Size Does Matter: Flash Fiction in 25 Words or Less

FlashFlash fiction. Short short. Smoke long story. Postcard Fiction. They go by many names. I like to call them boiled-down fiction. A brief beginning, middle and end. A complete, condensed story without all the filler, the extra broth, so to speak. Enlighten the reader’s mind and let him or her visualize what they will.

My favorite flash boiled-down fiction story, “Knock” by Fredric Brown, was only 17 words:

“The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door…”

It’s simple and quite disturbing. What happened to all the people? I imagine all kinds of post-apocalyptic monsters lurking outside his door. On the other hand, maybe it’s another human, a companion to end his loneliness.

Writing stories with 25 words or less is a challenge, but I tried my typing hand at a few flashy stories. I hope you like them.

Feel like composing a boiled-down tale of your own? I would love to read it. Leave a reply, if you are so inclined.


He wept shamelessly. Waves of intense heat flooded his body. Sweat beaded his brow. Between short breaths he choked, “Needs more hot sauce.”


The detective examined the murder scene. One high heel shoe discarded in the ditch.

“Where’s the body?” he asked.

“Inside the shoe,” replied the coroner.

Moving On Up

“Our planet is dead. We must evacuate,” announced the leader.

“Where will we go?” cried the followers.

“The third planet from the sun,” he declared.

Her First

“You’re my first,” she whispers.

“Don’t be nervous. I’ll be gentle,” he replies.

With a smirk she asks, “Do you want fries with that?”

Prelude to a Postlude

World War III. Shock waves. Black rain. Radioactive dust. Blanket contamination. Misery. Pestilence. Humankind is unresponsive. Earth is sterile.

The Mother Ship

This story is dedicated to K, M, E, & D.

Three vertical lights appeared in the night sky. Five observers watched and wondered. Time stopped. The lights vanished. So did their conscious memories.


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