micro fiction

Micro Fiction

Fiction that has a significantly shorter than average 


"Isn't that beautiful?" the father said to his son, looking at the museum exhibit. "It's called a flower. There used to be a lot of them." #LynCoffinReads #MicroFiction

31 Word Story


In a cave in the Himalayas, a pilgrim located the world’s wisest man. “What do you think is the meaning of life?” he asked. But the pilgrim had nothing to say.

A Fable for John


This story takes place many years ago in the mountainous region of a foreign country.

A man had heard wonderful things about a certain woman, and wrote her a letter.

The man said in his letter he would like to come and visit the woman.

The woman wrote back and suggested they get to know each other in letters first.

Letters flew back and forth between the man and the woman.

The woman wrote and told the man she hoped he would come to visit her.

The man wrote back and said he would come to visit her soon.

He asked the woman to come part of the way to meet him.

The woman said she would.

Letters flew back and forth between the man and the woman.

The day came when they were to meet.

The woman went to the meeting place but the man wasn’t there. She went home upset.

The next letter from the man spoke about his difficulties on the road.

The postmark on the letter was that of his home town.

Letters flew back and forth between the man and the woman.

In his letters, the man said he loved the woman, and would come to visit her soon.

The letters were always postmarked from his home tome.

The woman wrote a complaining letter.

She told the man she loved him but was angry he had never really left home.

The man said he was sorry. He quoted travel authorities about how difficult the road was.

He asked in his letter if the woman still trusted him.

The woman wrote and said no.

The man wrote and said her distrust was the reason he had never started out..

The woman wrote and said his not starting out was the reason she distrusted him.

Letters flew back and forth between the man and the woman.

The time between letters grew.

Both of them stopped writing.

The two never met.



Sam hired me as a handy man after I dropped out of college.

On Sunday nights, I played the piano for his wife, Sally— pieces like the Moonlight Sonata. I went out to the balcony a lot during performances, for cold duck refills, or to make sure Sally was still there.

But tonight was one of those nights when the wind kept blowing after dark and Sam decided to go night sailing. Sally said he was an idiot sailing without running lights. I could tell Sally had no hope of changing his mind. The only surprise was when Sam asked if I wanted to go. I said I was only an armchair sailor. I felt like a traitor.


After Sam left, Sally got two chairs and a flashlight. She carried the chairs and an uncorked cold duck down to the beach. I brought the flashlight and two glasses.


We hadn’t seen anything out on the lake when we heard the boom of a collision, a flurry of rattles and clangs, then silence again.


I turned to reassure Sally but she was standing waist deep in the lake calling “Sam, Sam,” holding up her wine glass in one hand and the bottle in the other, as if she were afraid they might get wet.         


I went and untied Sam’s fishing skiff. The rope was swollen and hard to unknot. I yanked till the engine shuddered into life, then headed out, holding the flashlight so it pointed over the bow and threw in its light whenever the boat came down hard.


After a few minutes, Sam loomed ahead of me, his sail splayed out to the side. He tacked abruptly, slowed and stopped. I came alongside and cut the engine.


“Romberg ran into me,” Sam said. He took the flashlight up front to check the damage while I sat holding the boats together but apart. I called to Sam over the sound of the loose sail and the blocks jangling against the boom. “I left Sally standing in three feet of water trying to call you back from the dead.”


“She gets like that when she drinks,” Sam said. "You can let me go

now and head back. I'll head in."


I was at the end of the dock when Sam drifted into reach. I grabbed the forestay. Before Sam even had the line tied, Sally was on the dock. “I knew this would happen.”


“Nothing happened,” Sam said.

 I watched Sally wind her way through the beach grass until she reached the house. A square of light flared as she opened the door. Then everything went black again.


“I guess you should have had running lights,” I said.


Sam shrugged. “A little fiberglass and she’ll be better than new. After fiberglass hardens, it’s stronger than whatever was there before. I put some under the seats last year. Now they could take two of me…. Want to join me in a six pack?”

 “I don’t know if beer goes that good on cold duck,” I said. “But, sure, why not?”