Ceaselessly he toiled, the little man, in his little shop at his little desk. Only the shelving had any sense of volume, sweeping either side of the room. Upon them bins of all shapes and sizes, their contents spilling out creating cascading ribbons of copper threading.
You might just miss the little man tediously working at his desk. Blending in with his surroundings, echoing the elaborate automatons he loved. A mix of copper and coarse wool fabric, only the mop of wild gray hair brought him any distinction.
What limited table space there was housed all manner of figures. Some wispy and small others large and cumbersome, each one painstakingly crafted as to be almost alive.
Mumbling quietly to himself, he worked. Tonight was important. He must finish. He made this promise to her so long ago and so many times before. Working endlessly, as the sun began to set and the cuckoo clock on the wall struck five.
The final gear was put into place.
Rubbing his eyes, he looked at the small figure that had taken weeks.
It was the most beautiful creation yet, a little dancer balanced on a single pointed foot. The little man smiled. It was complete. She would be proud of him, she would clap and smile and delight in what he made for her.
The light fading, he said goodbye to his little mechanical world.
The promise was placed in a little box tied with string. Putting on his coat and hat he looked once more, breathing it all in, before snuffing out the final candle.
With promise in hand, he walked out the door. As the lock clicked into place, the shop fell silent. No more would the little man sit at his little desk.
About this Flash Fiction story:
This was a piece I wrote for a flash fiction contest a few months ago through Fish Publishing. It did not win any awards, which is why I can share it with you, but I am still very proud of the work I put into this. I have started getting into writing Flash Fiction more and more, and while I continue to work on my longer stories, I would like to explore this area of creative writing further.
There is something so challenging and exciting about telling an entire story in 500 words or less. You begin to look at the characters with more scrutiny and cut out any superfluous information. With fewer words you have fewer opportunities to get your idea or scene across, so you need to make the most of it.
I won’t give an overly detailed explanation about what inspired the story, or even what I wanted to convey emotionally, I will leave that up to you the reader. It does touch on my love of all things Steampunk, if you needed some direction.
Feel free to leave a comment below.