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Flash fiction: part two of our showcase of students' work

Story added 24th Aug 2016

A sideways glance: succinct, powerful. Flash fiction demands great creativity and craftsmanship to deliver the maximum impact in the minimum amount of time. The pieces in this showcase demonstrate just how much can be told or implied in five hundred words, six words—or even one word.

Many thanks to our students for agreeing to share these pieces, and to Mez Packer for leading such a successful workshop.

Click here to read part one of our showcase

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One word story

-Carsten Ten Brink 

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Six word stories

After he disappeared, it was easier.
-Moira Allan

“Will it ever be the same?”

Love you, but love me more.

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Seconds Please
-Jessica Buck

Is there time for my Second Coming? Nine years before the card from Queeney arrives, if she does not suffer the fate of Humpty Dumpty.

Better (many times worse) half no longer around to separate from. Ditto profession. Long left the Law behind bars.  Government doing the rest.

No lack of disturbing adolescents, misnamed 'Disturbed Adolescents'. Did my time (past tense).

Don't have to move to Co-Housing again thanks to Bon King Boris selling off plan to potential absent purchasers, bankers and hedgers. All the young still at home, getting older now. This geezer at recent Housing Conference said shame but hopefully only one more generation futureless, homeless and childless. Said nothing when meeting told of twenty-two teachers leaving a renowned Camden Secondary School this term.  Rents too high.

No chance now of Second Degree. No nine thousands floating around in hidden hedges. Should have done my drinking in the square mile knocking knees with the bankers. FF may save the day. Many comings fast and furious to join my Life Writing: Metaphors I've Lived By: Poems. Magical manipulation of words enhancing past into the future.

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Six word stories

Played dead. Raft on Mississippi. Adventure.
-Carsten Ten Brink

Take aim ... fire! Not at him!
-Moira Allan

Sorry, no time. Have lost watch.
-Terry Freedman

God only creates beauty, humans destroy.

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Kiss me
Veronica Robinson

"Why are you crying?" Kay asked.

"Because Roy Levy kissed me."

'Was it on the lips?'

"No. He missed."

"What did you say to him?"

"He ran away."

"Stop bawling. If he does it again, tell me.'

Kay was my teenage cousin. She could talk: she wasn’t the one who might end up pregnant.

I was very bright at school. I had the highest IQ in the class and I talked funny. Everyone knew me. I was famous.

Roy Levy was new at Titchfield. He transferred from another school. Everyone talked about him at school. He was good at Maths and wore glasses. He was older than me. Almost ten.

Now he had kissed me. Maybe I fretted too much but I could not help it. My mother was just fifteen when she became pregnant with me. She had to drop out of school. It was a big scandal when it happened. People still talked about it.

It was more of a scandal because my father was already married. What made it even worse was that my great grandmother on my mother's side was in domestic service to my father's mother. It started with a harmless kiss. That's what my mother had said, anyway.

Next day at school during recess, Roy Levy handed me a letter. It was a love letter. It said: "I love you. I want to kiss you again." It was signed: "Guess who!"

I showed the letter to Kay.

"What can I do?" I asked her. "I might have a baby if he kisses me." Tears sprang to my eyes.

"Don't be stupid," Kay said. "You're too young to get pregnant. But don't let him kiss you yet. Wait until he writes a letter asking you to marry him. Then you can use it as blackmail."

"What's blackmail?"

Kay rolled her eyes at me. "Blackmail is a useful tool. Don't look at me with your eyes full of tears. Just believe me." She stormed off. Then turned around.

"Meet me under the Almond Tree after school. Roy Levy won't look for you there."

As I waited for Kay under the Almond Tree that afternoon, Roy Levy rushed up to me, his glasses slipped down his nose as he tried to kiss me. I hit him with my satchel and he fell over. He got back up, pushed his glasses back onto his forehead, and handed me a crumpled piece of paper from his pocket. It said: "Let me kiss you and I'll marry you!"

I held out my cheek.

"On your mouth," Roy Levy said.

I closed my eyes and puckered my lips. And Roy Levy kissed me right on the lips and ran away.

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Six word stories

One kiss, two rings, many tears.
-Eric Badout

Let's make love and create life.

Gave wooden horse to Trojans. Surprise!
-Carsten Ten Brink

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Mez Packer is a visiting lecturer in Creative Writing at Coventry University. She has published two novels: Among Thieves (2009––nominated for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize) and The Game is Altered (2012). She has written short stories, poems, concepts and scripts for digital platforms and has just completed an Arts Council funded project where she was the librettist for a food-themed song cycle. She is currently completing her PhD and working on a new novel.

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>>Interested in writing flash fiction? Sign up for our next course, starting in October.

>> Find out more about creative writing at Build.

>> Stay in touch with the creative writing department on Facebook and Twitter.


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