Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lucinda Kempe

East Blue Portrait German River

East gazes at the words jostling one another on the page. “How in God’s name are we going to get together?”

Blue looks at her brown shoes. “Need polish,” she says.

“We could all line up and rotate who’s on top,” says Portrait.

“Vee cud get Sturmgewehrs and Mausers and shoot each udder,” says German.

River brushes her hair, ignoring the other silly words. Another Flashtown compression week, she thinks, I can’t bear it.

Every week, Richard Grimm, the resident fabulist, posts a list of five new words to be compressed into a story under three hundred words. Every week we argue, bicker, spit, and, sometimes, bite one another over who’s best or who’ll go first or who did what last time. OMG. It all gets so tiresome, but what’s a word to do when it can’t escape Flashtown?

I mean really.

You can run, hide, tack on suffixes and prefixes, or even pretend to be things you’re normally not like modifiers or verbs or nouns. But in the end, you are what you are. You’re just letters on a page of a curious, inventive, besotted, bed bugged, bedraggled, beaten-down and bemused group of writers trying desperately to be clever enough not to get vetted from the bigger, brighter, erudite, literary mags.

“Das vas veddy good, Ms. River, if I say so.”

“Danke, G.”

“I still favor rotation.”

“Shut up, Portrait,” says East. “River has done the thing for us. Don’t muck it up.”

“Oh, East. Positivity. Love it,” says River. “Where’s Blue? Never mind. I see her wafting on the sands sans her shoes.”

© Lucinda Kempe 2012

Lucinda Kempe loves flashing. She hopes to do more of it in public. Flash Fiction Chronicles, The Short Humour Site and Fictionaut have published her flash. Upcoming work will be at Metazen, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and Referential Magazine.


  1. Well done, Lucinda! I think you you got it and can leave your day job now ;>}}}

  2. OH, I love this, the language gymnastics and crafty insinuations. Is it perhaps a satire of a flash fiction group we all know and love?

  3. Wonderful flash, Lucinda!

  4. Thank you for reading Hal, Sue Ann and Autumn!!! And thank you too,MudJob.

  5. Great Flash Lucinda.
    Write on x


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