By Karen J Mossman
Flash fiction is a style of fictional literature or fiction of extreme brevity. There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category. Some self-described markets for flash fiction impose caps as low as three hundred words, while others consider stories as long as a thousand words to be flash fiction.
Fewer words often tell a better story, I think. So I’ve had a play about with words.
Addicted to Love
I saw, I took, I loved and I lost.
That sums it up really. He was handsome and kind and when he asked me out, I said yes. I took the love he offered. It was good, really good. I drank from him and I waded through a pool of caresses and kisses. I indulged, I supped, I enjoyed.
I became dependant, possessive, needful and addicted. It was too much. No good shutting the door after the horse’s bolted, Granny said. It was one of her favourite saying and its pity I didn’t listen.
How do you wean yourself from addiction? Time will heal, says Granny and this time I tried to listen. It’s hard and it hurts. I’ve cried, I’ve yearned and I’ve learnt.
This was a dream I had, so not all of it makes completele sense. But I think you will get the gist of it. It stuck in my mind because of the shock of what happened at the end. It felt so real.
And The Ship Went Down
I’d gone with a small group of tourists back in time. We were observers and everything around us was in black and white. Just like a film except that we were there.
In the corridor people had spilled out of cabins shouting and pushing to get out. They couldn’t see us as we stood watching like observers.
A woman shouted above the noise, “It’s all right we’re going on again.” Just for a moment the panic subsided and then I realised we weren’t going on, we were going down, and at the same time I realised it, so did they. The ship was sinking!
The panic and bedlam rose up again. People began falling as the ship tilted. Among them were children who were getting trampled in the panic. I could hear each individual scream and it was horrific.
We scrambled to the back of the ship and stood waiting. I could see land not too far off as it tilted and the sea was further away. There was no question of jumping, it was like contemplating jumping off a cliff.
With awful suddenness we realised something had gone wrong, we were going down with it, and the water the rushing towards us, “I don’t like this, I want to go,” I shouted above the noise. This was too real, not what I expected at all!
We began to sing the code word, Red Tomato, Red Tomato, Red Tomato, and nothing happened. The wind rushed in my ears and the people in my party started singing, “We are English, We are English.” Did that matter? What was that for?
Apart the abject terror, there was no time to panic as water rushed up my legs and over my head. I will swim, I thought, soon as I’m under the water, I shall swim away, and back up to the surface.
I didn’t count on the whoosh, and of sucking sensation that sent me turning and spinning. Then I stopped, and was floating. I waited for the pain that goes with drowning. I looked across the murky water to see other people who had been sucked down too. In that tiny millisecond I realised I didn’t know which way was up and I wasn’t going to get to the surface. Then my breath ran out. I had no choise but to breath in and fully expected it to be sea water. It wasn’t. It was fresh air. I was alive! My eyes opened and that’s when I discovered it was a dream….only a dream…