Archive for February, 2011


Flash Writing Exercise

February 15, 2011

Tonight’s writing class covered the art of flash writing, the creation of short stories in 250-1000 words. Until I started this class, I’d never heard of it, so I won’t blame you if you haven’t either. Our next assignment is to write a piece of flash fiction, due in two weeks, but tonight we needed to give it a shot in class. To spur things along, the professor passed around three bags with folded pieces of paper in them. We each had to take a piece from each bag (which represented occupation, an object/tool/appliance, and a location respectively) and write a quick story in 10 minutes. The three items I got were “balerina”, “high school yearbook”, and “bar in a corner of London.” For me, this was like shooting fish in a barrel. (Mythbusters not withstanding.)

I want to edit this, to flesh things out a bit better and slightly differently, but here’s what I wrote. I call it the “Ballerina of Her Majesty’s Pub.”

She twirled on her tippy toes, over and over, pirouette after pirouette, dizzying all who watched her in Her Majesty’s Royal Stein on the west end of London. She reminded me of a girl I had known only by a picture in my high school yearbook in years long past: beautiful beyond reality, long blonde hair, and a dazzling smile.

The ballerina spun dangerously to the bar and a couple of patrons that eagerly and lustfully looked on, but she paid them no heed. To her, there was only the dance as if flowed through her graceful motions. Drunk on a pint of Guinness or wine, the only things that mattered to her were the dance and the moment.

Her golden hair drew out behind her spin as a scarf on the wind, and captured the attentions of all in the tavern. There was more than one cry of “Brilliant!” as she leaped and spun, and even a woman or two could be heard commenting that the girl, Sarah, was a “right fine lass.”

Her dance ended in a sudden leap, landing with impossible grace. She threw her hands up, bowed her head, then emptied her stomach on the floor.

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