New Flash Fiction Piece: Prey

Posted: 10/07/2011 in Horror, Writing
Tags: , , , , ,

It’s Flash Fiction Friday, my favorite day of the week!  To celebrate, I’d like to share Prey, a micro fiction tale of 55 words.  Writing micro fiction can be a real challenge.  I’d be interested in hearing your strategies for writing effective flash fiction of 100 words or less.  For me, it is usually a matter of first telling the tale, and then paring the words down, draft by draft.  Dumping in the high test and shearing off the excess with a Stryker saw…then with a set of dissection tools…then with the #11 blades and a body block.  Enjoy!

He’d lurked in the culvert for hours in the desert heat.  Monitoring traffic.  Waiting. 

Finally, a lone sedan trundled up the road, hugging the center line.

He crawled up the embankment, fixing a look of vulnerable desperation on his face. 

The motorist would stop.

There would be blood.

He licked his lips in hungry anticipation.


  1. Dave Farmer says:

    Very good. Not sure I could have cut that down any further and still have a solid piece of flash fiction. Impressive stuff.

  2. I really like it. It really tells a story, unlike many other attempts which are more mood pieces / anecdotes rather than real stories.

    It’s now posted here, as the October contest entry: 🙂

    Good luck, let’s see if you win the contest!

    • blackalchemy says:

      Thank you, Austin, and I really, really enjoyed your writing prompt and contest. The September entries were stellar. Your prompt was incredibly helpful, because without a nudge, I usally don’t have the motivation to try to write something so streamlined. I would encourage anyone who enjoys flash fiction to explore your website!

      • Paul D. Dail says:

        So was the prompt, “Prey,” or was that your title? Just went and voted for you at Austin’s site. Good luck.

        And agreed on singing the praises of writing flash fiction. Even though my pieces have all been hovering just shy of the 1000 word limit, it still has been an amazing (and often maddening) exercise to tighten down my writing.

        Paul D. Dail A horror writer’s not necessarily horrific blog

      • blackalchemy says:

        The prompt was actually “What Happens on the Road….” At first I tried to envision something quirky or light-hearted, but I don’t really have that in me. So I figured I better write what I write, and it turned dark. It is a cool website and I love challenges, because otherwise I just don’t push myself to write micro fiction. There are several cool pieces posted on his website, and it is nice for a mental windsprint. My normal flash fiction is more around your range – 1000 words – and as you said, even that can be a maddening exercise. Wouldn’t it be a hoot to host a contest to challenge writers to write as Lovecratian as possible and create a flash piece of, say, 1500 words or less? By the way, I liked your piece “The Death He Expected” A LOT. When you pulled the trigger at the end, you pulled out the stops and it really paid off! 🙂

  3. Paul D. Dail says:

    Wow. I’m always interested in these… well, almost vignettes, really. Fun to read and let my mind just fill in the details before, during and after based on just a few words. But so much in those few words.

    Paul D. Dail A horror writer’s not necessarily horrific blog

  4. Soooo much respect for you, m’dear! Flash fiction scares the crap out of me! Very well done! 🙂

    • blackalchemy says:

      Thank you! In truth, flash is wickedly frustrating at times and really makes me work (grin). I’ve discovered when I want to write a flash piece it usually eludes me – but if I do catch a glimpse of a potential piece I have to grab it by the tail and hang on for dear life! 🙂

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