Flash Fiction–Bones

I wrote this as part of a Flashwords Contest for Crimebake 2010. It was my first and only attempt at Flash fiction. I didn’t win, place, or show in the contest. But I had a blast writing this!

We had to write a compelling crime story in 150 words or less, using at least ten of twenty title words from Charlaine Harris’s books: Bedroom, Bone, Club, Corpse, Counselor, Dark, Dead, Family, Fool, Grave, Heels, Ice, Landlord, Living, Pick, Scene, Secret, Surprise, Trollop, Worse.

By Kourtney Heintz

My wife hated dead things. Corpses and graves brought on panic attacks. I spent twenty years living with her fear, navigating our family around it. Every Halloween, things got worse.

This year, she decided to face her fear.

It was no surprise that I ended up sitting beside her in a cemetery after dark. Her teeth chattered, but she refused to leave.

I stood up. “Don’t be foolish. You’re freezing.”

A secret swam in her moss green eyes. “I was six when I found my first dead body.”


Her voice turned to ice. “It was my mother.”

I dropped back down on the cold ground.

“Daddy bashed her head in with an iron skillet.”

She’d said she was an orphan. “Where’s he?”

She smiled. “I caught up with him one Halloween.”

Dear God. She couldn’t.

She shivered. “I never realized how hard it was to get rid of bones.”

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50 Responses to Flash Fiction–Bones

  1. kathils says:

    Excellent, and creepy! Well done.

  2. Love it! All I can say is the standard must have beem extremely high if you didn’t even place. I want to know more….

    • Thanks! There were 150 entries, but the ones that won were more cozy mystery and way more descriptive. Very very well written too. I’m not a big adjective and adverb person. I like the characters to tell the story. Thanks–I was thinking this could be another novel possibly. A very very dark one.

  3. Cat Forsley says:

    GOOD STUFF …..!!!!!!!!! ME LIKEY !
    8 DAYS TO GO —— BY THE WAY —– !!!!!!

  4. CC MacKenzie says:

    Didn’t see that coming! Good job!

  5. Creepy, but in a good way 🙂

  6. crubin says:

    I can’t believe this didn’t win! Really great flash fiction, Kourtney. Creepy–which is just how I like it. 🙂

  7. Dark, twisted and lovely! It’s so important to celebrate the fun involved with writing. Prizes and recognition should be frosting. 🙂

  8. Debra Kristi says:

    Fantastic! Should have placed. I can picture the whole thing. Sends perfectly creepy chills. 😀

    • Thanks Debra! It’s great to hear when your writing sends chills and creates good visuals. 🙂 I always worry that I see things so clearly in my head, but they don’t translate onto the page as well.

  9. It's the little things that make life great.berry says:

    How bone chilling. Write a mystery please…….

  10. jmmcdowell says:

    Wow, that’s an awesome piece of flash fiction in my book! Great twist at the end, and you really pack a punch in so few words!

  11. Outstanding! You should have won! (Yeah, go with it for that 4th book)

  12. 4amWriter says:

    Wow. I can’t believe you didn’t place at all with that flash fiction piece. I think it is wonderful. Didn’t expect the twisty ending. Well done.

    • Thanks, Kathryn. The people who won used more adjectives and more description in their writing. One was about a woman in a casket trying to steal back her shoes. It was pretty funny and well-written. I like twists in my stories. Even the short ones. 😉

  13. zelmare says:

    Ah, shivers! 🙂 Well done!

  14. Twisted. I liked it. It’s really hard working with a lot of limitations. Makes it harder to be yourself.

    • Carol, I thought I could never write under such constraints. But then I gave it a try and actually enjoyed it. It was a challenge and it was a bit of a relief to have constraints. It kept me focused.
      It’s funny because so many different stories emerged from these constraints. All with such unique voices. It was kinda cool to see how each writer took the constraints and still made it their own. 🙂

  15. klynwurth says:

    I love it. You completely creeped me out!

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