Flash Fiction. Defined by Wikipedia as a style of fiction of extreme brevity. There is no official rules but most people consider it to be somewhere between 50 and 1000 words.
I decided to write my first piece of flash fiction yesterday when I came across The Wheel of Osheim Writing Contest on the unofficial Mark Lawrence blog. The rules are simple. Write a story no longer than 300 words, including the word Life and Death at least once. The contest ends on 11th of April and the final prize is a copy of The Wheel of Osheim.
I finished the first draft of my homage to monster hunting action stories the other day. Unfortunately not in time to submit it to the Baen Fantasy contest it was originally intended for. It’s currently sitting in its cozy digital folder waiting for the editing passes. I will get those done in a few days. I have some good ideas on how I plan on adapting it and changing it around a bit. But first I have to let it rest.
Because I had some free time I knocked out an entry for the above contest. I didn’t see any rules about sharing it so you can read it below. The limited flash fiction format is rather challenging and made for a great exercise. I suggest anybody interested in writing to give the format a try.
The Beautiful Sound of Children
Gregor gasped for air. The choking stench of rot and burning flesh filling his lungs. He willed his swollen eyes open seeing greasy columns of smoke rising up towards flaming sky. Carrion birds circled, eyeing their pray.
“I’m alive,” he whispered.
The last thing he remembered was the charge. Thousands of men, sword and spears crashing into each other. He remembered running. Blinded by rage and violence. Sargent William next to him, always brave. The blue eagle standard streaming form his spear. It was going to be a glorious battle. A battle sung about for ages.
He tried to sit up but only managed to roll on his side. No feeling in his legs yet the slightest movement caused excruciating pain. He was able to see the horror that surrounded him. Corpses of friend and foe blanketed the battlefield. The moans of the dying rose up, only to be interrupted by the screech of impatient vultures.
William lay near. Open eyes filled with fear. A gruesome gash opening his belly.
“We lost,” he managed to say between labored breaths. “We failed our Queen.”
Gregor heard the laughter of children. Was this the madness of death he wondered. No, it was real. A pair golden haired children made their way through the piles of dying. Salvation Gregor thought, this was it, the Goddess of life smiled upon them. He saw Williams eyes light up with hope.
Gregor watched a child go to William smiling. She reached into her satchel bringing out a sharp stone. A stone she violently smashed into the side of Williams head.
Gregor heard the dull crunch of skull as he reeled away from the violence. Nauseous with fear he tried to crawl away. Above him stood the second child, playfully laughing as he swung his stone.