An experiment in flash fiction

At first, I found this prompt challenging. How can one possibly tell a story in just 6 words? There is no room for explanations, no room for characters, no room for plot lines. The 6 words have to be precise and sharp, they have to strike some sort of chord in the reader, they have to carry meaning despite being so few. Once I had a few of these 6 word memoirs on paper however, they began to come to me more naturally and I spent most of the day thinking in 6 word phrases. Here’s the 10 I initially came up with.

In case you want the plain text versions:

Wanted: someone who reads, between lines.

Be the sun’s first morning ray.

Loneliness is a dead end street.

Use with care, beat the heart.

Still, the buried ember burns bright.

You and I were sublime, once.

Dear dad, you never said goodbye.

Do bad habits know they’re bad?

I told the darkness about you.

We were just elbows and knees.

Photo by Ivo Rainha on

As I was coming up withy my 6 word memoirs, I realized that a few of them would work well together to create a more extensive poem. Each line is 6 words and could likely stand on it’s own as a 6 word memoir.

Hello new friend, sighed the spider.

Not everybody makes it this far.

I think I’m lost, whimpered fly.

You are right where you belong.

The web trembled, then was still.

Spider patched the hole, feeling alone.

Overall I really enjoyed this experiment and felt that it challenged me to think in a new way. I look forward to playing around with more flash fiction in the future.

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