Hot on the heels (well, a year on the heels) of 'My Wife and I', comes 'My Daughter and I', a story I started in America in February 2004, failed to finish (it's not easy writing a hundred words in one sitting), forgot about, and promptly rediscovered in a drawer eleven months later.
I went to Colchester Zoo yesterday, hoping to mooch around the pygmy hippos and meet a nice girl. Instead, all I got my hands on was a reindeer with a broken antler. Even the fat-tailed sheep shunned me. I think it may have made me cynical about love.
My pal Lisa commented that my micro fiction often gives her a sense of doom, even though ultimately things turn around at the conclusion. I therefore felt it was my duty to write a piece which, for a change, lacked any sense of foreboding. So this one's for you Lisa.
It was Friday the 13th last week, which was when I wrote this in my head. For various reasons it took me another 7 days to get these 100 words down on paper. But some things are worth waiting for. And some things clearly aren't.
These are short stories. Very short stories. First there was 'flash fiction' - the idea of writing a complete story in just a few hundred words. 'Micro fiction' takes the concept one stage further. The challenge here is to write a piece containing all the elements of a traditional short story - a setting, one or more characters, conflict, resolution - all in 100 words or less.
In addition to these micro fiction stories, I also have a few 25 word pieces published on the Espresso Stories website. So if you thought 100 words was a ridiculous limit, click HERE to take the conceit one stage further. At least you know it won't take long.
In September 2003, 'Brian, the Itch & the Wardrobe' won first prize in the Writer Online Minuscule Fiction competition. I'd like to dedicate this award to Littlewoods, who kept me waiting two months for a wardrobe they promised would be delivered in three weeks. Thanks guys, I couldn't have done it without you.
Two years on from my last foray into the world of micro fiction (I've been busy, ok?), I was prompted to pick up my pen again by a short story competition on BBC Radio 4's Front Row programme. Rules stated that each story must be exactly one hundred words (no more and, somewhat significantly, no less), and should contain the following six words, chosen at random by, of all people, film director David Lynch:
Bacon, Bodies, Experiments, Fire, Paper & Organic
Which left only 94 to write myself. Meaning I had time to enter twice. I didn't win, probably due to the BBC's fear of my revolutionary ideas on Shakespeare, and the fact that I couldn't spell papier mâché.