Trouble in Nomoreland: Flash Fiction

I wasn’t sure about trying my hand at flash fiction, and sure enough, this turned out to be one of the most difficult things I’ve ever written. The idea for the storyline flashed into my mind, and when I sat down to write it just kept flashing me. Or maybe it was my muse flashing me. Did I tell you he looks just like Johnny Depp? Anyway, I ended up with a little more than 2,300 words, which is definitely not flash fiction. Then, like the king in my story, I began to pare until I could pare no more. Some writers say that flash fiction cannot be more than 300 words, while others say no more than 1000 words. So how about a compromise at less than 500 words? If that isn’t copacetic, then let’s call it semi-flash fiction.

To make a long story short, I've discovered that I like writing flash fiction, provided that my handsome muse stays away. Maybe he'll come back looking like Keith Richards.

This is a satire/fantasy, and my first attempt, so puleeze, don't judge me too harshly. All I want to do is give you a laugh today.

King Rusty Butt

Source

The near-emaciated farmer begged at the foot of the throne of King Rusty Butt and Queen Snarfrella. “Please, Your Majesty, I can’t pay anymore taxes. I still owe some from the last crop.”

“I will give you six more months and penalize you two chickens, the king answered.

Queen Snarfrella snarfed, but then she was always snarfing. That was why she was so named. She snarfed that more taxes were needed in the kingdom, the poor subjects be damned. If the king didn’t raise more money somehow, the kingdom would be bankrupt, and he would never share her bed. “If you won't raise taxes, YOU find the money, I don’t care how!” She snarfed out of the room.

Queen Snarfrella

Source

The state of their marriage and lack of an heir created as much gossip in the little kingdom of Nomoreland as its near-empty coffers. The king had never tasted of his bride in their two years of marriage, and Snarfrella never let him forget that she considered him beneath her. The royal Butts of Gotmoreland were rumored to have dwarf blood, and Rusty got his given name from his looks. She was forced into marriage with the demi-dwarf prince to prevent the complete financial fall of her father’s kingdom after his death.

Rusty had gone through all his money to pay the debts, and his father, King Odd, refused to lend him more. He sat forlornly and unattended in the Great Hall, or so he thought.

A familiar voice spoke, “Beggin’ Yur Majesty’s pardon. I think I can help. Yur sittin’ on a royal fortune and don’t even know it.” Prime Minister Kilroy had spoken. Kilroy was here; Kilroy was always here.

The king's look at his prime minister said it all. He'd lost his marbles! The prime minister explained that the fortune was literally under the royal butt. The throne was made of gold, painted over, and the baubles were real gems, not glass as everyone believed. The queen’s late mother, Queen Gambalina, had a gambling problem. To ward off bankruptcy, her father, King Geetus, emptied the royal coffers and had the painted jeweled throne made to hide their fortune. Occasionally, a jewel had been removed and sold when the need became dire, such as right now.

It took some convincing, but Rusty scratched the paint and hit pure gold. He sold the large ruby at the top for enough money to pay off the kingdom’s debts. He lowered taxes on his subjects and still had enough left to throw a ball. He had three smaller stones removed from a bottom rung for Snarfrella a diamond necklace.

Queen Snarfrella looked very happy as King Rusty took her arm to escort her to the ball. She even called him, “My darling.”

Kilroy winked. There would be a hot time in the old castle tonight!

Little Man

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Comments 29 comments

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 8 months ago from Shelton

what an amusing piece of fiction... I was smiling all the way down as I read... clever my friend very clever..


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 8 months ago Author

Frank, thank you. I did go into this with trepidation. Glad I could make you smile.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

You made me laugh out loud when I realized the king was gonna get his ' due ' Hee. This was a clever flash fiction. I loved it. Now, write some more....


billybuc profile image

billybuc 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

I'm with Frank. I began smiling at the very beginning as you explained the process of dipping your toe into the flash fiction pond, and then the story had me laughing out loud, which prompted our little dog to look at me like I'd lost my mind. All in all an excellent adventure for all, MizB! I'm looking forward to more.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 8 months ago Author

Thanks, Ruby. I couldn't leave the poor man hangin', now could I? If this one works out, I will.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 8 months ago Author

Bill, to be honest, when flash fiction was first introduced, the thought of writing it made me too nervous to try. Then after I figured out that I could work it in with my nonsense like I did the limericks, I decided to try. Glad I could make you laugh (and the little dog). Thanks for stopping by, my friend.


