"What is Flash!points?"

Flash!, a guide to writing very short stories is full of writing exercises, examples, and prompts to get you writing your own short-short stories. I’ve been asking folks to send us their results. You can contribute as well by sending your stories to me at and maybe you’ll see your story online! You can get your copy of the book here.



Lest We Forget

J. K. Dowdy



Sir Percival Blackney II


Most senior cat Percy finally shed that feline coil and was laid to rest between two key lime trees on Saturday, November 5, two days after taking to the bed in true Appalachian fashion.

It must be said that he approached this transition with a quiet dignity and knightly composure; qualities notably absent, curiously enough, during his former lengthy life.

Ever the inadvertent comedian, Percy's main hobbies included digging chicken scraps out of the garbage and occasionally falling off the dock. He leaves to cherish his memory: Sister LuLu, aka Wild Thing, adopted companion Lloyd (Spawn of Satan), and the remaining Dowdy-Hamilton family, as well as the construction crew working at his Uncle Bill and Aunt Bryanne's house across the street.

In lieu of any formal services, the family and close friends may gather at a later date to turn over the kitchen trash can one last time.

Godspeed, Boykee: We hardly knew ye.

* * *

As a professional horticulturalist living in St. Augustine, Florida, Jean has been involved with her husband's family nursery business since the late 1970's. The fact that she sometimes wakes up screaming in the night at the retail public's insistent murder of Latin botanical nomenclature is probably proof that she should just lighten the hell up a bit; maybe try to get out more, catch a movie or two, have a couple of beers with some old friends.

Re John's THE DEAD BEAT flash prompt: A good obituary always makes this Appalachian heart swell; indeed, it's the one newspaper section I never ever miss. And while I seem to have become the official obituarist for both my immediate and extended families, the crafting is definitely a group effort which becomes more and more cathartic as the years progress. We cry, we laugh, we get on with it. The passage of beloved pets also demands its own recognition, I think, lest we forget the least of these our brethren.


Here’s one for you to try: THE BAG. A man is found dead in a flophouse. All of his belongings are in a green duffle bag. Open the bag and go through it.

  • Make a list story about what you find. Be as precise as you can with each item.

  • No need to comment—the accumulated items should add up to a portrait of the man (or woman, if you’d like).