Micro fiction is a form of flash fiction that features extremely short stories. A common description defines micro fiction as ‘any story of less than 300 words’, but they are often much shorter.
Once a year, Flash Frontier runs their Micro issue, in which the word limit is a mere 100 . This year I was lucky to have my story Grandma’s House accepted for publication.
In this story I drew on childhood memories. Places visited when very young can inspire vivid images that linger as we grow older. My grandmother’s wooden villa in Wellington Road becomes jumbled up with the dark carpeted hallway in Uncle Fred’s Palmerston North house. The remembered smell of dusty carpet still tickles my nose, and the fall of sunlight in a particular way still evokes the recollection of golden light on shadowed corners. I recall the monochromatic photo of the smiling girl and the warm smell of freshly-baked shortbread.
These are places I can no longer physically reach. My micro story becomes the distillation of many memories into a single experience.
Flash Frontier’s theme for April is ‘slow’ and as with other stories I’ve written, Around the Block is a fictional piece with its origins in my own experience. (In December 2015 I wrote about the mix of fact and fiction for Headland magazine, when they posed the question, “Do we write what we know?” in Seeds of a Story.)
I really enjoy reading flash fiction and I’m especially fond of the New Zealand variety – I like to read our own narratives. And reading a complete story restricted to a mere 250 words reminds me of the surprising burst of flavour you get when you bite into a tiny pomegranate seed.
I hope you’ll take the time to visit Slow. I think it’s fascinating to discover how other writers interpret a simple theme. And the stories pack plenty of punch!
A good piece of flash fiction should leave you thinking.
Or… well, I think you should find out for yourself.