I’ve always been a fan of flash fiction. You take a single idea or situation and expand it into a very short story. It’s sort of like a double concentrated version of the traditional short story format. If you have an idea rattling around in your head a piece of flash fiction can get it out and onto paper in just a few minutes. With flash fiction there is no excuse for not writing, either you do it or you don’t. The dishes can wait for five minutes, you will survive with five minutes less sleep, and the kids can keep coloring on the wall for another five minutes…but that idea that’s begging to be born may just disappear forever if you don’t grab hold and wrestle it into existence.
I happened to stumble upon a flash fiction piece that I wrote for a small, now defunct, on line zine a while back. I took it out, did some minor editing, and giggled, so I figured that I would share it with you fine folks. Enjoy the story and don’t forget to take hold of your own ideas, all it takes is a few minutes and a little fantasy.
Jack had been on the phone all day long trying to find someone, ANYONE who could help him with his…problem. From the very first moment that he saw that THING growing in his back yard he knew that he was going to have a bad day.
Jack had been, admittedly, slightly drunk when he had made the trade, but it had certainly seemed like a good idea at the time. When would he ever get another chance to barter a lame old milk cow named “Bessie” for some genuine, fast growing, magical Beans? These weren’t just any magical beans either, no, these beans were Uncle Wiggly’s Magical Beans. Name recognition means quality in the magical beans market and everyone knows the name Uncle Wiggly. How was he to know that they would actually grow into that…thing? He had a mind to sue Uncle Wiggly’s Inc., after all the bag did say for entertainment purposes only.
If Jenny, his wife, came home from her job at the fairy dust factory and were to see that damn bean stalk growing out of their back yard and into the clouds he was done for. She would KNOW the story that he had told her about cattle thieves running of with Bessie in the night while he was on his way home from the “church fund raiser” was a lie. He had gone on and on about the theft. He wondered aloud about how scandalous people were these days, and where his tax gold was going to when ruffians could wantonly accost a God fearing man returning from a hard day of fund raising and spreading the word of whatever religion they happened to belong to these days (he had lost track of just which religion that was a few years back, but he was fairly certain it had something to do with wine). If Jenny realized that his harrowing story of cattle thieves was a lie then she might find out that he had, in reality, gone to the tavern. If she discovered that he had gone to the tavern then she might begin to ask uncomfortable questions about why he’d brought a cow to a bar. Uncomfortable questions that only had uncomfortable answers…
Jack’s only hope was to spray the bean stalk with so much herbicide that anything green within a hundred miles would scream and pull up its own roots in order to flee in terror. That was the answer, lots and lots of herbicide and prayer. He had been praying to whatever god he believed in (he was fairly certain that his name was Fred or something holy like that) that he would be able to find a wholesale industrial strength herbicide distributor and that after the bean stalk was dead and gone that who ever was making that incessant Fe-Fi-Fo-Fumming noise would stop.