I love flash fiction—complete stories told in a limited amount of words. When I began writing it, I stuck to the 100-word limit ERWA set. The spare format forces a writer to think about every word, every line, and is a great writing exercise.
My love started early; the first flash fiction that blew me away was Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss. He wrote it using only fifty words: a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, you.
Reading that list, 100 words feels positively decadent.
When I set out to write my first flasher, I got to thirty-seven words and felt complete. This is probably the closest thing to a poem I’ve written:
you came, all stillness,
muse-shadowed like night
kissed by the wet tongue of Morpheus
I devoured you there,
painted you under the moon—
velvet lust in red strokes,
silver etchings of tears