Flashes of Inspiration

Amid a modest level of domestics, this weekend has been a proving ground for a couple of spontaneous short/flash stories. Foremost amongst these is Song of the Infernal Machine. At 1550 words, it is the longest of the stories completed this weekend. Like the others, it was meant to be <500 words. Somehow the creative process went screwy and whamo! I have a short story. This story was the product of a late creative burst last night, coupled with an hour or two of polish and buffing today. Ange has decided me on a major characterisation rewrite, just to cement the sinister element, but other than that, it will soon be headed to US pro-webzine Chiaroscuro.

Further to my creative resolve, I backed this story up with Bump in the night, a flash story of 550 words. Completed in short order this afternoon (as soon as Ange finished reading Song of the Infernal Machine), Bump is loosely based on a dream Hayley had a while ago. Woven into the story is Hayley’s particular idiosyncracies about noises at night (for a 16 year old, imaginary things behind your curtain can still be scary). With the weight of all this Hayleyism, I was compelled to name the main character Hayley, as well as dedicate the story to her. I may send this to Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine or US webzine Flashquake.

With all these short, sharp flash stories – Bump in the night, Practical Joke (completed yesterday) and On Dark Clouds Borne (completed last week), as well as short-short stories like Room Three (completed this week), and today’s Song of the Infernal Machine, I seem to be developing a penchant, or at least an intuition, for flash fiction. I confess this short form of fiction is very challenging to contain within 500 words, as I have failed with two and a half of the above mentioned stories (Bump is 50 words over). Regardless, I am having fun with the concept, and may yet churn out many more.