Gone Writing – Day 12
Posted on January 13, 2016
Besides writing longer novels, I write short stories. For the young but also for adults. My adult short stories are flash fiction pieces, often no more than a few lines or 250 words at the most.
I love writing flash fiction. It forces me to be concise, sharp, snappy. It forces me to be harsh and merciless. Not necessarily topic- or story-wise, although my flash fiction often turns out a tad gruesome, but harsh and merciless when it comes to trimming the word count. I mostly write the flash fiction in English and there’s no fluffing up with a limited vocabulary. It pushes me to not skirt the core of the story but to go straight for the kill.
Sometimes a flash fiction story germinates and grows into a novel, like with the one I’m writing now. The kernel that started it was a flash fiction piece I wrote for a contest. It didn’t win me a prize but it did end up in the anthology as the editor’s pick. I already knew then that some day I had to write the full story, but it took me a couple of years to find the courage. I’m here now. And this was the piece that sparked it all:
He had hesitated about the tights. It was chilly enough, but tights were little forgiving, pressed every missed hair on the skin as if between the glass slides of a microscope. He’d done it anyway. It had made one of the red high heels slip from his foot.
A gust of wind spun him. The diaphanous dress whipped up and caressed his thighs, his hips, now filled with silicone for a more gentle shape. A vain attempt. He’d fastened the bra underneath with an elastic band, more suited as it was for a thirteen-year-old girl’s chest than for a man of fifty. Would she recognize it? It had been her first: black satin, printed with tiny flowers in delicate pink and white. She had hated him when she caught him wearing it, still hated him for it, even if he had had no choice. She would see that now.
There had been no hesitation about the place. The elm tree near the water had been exactly what he was looking for: strong and feminine, like he wanted to be, like she was. A bough reached out to her window like a hand. The noose hanging from it welted his neck, pushed out his tongue, now purple and engorged. His dead eyes stared into her room. Into her.