A Moment More: The Challenge of Hint Fiction

At the end of March I posted three pieces of flash fiction (or, as I like to call it, ‘hint fiction’) and provided a short description of what hint fiction is. I’ve since found this article, which also describes the genre. Some of the books listed at the end of Laura I. Millar’s article, particularly the Margaret Atwood book, may be of interest to writers and readers who want to explore flash fiction.


In her comments on my post, my friend Calen, from Impromptu Promptlings and Peculiar Ponderings said:

I’ve read an awful lot of flash fiction on the blogs. I’m still kind of scratching my head about the whole trend. More often than not I want the stories to go on.

I replied that,

I also like stories that make me want more, but I’m going to take your comment as a challenge. I know you didn’t mean to challenge me but I’ll try to write a micro story that doesn’t leave its reader feeling as if they’ve missed something.

So, Calen, here it is. I tried to write it in the spirit of flash, or hint, fiction as well as fulfil requirements set out long ago to a very adventurous young woman by the name of Alice:

‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said, very gravely, ‘and go on till you come to the end: then stop.’

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

RIMG0165 Hit Send

(A short, short story for Calensariel)

The door to her study had been left open and the air was icy. She shut the door, placed the cup of hot coffee next to the laptop, switched the heater on and sat heavily in the second-hand office chair. She took a deep breath, opened the file, and began to type.

Three hours later she picked up the coffee cup and took a tentative sip; the coffee, of course, was cold.

Two more hours passed before she finally hit ‘send’. Trembling slightly, she leant back in the chair and sighed. ‘Time for another cup of coffee,’ she said, though there was no one to hear her.

It was spring when the email arrived. She found it difficult to understand and had to read it several times.

When her husband arrived home he was greeted with champagne on ice, salmon steaks, a green salad and home made chocolate mousse. He also noticed the polished gleam of the refilled whisky decanter set next to the candles and the vase of Irises on the sideboard. He turned to her. ‘What’s this?’ he asked.

She beamed at him, unable to speak. It took several moments before he understood. ‘The publisher? They contacted you?’

His whoop was heard by their young neighbours who, momentarily alarmed, muted the television. When they realised it was only the strange couple next door, laughing and hollering fit to burst, they switched the sound back on and turned up the volume.


Photo Credit:http://www.alice-in-wonderland.net/wp-content/uploads/1book0.jpg

8 thoughts on “A Moment More: The Challenge of Hint Fiction

  1. LOL! Very well done, Janet! (And thank you, of course, for the quote from “Alice!”) I hope that was from personal experience or soon may be! 🙂 So that’s considered “flash fiction” then… This may sound weird, but if you really do put an end on them, they kind of seem like they’re missing the middle. I’ve got to do some more studying on these. I’ll have to go read the article. I’m intrigued now! (And right about now you’re probably thinking, This woman is never satisfied!)


      1. A small middle, rather like the one I used to have, and wish I still did! 😄 I hope the article I hyperlinked provided some additional insight for you, Calen. As for the content of the story, your previous comments concerning your novel prompted the idea. Everything else is the product of my imagination.
        I think if I ever got published I’d throw a party that would last the best part of a week!


    1. No, not at all; I think to myself, ‘this woman is curious and not easily led’, which is an excellent thing in a woman. Your point is valid, but I love the form because it has that little mystery about it, it tantalises rather than answer every question. Thanks for the immediate response, too.


      1. I DID find the article interesting. Especially in regards to fairy tales. The one it mention by the Bros. Grimm that was only 300 words long…I’ll have to look that one up. I was surprised there were that many books of them out there. And honestly, the last one she mentioned, “The Jewelry Box”, sounded kind of interesting. I am NOT done investigating these!!! Thanks so much for posting the article. 😀


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s