ValKaras profile image

ValKaras 8 months ago from Canada

MizBejabbers -I happen to know a couple of "Rusty Butts" whose "queens" made them sleep in the living room because they were not really providers - and unfortunately, scratching on any of those chairs wouldn't have helped a bit to give them a visitors' visa to that royal bed.

Recognizing them in your story made me smile, and now it's making me praise your creative imagination. A great story, indeed!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 8 months ago Author

Thanks for reading and praising, Vlad. I surely do hope you weren't one of the Rusty Butts of whom you speak, but I'm sure you weren't.


ValKaras profile image

ValKaras 8 months ago from Canada

MizBejabbers - You must be a clairvoyant or something, but guess what - you are right, I was NOT one of them, LOL.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 8 months ago from The Beautiful South

Just love it ...and the song!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 8 months ago Author

FYI, seriously, I am clairvoyant, but I didn't use it to guess you. You are just too nice a person to be one of those.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 8 months ago Author

Thanks, Jackie. I've always loved the song. It is making a comeback right now on the "little horse" commercial. Have you seen it?


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 8 months ago from london

Quite charming! Creative and engaging! Nice plot; ended well. What more do you need? I shouldn't worry.

Flash is described in a general way to include up to 1000 words. Some are very short, yes, but it leaves room for extensions. I believe that Alicia has written one of the best Hubs that I've seen on the subject. If you are already a great story-teller, then the word problem is minimal.

Happy weekend, Miz.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 8 months ago from Queensland Australia

MizB, I am so glad you decided to try your hand at flash fiction. Your sense of humor shone through and it was a delight to read. Well done.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 8 months ago Author

Thank you, Manitita. I would love to read Alicia's hub, but I don't know who she is. Some people, like me, must use pen names because of their jobs, but I don't know if she is one of them. I've read several hubs on the subject, and they do say 300 to 1,000 words. I just didn't want to attract criticism because mine was too long. I love the fact that you took time to read it and make the suggestion. Namaste, Miz B.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 8 months ago Author

Hi, John. truth is, I find it difficult to write serious fiction. Guess that's because I was a reporter and had to be so serious for so long. Now I just want to laugh and make everybody else laugh. Thank you for reading it and your nice comment, my dear friend.


phoenix2327 profile image

phoenix2327 8 months ago from United Kingdom

Love it. I admire someone who can put a story together in so few words. I like to take my time setting up the scene and developing the characters. And that takes a lot of words. But you did it in 500. Amazing. And a good story as well.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 8 months ago Author

Phoenix, I appreciate your compliment. It really can be difficult for wordsy people like us to shorten something we would like to fully develop. I'm glad you thought it was good.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 8 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Sometimes an amusing and entertaining story like this lifts the spirit. Loved the old King 'Rusty butt'

Lawrence


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 8 months ago Author

Lawrence, thank you. I'm glad to lift your spirit. It seems like most people want to read moody, brooding stories. I like to entertain and to make people laugh at the ridiculous.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 8 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

MzB.....First try at Flash fiction? Amazing! I do believe you know what you're doing! Clever story. The video is great! What a walk down Memory Lane.....the old "Sonny & Cher Show." How different she looked back then and those OUTFITS! Oh my! LOL

It was kind of bitter sweet to watch them singing together....I could see how much Sonny loved Cher. Rest his soul.

Thanks for the entertainment MzB.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 7 months ago Author

Thanks for the compliment, Paula. I may try my hand at more, we'll see. I loved Sonny and Cher and was disappointed when they split. I hated it when he went into politics because he was so talented.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 7 months ago from England

lol! I loved your story! I read it out for more affect! great start to your flash fiction and I hope to read some more, nell


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 7 months ago Author

Thanks, Nell. I do have another in the works, more of a writing exercise, so it's not fantasy. Just more like stuff that other people are writing. I would really love to do fantasy, but I'll have to wait until my Johnny Depp/Keith Richards muse brings me more.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 7 months ago from England

lol! good luck Miz, and thanks for the laugh about spotted....well you know! LOL!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 7 months ago Author

Nell, thanks!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 7 months ago from Central Florida

Such a cute story, MizB. Your first attempt at flash fiction is a hit!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 7 months ago Author

Thanks, Shauna, I really appreciate the comment. My humor usually gets a little splash and then HP shelves it. I've written another since then, and it's a little more serious in keeping with what I've observed to be HP readers' preference.


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 6 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Ha ha lovely story. I was trying very hard to leave a comment on your post: My First and Worst Mothers Day of all, but the link directed me to another site and It will not let me sign in with my hubpage account?

Loved reading your first mother's day experience. So you lasted 10 years in that marriage. Wow! I giggled at your revenge tactic. Good on you!

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