I’m normally a Science Fiction sort of guy. Peter F Hamilton space opera, Neal Stephenson Cyberpunk, Greg Bear futurist, and of course the literary Ian M Banks. But I also want to write Sci-Fi, probably in the popular young-adult dystopian “Who will be my girlfriend at the end of the world” genre. (Yes, because the world doesn’t have enough Hunger Games and Mazerunners and Divergents!) I have about 150 pages of backstory, plotting cards, and character notes. But very little writing. It’s the first page, then the first chapter. They keep changing. There’s just so much pressure on the first page, and I can’t seem to get the appropriate voice, character mix, plot mix, ideas mix all into that critical first page! But I digress.
My lovely wife suggested I try Flash Fiction. Now there’s pressure! Character and voice and story in 100 words! So I did. I entered an online competition based on the following picture. The story had to be about dragons or magic rocks. Fantasy. It’s outside my regular genre, but I’m still — of course — a fan! Story below picture.
Dragoncall. (99 words)
Shame burned the boy’s cheeks. He had dropped the ceremonial knife in the sand! The pain had been intense, but blood finally dripped from his wrist onto the ancient leathery rock, warming the surface.
“Will He come?” the boy asked.
The old man’s blue eyes smiled sadly from a weathered face.
“A thousand boys have tried,” he said, staring down at the rock. He looked up, sniffed the air and scanned the horizon. “It’s too quiet,” he said.
So the boy called and sang for an hour, but nothing.
The boy wept, tears splashing the stone.
The rock thundered!