First. From a phonetic point of view, I don’t like the word. It’s harsh. I prefer the gentle wave of the letter ‘W’ or the endless possibilities of ‘S.’
For this flash fiction contest, though, I would like to offer a chance for writers to respond to ‘First.’ Was it your first grade or your first kiss? The only rule is that you have to tell your story in flash fiction form:
Flash Fiction—maximum 500 words
Like all short stories, your entry should include a strong character(s), a setting or mood, a conflict/crises, climax and resolution. What separates Flash Fiction from a good short story is a twist, a surprise ending.
Two excellent examples were posted last week on P&S. Both written by Lee Allen Hill, the first story, ‘A Desperate Raid’, through words more often associated with the military, leads readers to believe soldiers are moving through the jungle. The twist is revealed at the end, when we discover the characters are actually monkeys.The second story, ‘The Viejo’, is about two soldiers preparing to attend an execution. Their intimate conversation reveals their individual thoughts about a firing squad and how each accepts the responsibility, wondering whose bullet will kill the accused. It is only within the last sentences that the reveal or twist allows the reader to understand that it is the prisoner and one of the executioners having the conversation.
Your story should be no longer than 500 words and e-mailed to P&S as per submission guidelines. Please mark your subject line 'First' and include the name of the author. It is a blind contest, meaning that N. K. will forward me your entry without author identification. The winner—or winners, I’d really appreciate you making my life difficult in choosing a single winner--will be published and the standard publication fee of $20 will be paid to the author. Please mark your subject line 'First' and include the name of the author.
Good luck. Our submission deadline is midnight, May 15th.