Tag Archives: flash fiction

Flash Fiction: What the Budapestians Do

I asked people who have Liked my Facebook “writer” page to suggest prompts that I could use to write flash fiction to post here. I got the following prompt from my brother, Jordan:

“When in Budapest, do as the Budapestians do.”

Here’s a story based on that.

What the Budapestians Do

Image by dadotres, used under Creative Commons.

He had been in Europe for a month, wandering, exploring, hopping trains like a hobo. Searching for himself.

So far he’d found plenty of old architecture that made him feel small, a variety of local beers and wines that made him feel big, and a painting of Hitler with pink bunny ears.

These were different worlds, in many ways, cultures that felt so different on the ground than they looked in the pages of a book. You couldn’t move through these places simply as a tourist, smiling and watching and marveling at all the things that were so unlike your own home, where everything was done the “normal” way. Here in the streets, the pubs, and the hostels, what caught his attention were not novelties, but realities. The French were not Parisians; the Germans were not Berliners; the Dutch were not Nederlanders: they were people. They worked real jobs, saved up real money, and were excited about real entertainment. They helped when they could, laughed when you told a joke, and bled when they were cut.

He hadn’t yet “found himself” amidst all the helping and laughing and bleeding, but what he had discovered was that in Budapest, just like anywhere else, if you cut someone as a joke, they tend not to laugh, and they aren’t likely to be very helpful afterwards, either.

It’s a small world, but in the end, aren’t we really all alike?

Hope you liked it, little brother. Stay out of trouble!

“Living and Dying”: A Short Fiction Collection

On June 1, I’m going to be releasing a short fiction collection called Living and Dying. It will contain eight stories, totaling approximately 5,000 words.

The centrepiece of the collection is a short story called Saucer that I originally wrote back in 2004 (give or take a year; it was a long time ago!). Since I originally wrote it, I’ve edited and rewritten portions of it several times, but this time it’s finally complete, and I am satisfied that it conveys what I want it to convey. Saucer is a sci-fi story about a man who has been imprisoned for dissension against the government, and I’m really proud of it. I think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever written.

I’m also including the first example of a new format I’ve created called the 555, where I take a story title and write three different stories for it, one that’s only 5 words, one that’s 50 words, and one that’s 500 words. In Trust No Gun, the three stories aren’t directly related to one another, but in the future I’m hoping to experiment with using the three stories to support or expand on one another in interesting ways.

The rest of the stories are edited and expanded versions of things I’ve posted to SixMinuteStory.com and TypeTrigger.com over the past month or two. These two websites have really kick-started my creativity, and they’re the reason I decided to finally get out there and start releasing some of my non-fifty-word-story writing. Check the sites out and see what comes through your keyboard!

I hope some of you are as excited to read my stories as I have been to write them and prepare them for release. It’s a fun experience!

I’m going to have a special offer or two available either upon release, or shortly prior to it. There will be opportunities both for you to get free stuff, and to help me out with spreading the word, so stay tuned for that.

Six-Minute Stories

About a month ago, while searching for some other microfiction or flash fiction websites, I came across a really cool site called Six Minute Story. The concept of the site is that you are shown a prompt — either a quote, or an image, or something else — and given six minutes to write a story based on it. Once the timer runs out, your story is locked in, and you are given the choice to officially submit it or start over with something new. The prompts change daily, and Fridays are for free-form writing with no prompts.

I’ve written four stories over there so far. You can read them here. I’ve trended towards dark and gloomy stories for some reason, and I think if I was given the opportunity to go back to them, I might add in a couple of words that would turn the tone into something more positive, but it’s been a lot of fun, either way.

Try your hand at writing some stories. It’s really challenging, but totally worthwhile. And the great thing is that if you don’t end up with something you like, it’s only taken you six minutes, so you can just do another one tomorrow!

I strongly recommend the site. Check it out.