The Chinese labeled the style 'smoke-long' fiction as the reader should be able to finish the piece before sucking down a cigarette.
You get the idea. Fiction evolving with our ever shrinking span of attention.
Ernest Hemmingway saw it coming when he published this magnum opus -
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
He wrote it on a bet that he could write a story under 10 words.
He did it as he understood how cities and worlds could be built in just a few words.
Anyhow, light up a cigarette...On this occassion, it's healthy for you.
They’re yet to create a mirror that sends back yourself. It’s always somebody else gawking back, wantin’ out of there. I wonder how she sees me in this moment. Her eyes I feel, peeling paint off my face. I can’t see her. The leftovers are all I see. But we still cling; like a chook runnin’ about with no head, a crook dog yowling for a bullet, we cling. Our haunches play the part while everything else fears the gallows. With the power of a colt’s gallop, we barrel across the marshes.
Something’s burnin’ inside. My nose is smokin’; my eyes are given in. “Jesus Christ,” I’m yelping; ‘He’s not gonna help ya,” says she, burying teeth into my chest; looking to bite out the life in it beating like bare feet on oil drums. Before love dies, it flashes before your eyes. I remember the first time she hated me; fucking on the kitchen table after as if it would take our mind off it. Laughin’ and crying our bloody hearts out as if we had reached the end of the world.
The room smells like funghi on pinewood, but it’s being pushed out through the cracks in the window; our breath, tears flood the room like water. She has a space to be filled; this is all I can give. A prick is all a man can offer a woman.
A piano is playin’ somewhere; volume risin’. “Rain on me,”panting, “Rain on me you bastard!” She hears the music too and sinks her nails, teeth. A tin kettle is boiling over; a church choir rises and sings while a lone man lays down his prayer mat somewhere in the middle of a desert to pray. He knows the feelin’. “Rain, you fucker!” A gust of wind blows up the curtains skirt. We close our eyes tight like children. A rooster crows; a clown horn honks; street lamp’s flicker; a flock of birds take off...
All of em’ know it. Somebody’s world has lost something. It’ll never be ok again.
I roll off her. We lay there, sprawled. Left with nothin’. Nothin’ but leftovers, rain outside and the reflection of ourselves in the mirror.
This is the unabridged version of a 250 word story written for a flash fiction competition hosted by the online lit rag,The Lascaux Review.
The end product of this story and The Lascaux's Review can be found here. Some grand writing to be found there, mastered with incredible brevity.