Flash Fiction—Not a Bad Idea

After attending LTUE this last February, I was encouraged by an editor of Flash Fiction Online to actually submit some stuff to her publication. She was an entertaining speaker, she convinced me that flash fiction was fun, so I began actually writing it.

Normally, I’m not a short-story person, because like Ariel I want more. But I’ve had SO MUCH FUN writing flash fiction, and I can appreciate reading it because, well, it’s short. Flash fiction is good practice for any writer, as you can experiment with different POV, structures, themes, genres, writing styles, etc. in a short space. Meaning you gain experience much faster than trying to do so with novels.

Here is my first flash fiction attempt, which I wrote the day of the convention. It’s very short at 487 words, and I probably wouldn’t submit it to the publication, so I think it’s safe to post on my blog.

Bad Idea

He did it even though he knew it was a very bad idea. The morning had started normal, as normal as any day is for a 14-year-old boy who dyes his hair a different color every week and just decided he was vegan. After showing him how to use the blender, declaring she was finished making him special breakfasts and “you can do it yourself and learn what that pickiness gets you” his mother had run a hand through her carefully straightened hair and told him “Daniel, it’s fine to spend some time ‘discovering yourself’ but at some point you have to make a decision and stick with it. At least for long enough to actually know what it means.”

At the time he had given her ‘the look’ and made his soy-flax-kale-açaí breakfast smoothie without any problems, declared it to be the tastiest thing he’d ever had, and slammed the front door behind him. During the walk to school, though, as his stomach growled, despite more and more green juice, he wondered if she might have a point. If he was ready to give up being vegan after three days, well, was that long enough to know if it helped his body or not? Wasn’t there a transition period? Could he say he gave it a fair chance? How long was long enough, then, a month? Or more? Like… an entire school year? It was October. That would be, like 6 more months. Daniel slurped up the last of the smoothie and made his decision.

He would ask Amy out.

It had been two and a half weeks since he met Amy in the hall for the first time. Later that day, he’d run into her again, and her face stuck. He noticed in the cafeteria afterward that she didn’t eat meat. When he told her last week he’d become a vegetarian, she’d given him a weird look and said she was vegan. What the hell’s the difference? he’d wanted to yell, but he didn’t, instead he remained angry on the inside for a few days then became vegan. Yesterday he’d pointedly chewed on carrots at lunch. Loudly. She still barely looked over.

And that’s why he had to ask her out today, while he was still a true, un-cheating vegan. 

Amy always went to drama club after class, so he knew where to find her. He even memorized some Shakespeare and researched a vegan restaurant to invite her to, one he knew she went to because he had followed her there. Just once. Or twice. And he knew she liked Disney movies because he followed her on Instagram.

…Maybe he shouldn’t have mentioned all that to her.

In the end, he wasn’t glad—after all it had been a bad idea. Forget being vegan. What was that thing Steve Jobs had done? Fruitarian… yeah… he could try that. Although it seemed like a bad idea.



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