Flash Fiction Challenge: The Three-Sentence Story

Pretty straightforward — given that we’re in the long haul of National Novel Writing Month, feels like a shorter, sharper flash fiction contest deserves to be in play. What does that mean?

It means I want you to write a single story in three sentences. The shorter those sentences are, the better. Remember: a story has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

It is not merely a vignette — not simply a snapshot in time.

You can deposit this story in the comments below.

Due in one week — by Friday, noon EST.

I’ll pick three random participants on that Friday and will toss each winner a copy of my newest writing e-book, 30 Days in the Word Mines. (A book that has been described as an advent calendar for NaNoWriMo, which is a description I quite like.)

Sound good?

Get to writing.

Three sentences.

Short as you can make them — clarity and brevity are king.


263 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: The Three-Sentence Story”

  1. Executive Officer Jarvin glanced up from the swarm of red contact indicators on the HUD and said, “There’s no way we can win, Captain.”

    “Command didn’t send us out here to win,” the captain replied. “They sent us out here to murder aliens until every last one of us is dead, because it’s time these sons-of-bitches learned exactly what it means to fuck with with a species as vengeful, violent, and crazy as humans.”

  2. Again (forgot to check the box where I get notified of the answer): Where are the results of the last two flash fiction competitions? Would like to get a look at them. Thanks.

  3. JaK was a Geomancer, transplanted to a new water planet. Like a new day, his love created architecture. His creation now created, the new arrivals gained consciousness, and it was theirs.

  4. They fell in love when he borrowed her pen. For a while, they wrote their sweet romance on the walls. But the girl next door had a really nice set of ballpoints.

  5. Goosebumps tingled along her arms as she stepped out of the constricting uniform. Finally seeing the endless miles of wilderness made her heart race. She held her head high and stepped out into the unknown.

  6. Flash Fiction, 11.8.14

    There was nowhere other to run.

    He stood poised at the precipice, considering which of two certain fates to choose.

    As the sound of death clambered toward him on merciless claws, he chose gravity instead and stepped off into eternity, only to find that, quite improbably, great leathery wings unfurled from his sides to bear him away to a future he never expected.

  7. As a child she often felt misunderstood and inadequate. So, she ventured far into the world to seek out like-minded souls to love and accept her. In the end, she found it had been her own mind that kept her from belonging, and only she could grant her-self -acceptance.

  8. Girls and women beware: life will suck you dry, leave you lookin’ like a walnut shell. Try to keep all entry ways and points of access closed to intruders, marauders, imposters, and the ignoramus. Dance and sing often (even if it’s outlawed); nobody will remember you when you are gone.

  9. Why should I have to apologize for stretching my legs? It’s not my fault he has lousy balance. Jello probably washes out anyway.

  10. Pulling the trigger had been easier than he thought it would be considering it was the first time he’d killed someone. People that did what was done to her deserved to die. He thought of her and hoped she’d someday forgive him and then he thought no more.

  11. I gave him my heart of my own free will. He squandered it thinking there would be another where the first came from. Before the sun rose his last breath bubbled from his chest.

  12. Lloyd squinted into the sun and tried to swallow. No amount of prayers or dancing over the last hundred days had produced rain. With a sigh, he unzipped his pants and aimed for the mason jar.

  13. The white laytex wall of her new apartment stood blandly infront of her. It reflected all of her past though she hoped it would be her future. She stepped through it and into color.

    • Spelling corrected -The white latex wall of her new apartment stood blandly in front of her. It reflected all of her past though she hoped it would be her future. She stepped through it and into color.

    • This reminds me of a great quote I read once and will attempt to paraphrase:

      We went off to war to fight monsters. When we returned home, we had become monsters.

  14. I was constipated. I took ex-lax. Therefore, I shat.

    (Wait, changing tense is a no-no. That ruins my three word, three sentence, three story.)

  15. Four years of toil, tears, and typing, Peter was finally to the last page of his great American novel.

    “Whirrr-click-click-click,” spat his hard drive in defiance.

    With that cold, blue screen, Peter’s novel became, instead, his suicide note that no one would ever get to read.

  16. She cried happy tears when he said “till death do us part,” and imagined that he was pledging his undying love. Five years on, she learned his love was a passing thing, but a vow was still a vow.

    She was surprised by how little effort it took to fit his body into the duffle bag.

  17. Jon put more thought into choosing the bat then he did choosing the ring. That was the problem of course, he thought his future was in diamonds and gilt, but the truth was weighed in aluminum. The first swing felt good, bone and stain, later he fell asleep beside her under the constellation of crimson with flecks of gold.

  18. I haven’t done this in a while, so here goes!

    He opened the door to the sound of hinges squealing like the souls of the damned. There was not a soul in the room. He turned away only to be stabbed in the back, his soul leaking from the wound as he fell.

  19. Darblane released his fiendish blight as the obese braying rocket-donkey exploded into a trillion hydro-nano-gamarus. “Finally! Cryma City is now infected”, he gleefully wrung his withered hands together and cackled a shitty laugh. Wait–his eyes bugged out to discover a pulsing green boil wart under his left wrist–“Maylor, you-you dick!”

  20. The tooth cracked at the gumline, revealing the rot beneath. “I’ll call the dentist,” his wife said. That was before she saw the eye of the parasite poking out from under the enamel.

  21. The boy lived at the end of a dirty, shitty, little street in the outskirts of a dirty, shitty, little town. One gloomy day, he found a rusted bicycle at the dirty, shitty, little dump. As the sun set, the boy pedaled into the darkness, and he didn’t stop until he was surrounded by sweet, precious, anonymous oblivion.

  22. He had rehearsed this in his mind a thousand times. He exhaled slowly and squeezed the trigger. History was rewritten.

  23. It took a whole lot of bitching and whining and self-pity before he could accept his own death. As he slipped down the hall, unseen by his love’s would be killer, he realized something. Sometimes death is a second chance.

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