|The President of the World War III Re-Enactment Society looked at the smoking ruins of the Earth and congratulated himself on a job well done. Of course, by this stage there was no-one else left to congratulate.|
This story is similar to "Waiting for the Big Freeze", in that it stemmed from a bolt of inspiration for a good first line, which I used as the basis for a short-short because I didn't think the line could support a full-length piece.
The President of the World War III Re-Enactment Society looked at the smoking ruins of the Earth and congratulated himself on a job well done.
If World War III is being re-enacted, what else might be re-enacted? Who is doing the simulation, and why? The answer is in yet another of my flash fiction "gimmick" pieces....
I eventually stopped writing these gimmicky short-shorts because I grew tired of the restrictive nature of the format. Also, I found that while I did sell all my flash fiction, it often took several submissions to gain an acceptance. The administrative work in submitting a story — researching markets, writing cover letters, sending MSS, updating the submissions database — takes the same amount of time regardless of the story's length. This meant that for a short-short, I could end up spending more time on the admin side than the story took to write in the first place. It didn't make sense — after all, I performed quite enough mundane administration in my day job. In my free time I wanted to write, not shuffle paper.
That's why, if you look at my bibliography, you'll see that most of my flash fiction appeared in 2003-04. It was a phase, and then I moved on.