This is really flash. Only six words. I wrote it after hearing a challenge on Radio 4 and it is the only work I have in the public domain, having been sent around the net like a dose of bird flu.
Hemmingway was challenged to a $10 bet to write a complete story in six words. He wrote:
For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.
Ditched Map, found better route.
Unlike Hemmingway it hasn’t earned me a cent let alone ten bucks.
Now some slightly more traditional flash fiction, this time a whopping 340 words long.
The coffee was disgusting and the croissant little better. The cafe was minute and there was no space between the grubby tables. Jeff twisted around in his seat to get a better look at the departure boards and knocked the paper cup and its vile contents over the table. He swore under his breath
“At least you won’t have to drink it.” A woman at the next table, wedged up against the wall handed some paper napkins over. Jeff smiled, mopped up with both hands and shoved the soggy remains in the empty cup. He hated making small talk, but she didn’t seem particularly keen to continue the conversation and had returned to her book. The man sharing his table was less amiable and glared at him as Jeff picked at the inedible croissant. He considered getting his own book out but one look at the chap sitting next to him made him change his mind and he sat still. He was bored and restless; he wouldn’t have minded another coffee, however awful it was, anything to pass the time. He daren’t turn around again to check the boards. He reckoned there was probably another twenty minutes or so before boarding.
From where he was sitting he could see out of the window as the planes glided around the tarmac as if in some complex ballet. It was all grey, he couldn’t see any green, any trees, . That was something he would miss. He had enjoyed hill walking in his youth, mainly for the views.
The man next to him got up and he followed suit. The woman at the next table looked up. Jeff didn’t think she had noticed. The two men walked silently towards the departure gate. Neither of them joined the queue of passengers juggling boarding cards and duty free. Jeff’s table companion spoke quietly to a member of the airline staff and the two of them were escorted discretely to seats at the front of the plane, the handcuffs on Jeff’s wrists now clearly visible.