This time last year, I dabbled with flash fiction. I’m a big fan of short stories and novellas so thought this would be easy. It’s not. When you are trying to craft a story using only two-hundred and fifty words, every word counts. There’s no room for sprawling, flowery prose. You have to be efficient and clinical.
One of my favourite resources for advice on writing and the business of being an author is IndiesUnlimited.com. There is a wealth of posts and resources, covering every imaginable aspect. They also have a weekly flash fiction contest.
Once the deadline for submissions closes, the readers vote for their favourite. The winning story is then featured on the website. Later in the year, the good people behind Indies Unlimited select their favourites and bundle them into an anthology.
Now, I know I said they are not easy to write and I stand by that, but even so, I was lucky enough to win the people’s vote with one of my entries. Then to my surprise, it was selected to go into the 2016 anthology, which comes out later this year. I’ll let you know when it does but until then, here is my winning entry. Enjoy.
Drawings in the Sand
“Hey mister, we got you some more sticks!”
I raised my head from the sand not sure what to expect. We’d been stranded on this desert island for three days now and they still call me mister.
So far they’ve brought me a variety of twigs and branches. This time, to my surprise, they’ve actually found a stick that would be ideal for a splint. They watched as I bound the stick to my left leg with strips of torn fabric.
“What are you doing?” Susie was the younger of the two and always asking questions.
The storm had appeared out of nowhere, tossing our boat around like a bath toy. That was when I saw a wave sweep the girls off the deck. I dived in and reached them just in time. Suddenly a huge wave engulfed the boat and then it was gone. The girls clung to my back as I swam. That was when I discovered Susie’s inquisitive nature. It was a very long swim before we found the island.
“I hurt my leg on the rocks. Remember?”
Susie looked into the sky as she thought, “Oh yeah, is that why you’re always crying?”
“I’m not always crying.”
“Yes you are, but don’t worry we finished your sand drawing for you,” Anna added helpfully.
I climbed to my feet and hobbled down the beach until I could see it. The O of my SOS sign now had a smiley face, pigtails and a body.