This piece of flash fiction was written for Writer’s Digest’s 2021 February Flash Fiction Challenge Day 23. I spent about thirty minutes on this story; this is the third draft. The prompt: “Write a story based off a random word. You can use anything that comes to mind, or even use a Random Word Generator (like this: https://wordcounter.net/random-word-generator). My only ask is that you name your story after the word that inspired you, so the rest of us can see it!”
You turn off your phone; you grab your coffee; you pick up your laptop; you plant your butt on the couch.
Opening the laptop and then a web browser, you create a new Google Doc and start typing out your next February Flash Fiction story. The clickety-clack of keyboard keys fills your home. Slowly, sip after sip, the coffee disappears. At some point—you’re not exactly sure when—your adorable cat snuggles up to your thigh, curls into a bagel, and purrs. The words are flowing freely tonight, action verb after action verb, concrete noun after concrete noun. The prose is clean, crisp, and clear, even for a first draft. Time fades away and you lose yourself to the rhythm of crafting a story.
Eventually, coffee long gone and cat long asleep, you finish the first draft. You bring your hands together, lacing the fingers and pointing palms toward the ceiling. The stretch feels heavenly. Then you glance at the clock.
You frown. It’s been three hours.
You key in the shortcut to view the word count of the piece of flash fiction you just wrote. Reading the count, one thought goes through your head: Oops . . .