Flash Fiction Challenge: The Dead Body

So many stories begin with a dead body.

A dead body is a gateway to mystery.

A story to be solved.

The aftermath of incident that leads to further incident.

It works across a variety of genres, a plethora of storytelling styles.

Dead bodies: they do a story good.

AND SO, today’s flash fiction is precisely that — I want you to take your story and it must begin with a dead body. That’s it. That’s the only stipulation. In the first paragraph you must introduce a dead body. Doesn’t matter the context or the genre. But you gotta check that box marked


You get 1000 words, as usual. Due by the 19th, at noon EST. Post the story at your online space, then drop a link in the comments below so we can all go check it out.


251 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: The Dead Body”

    • Nothing like those “track-star” zombies. Why do people want fast zombies? Weren’t the slow ones terrifying enough? Or maybe I was just assuming they were fast and the protagonist got distracted…

      • Not sure why my phone won’t let me reply, or it might be delayed. Who knows.

        Anyway, they weren’t fast. The one that bit in the end wasn’t the one chasing. Also, running from the chaser one was through the forest on bare feet. That’d slow anyone down. Then there’s slowing down from exhaustion. So no, I never considered them fast. I prefer “shamblers” myself.

  1. Geez, you guys are so fast. I always plod through trying to come up with characters and a believable plot. It takes me half the week to even start writing.

    • Darkly humorous. Your familiarity with dialogue is evident in the excellent patter between the protagonists. I would be curious to see what became of our difficult-to-kill protagonists. This is the second story I’ve read with the Strangely Dead. But I still liked it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Yeah, I feel your pain about 1000 words – feels like a couple of water biscuits when you’re wanting a sandwich, doesn’t it? Well, it does for me anyway… πŸ˜‰

      Having said that, I really enjoyed this. It’s certainly made me want to read more about this character and the stories she features in. She has some kind of super-fast-healing ability, yes?

      • Glad you liked it!

        I’ve actually used her enough in my short stories that she has her own tag in the blog. http://fredgyost.com/category/jade-leporidae/ . Fall Girl is still my favorite, though I’m getting the feeling this will all wind up being stitched together into a novel/novella at some point.

        Her ability is perfect regeneration, which presents its own set of challenges when you realize that most growth requires a bit of destruction first. She’s good at surviving, but that’s about it, at least from a combat ability perspective.

    • From pimp-slapping food porn right in its gross and disturbing mouth to making a life statement about our quality of food and its affect on our life — an excellent segue!

    • Thank you so much for all the lovely feedback – much appreciated! I was a little worried I was crossing a line with this one; about halfway through I started thinking to myself “You DO realise what it looks like this story is casually condoning, don’t you?” so thanks for being brave enough to stick with it to the end πŸ™‚

  2. Okay, I was going to. I usually have no trouble keeping into the word limit of a flash (I write drabbles with some frequency) but… Stuff happened. I have the germ of a new story, but so much for this flash prompt.

      • Thank you! I’m clearly 8 years old, because “dead Mr Redface just pooped his pants on the sofa” is officially my favourite line.

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