I don’t recall when I first heard about the variety of short story of Flash Fiction, but I was startled at the time. To limit to no more than 1,000 words doesn’t give much room for character/plot development. Most of my stories run 3,000-plus words and some are longer. (https://charliehudson.net/story.html). In pondering the concept, I thought about the number of song lyrics that in actuality do tell a story and those certainly fall within the guidelines. I decide to take one of my stories, “Walking Away”, to see if I could compress it and still maintain the essence. I did manage to get down to 999 words, although I’m not sure that quite meets the spirit even though the word count does work.
In fact, I haven’t written a short story for a while and for some reason, I am often inspired to do a new one when I am traveling. Perhaps it’s sitting around in airports observing and listening to people. It’s not eavesdropping per se, when you consider how tightly spaced most airport restaurants are and when I’m alone, I always sit at the bar if there is room. Then there are so many people these days who carry on conversations on their cell phones with seemingly little regard for whoever may be listening. As a writer, one absorbs these conversations and next thing you know there will be a scene or character created for some future use. Now, I admit, my short story, “Flight Delay”, was pretty much dedicated to a somewhat whimsical aspect of airport travel. The real truth on that one was based on an event which I did ask permission to use. I was determined to find a way to shape a story around the opening line of, “Last night I spent the evening with a lesbian Wiccan couple.” That’s not as easy to do as you might think.