It’s been 2 years since he saw her.
There she was, PDA with her man.
He walked up to say hello.
Her head turned. The face was different.
“I’m sorry. You look like someone I know.”
“It’s okay.”
He left. Her boyfriend asked, “Who was that?”
Her face blanched. “That was the guy who stalked me.”

What you just read was my very first attempt at flash fiction. What is flash fiction, you ask? It’s on the bottom of the book-length totem pole. At the top, you have the epic novel. Next is the just the novel. Then it’s novella, and short story. Finally, you have flash fiction at the very bottom with the shortest length of all stories. Typically, these stories are a paragraph long. Sometime’s they’re just a couple sentences. Because of their size constraints, a lot of these stories end on cliffhangers that are meant to enlighten, or even disturb the reader. Flash fiction can also be in the form of a poem. In the age of Twitter and TikTok, brevity rules over all. It’s no surprise that this genre would take off.

I was actually introduced to the genre last night, when I read Tiny Tales by Jana Jenkins (Twitter handle @janalynnjenkins) in one sitting. My understanding is this is a collection of flash fiction tweets by the author (you’ll find the occasional hashtag here and there). The collection contains mini-stories with the power to leave you heartbroken, perturbed, and terrified. The revelations usually have the main character actually being dead, being a killer, suffering from a tragic loss, or coming upon a shocking realization about their own lives. The collection is divided into sections, each of different genres so it’s not all in the same tone. Variety is always nice.

One small criticism I have is that the “comedy” section at the end wasn’t nearly as impactful as the prior sections. Nonetheless, Tiny Tales works and is well worth the price of admission. As I pointed out, I read all this in one sitting (I have ADD like you wouldn’t believe). Check it out!

Personal Rating: 4.5/5
Amazon/Goodreads Rating: 5/5

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