like it - I think it's great, and what a great idea (saying as much as possible in as few words as possible).

Twenty something years ago I knew a woman by the name of Verity. She's a Jewish woman, though that's neither here nor there, except that it struck me that someone with religious parents would be given such a name.

 
willie
HolyRolyPoly wrote:
Dig the story, Willie! You have a very engaging style, great visuals.
Welcome (back) to the (new) site.

;silly;
Thanks HRP and Hypatia etc. always nice to hear kind words. Welcome back yourself HRP. Only seven posts? Come on you can do better than that.
Edited by willie on 09/19/2008 05:04
 
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