Killing Blow

The story below is a great example of why I love 100-word flash fiction. There’s a lot happening in a very short amount of space. That’s the compelling challenge of it.

Can you tell a real, full story without saying much at all?

I’m not saying this is a prize-winning story. I mean, I think it’s good, but that’s hardly the point. What I like most is what you can’t see. What it was like to write it.

I didn’t really understand economy of words before I started writing flash fiction. I always felt like part of the challenge of writing was coming up with enough to say. Now I know the real challenge of writing is taking the story you want to tell and boiling it down to the barest essentials.

It’s not about cramming in more words, but assassinating the unnecessary ones. I know of no better way to learn that skill than by writing flash fiction.

The prompt for this one comes from The Prediction:

100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above (‘bruise’, ‘benevolent’, and ‘margin’) in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

killing blow

He won by a narrow margin. The crowd loved it.

It was different for him. His side hurt, bruised from armpit to waistline. There was a deep cut on his left forearm from the chainsaw. He was fairly sure his nose and two of his toes were broken.

But that wasn’t the worst of it.

They called him ‘the benevolent butcher’. Others took their time in the end, but he always went for the neck, quick and clean.

But it wasn’t benevolent for him.

He could still hear them begging for their lives. Every one of them. Every night.