The Hot 100 Issue
Quick as a Flash - Week 15
Fact and Fiction
Hey readers! We’ll be changing the format a little, starting with today’s issue. The hardest thing for me about microfiction is the idea generation phase. Mad respect to those who can consistently churn out multiple microfiction pieces per day, because I’m not that person.
The truth is, I had some thoughts around what the next flash fiction story you all voted on would entail, then came up with some ideas on the theme for the issue. But when it came time to write the microfiction that would go with it, I came up empty every single time.
I don’t like admitting to having writer’s block, and I certainly don’t like dwelling on it. Instead, I’m shooting straight to the solutions phase. I’m loosening my restrictions on what makes an issue of Quick as a Flash. It’s still going to be short fiction, but what’s in it will depend on what my brain produces that meets my standards.
This week, I want to introduce you to what I'm calling the Hot 100 section. No, not the music charts. The QaaF version is a set of very short stories that are exactly 100 words each, titles not included.
Go ahead. Count them. 🔥
Note: I am not abandoning the stories that have been voted on. I will make sure to include them in future issues.
Change in Scenery
I rip the posters off the walls and tear the photos from their frames. Bring down the wallpaper; put it up again. One must change their surroundings from time to time if they are to keep the ideas fresh and flowing. And oftentimes, a moving of furniture or change in decor is enough. A new plant. A different coat of paint.
But sometimes you must smash in a window. Pick up a sledgehammer, and break down the wall. Blow the roof off the place, and dig up the front yard. The old gives way so that new art is made.
I see her once a year. The blonde woman with the lavender eyes and the crooked smile. Two years ago, it was on the subway in Brooklyn. Last year, it was on a flight from Barcelona. Today’s the last day of 20xx, and I know she’s somewhere at this party. I need to find her so we can have our customary meeting of the eyes before we nod and move on with our lives. Call me superstitious, but these years have been kind to me. I’d like to keep the streak alive. She’s my lucky charm and, hopefully, I’m hers.
I am the Minesweeper
Robin inhaled and started digging, grateful that her legs and shoulders were adapting to the daily shoveling. The metal end clanked against something in the sand, and she flinched, waiting for the explosion to take her out.
She sighed and finished excavating her prize—a treasure chest with a surprise face emoji printed on it. She spat on the logo of the twisted maniac that forced her here, then opened the chest and found some canned beans, water bottles, and a folded slip of paper. She opened the note:
Five mines surrounded her. Tomorrow could be her end.
This week I’d like to share a few of my favorite microfiction writers on Twitter. If you’re on the platform and would like some fun stories added to your feed, consider following any of these folks:
O. Westin’s fantasy and sci-fi stories often manage to make me laugh and think about the human condition:
Kate Machon’s stories about Gabe the Angel and Pixie the Troublemaker are always a treat:
Philosophalopod is always good for an eerie nautical themed tale:
And finally, this guy is pretty cool too, I guess (spoiler: it’s me):