Flash fiction is a term for an extremely short story. The length can vary between one sentence and a couple of pages. Depending on whom you ask, the maximum length can be anywhere from 300 to 1000 words.

There are several competitions for flash fiction. Often the rules for these contests give specific word counts, like 42 or 69; entrants who miss the mark are disqualified. Other contests give a list of what must be contained in the story, the winner being the one who fits all of those criteria while producing the shortest story. These stories are often only one or two sentences long.

This is a type of ProseFiction; more information can be found at [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_fiction "the other wiki"]]. Compare {{Drabble}}. A subtrope of {{Minimalism}} and ConstrainedWriting.

[[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Has nothing to do with]] FanFic of {{Franchise/The Flash}}. Or fiction run in UsefulNotes/AdobeFlash.

Compare BeigeProse.

* ''Literature/AesopsFables'' are probably the earliest example of flash fiction.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov was a master of this. He once wrote a story [[ExcuseMeWhileIMultitask while giving a TV interview]]
* ''Flash'' is a flash fiction magazine published the University of Chester Press in Chester. It was established in 2008. It accepts submissions for publication by any author on any topic. The editors are Professor Ashley Chantler and Professor Peter Campbell.
* ''Literature/ThereAreNoWindowsInACocoon'' is a collection of very short flash fiction.
* Greg van Eekhout has written several [[http://www.writingandsnacks.com/storygrenades/ Story Grenades]]
* A [[http://www.snopes.com/language/literary/babyshoes.asp (probably fictitious)]] anecdote claims that Creator/ErnestHemingway once won a bet to write a short story that was only six words long with the following:
-->[[Literature/HemingwaysSixWordStory For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.]]
* István Örkény has an entire collection of them, called ''One Minute Stories''. The shortest one is called [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Blank Page]] - although it does come with a disclaimer stating that he didn't really have anything to say in it, so he leaves it open for interpretation. Another is merely two words, and an LongTitle.
** Yet another called "Stamp" consists of a single stamp with the sentence written along the edge: "To hell with everything".
* Creator/FranzKafka wrote several very short stories; one called [[https://en.wikisource.org/?curid=114463 Give it up!]] could be used to represent his entire work.
* ''Literature/TheUglyBarnacle'' could be considered as one of this.
* ''El Dinosaurio'' (The Dinosaur) by Augusto Monterroso is said to be the shortest story ever: "Cuando despertó, el dinosaurio todavía estaba allí." A close translation is: "When he/she/it (Spanish doesn't require specification) woke up, the dinosaur was still there."
* ''[[Literature/UncleJohnsBathroomReader Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Presents Flush Fiction]]'' is a collection of 87 stories under 1000 words long. Given where the stories are supposed to be read, that's probably the perfect length.
* ''El emigrante'' by Luis Felipe Lomelí is only four words long: "¿Olvida usted algo?" "¡Ojalá!" ("Did you forget anything?" "I wish!")
* Kevin G. Bufton penned [[http://www.microhorror.com/microhorror/author/kevin-g-bufton/small-ad/ the world's shortest horror story]] in a mere six words.
-->Coffin for sale. One previous owner.
* Though not itself an example, Creator/FredricBrown's ''Knock'' mentions one:
-->There is a sweet little horror story that is only two sentences long:
-->"The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock at the door."
** Brown later realised he could make it even shorter but just as scary:
-->"The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a ''lock'' on the door."
* Inspired by the [[Literature/HemingwaysSixWordStory "six word story" apocryphally attributed to Hemingway]], [[http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.11/sixwords.html here's]] a collection of six-word stories by several famous writers, including Creator/NeilGaiman, Creator/OrsonScottCard, Creator/JossWhedon, and Creator/AlanMoore.
* An old joke has it that a writing teacher once assigned a story combining themes of religion, royalty, mystery, and sex. A student managed to accomplish all this in just one sentence:
--> "My God," said the Queen, "who's that touching my leg?"
* Most of Creator/HansVonHozel's works, they are quite short.
* ''Fanfic/LoveAtFirstSight'' is...brief.
--> They banged. The End.
* ''Literature/GrandpaGray'' by Creator/CassHollander is only 68 words long.
* ''Literature/FlyingWithSanta''