I like short shorts!
My most recent story released was Playing House. I had actually published it through Excessica under my Abi Aiken name back in 2013. At that time it was my longest single story published, running out to nearly 35k. When I decided to re-release it at the end of November, I knuckled down and expanded it. And it doubled in length.
There's actually a fairly straightforward reason for that. My first earnest attempts at writing were songs. When I moved into fiction I drove hard into flash fiction at first. So my natural tendencies were always to distill stories. Start them as close to the end as possible (which is, I believe, an Elmore Leonard rule).
I've always enjoyed the process of condensing long paragraphs to short sentences. And it's probably why I'm not sure I'll release another book as long as Playing House, at least in the foreseeable future. My longest sweet-spot seems to be 25,000-35,000 words.
But I certainly do enjoy flash fiction. And this li'l baby is probably my fave out of all the flash pieces I've written.
Father taught me young how to hunt. He stressed the dominion of man over all creatures.
“God took away our claws and gave us minds, boy. This ain’t about food. We don’t pick off the sick and injured. We take the ones in their prime. That’s how we know our worth.”
He would not admit the wolf within him. With rifle and mind he would cow his senses.
I have left the woods, and my father, behind. In the cold swarm of the city, my mind and body make peace. I hunt for pleasure, guided by movement and sound.
The click of stilettos on concrete almost has a scent. It summons the wolf, the beast that still hunts from need, not for validation.
Yet the mind God gave me sees a trophy to adorn my wall. She will take pride of place as I mount her against it.
She is young and tender, still finding her footing. Her heels scrabble at the street. She totters, a stricken doe. Her hair taunts like a tail. Thighs like throats pulse against each other, and beg for my teeth.
God may have taken her claws, but the ones on her shoes will leave trophies all over my back.
She is in her prime.
And I know my worth.