Flash Fiction

I have been terribly undisciplined in writing my third book, but the one thing I have been doing is my writers’ group homework in the voice of my protagonist.  Most of the pieces have been depressingly short – less than 250 words – but it’s on that basis that I have been encouraged to submit them to various flash fiction contests (where short is not only a virtue but a requirement).  So I thought I would take the opportunity to get your views on the “stories” and your opinion on which one I should submit.  Below is the first one and next week I will post another.  The title comes from the word prompt that formed the basis of the writing exercise.


The birds are back.  I would say “all of a sudden” but how else would it be?  There aren’t any for months on end and then one day, there they are.  Not exactly in abundance – two – but that’s an incalculable increase since you can’t divide by zero.  The first one was a red-winged black bird arriving in spring just the way it’s supposed to from I don’t know where.  I’m not sure I would have remembered its name if its name hadn’t been so much a moniker as a description.  And it looked exactly how it’s supposed to.  I took comfort in that.  It even tweeted and gave me an angry look.  And though I know my heart is just a muscle, it was gladdened.  That’s exactly how it felt.  Not as if a weight had been lifted from it, which you could imagine could be a physical sensation centered around your chest, but heartened right in my left breast.

Later in the afternoon I saw a red-breasted brown bird listening for worms in the dead yellow grass.  I know that’s not what the bird’s called.  I just don’t remember what it is called and I have no way of finding out.  But I figured if Adam got to name everything as the first person on earth, why shouldn’t I get to rename everything as the last?

The gladdened feeling in my heart had disappeared by then and playing Adam did nothing to get it back.

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