Because I can’t write poetry …

…  I tried my hand at micro fiction. The path that lead me to it was when my interest in the genre of flash fiction was rekindled recently. Flash fiction or the short short story as it is called is a brisk business – around 1000 words and the job is done. Micro fiction takes this challenge even further – generally up to 200 words will seal the deal. The trick lies in making these limited words shine. It is like preparing a single alluring cupcake from a cup of flour.

Nevertheless, it provided a refreshing change and an exciting opportunity. Reading micro fiction felt like enjoying a small piece of candy instead of devouring a big meal and writing it was a good excuse for not being able to do poetry!

Here is my attempt at micro fiction which was published in an online magazine called ‘6MM – Six Minute Magazine’ that encourages this sharp and focused form. My piece is titled ‘Small Talk’ and is a conversation between a man and a woman in a bar. The man is a dashing fellow and the woman is clearly attracted to him but something is eating him at the moment, something from his dark past …


                                                                              Small Talk

“I grew up in a rough neighborhood.” He says matter-of-factly, as if expecting this piece of information to be guessed easily by anyone merely glancing towards his clean-shaven, slick-haired, suit-clad self.

“How rough?” ask her glossy red lips, the heady fragrance of his aftershave mingled with the alcohol on his breath making her lean forward expectantly.

 “Have you ever seen a man getting shot?” He takes a slow sip and turns the glass of whiskey around in his hand, admiring the bar lights striking off its crystal-cut body, waiting for an answer, but not from her.

“I have. In the head. And he was my best friend.”


You can find the magazine issue that my piece appeared in at

'Small Talk' micro fiction published in 6MM

About Deepti Nalavade Mahule

Originally from India, I reside in California, where I spend time developing software, feeding books to my two children and submitting my short fiction. View samples of my writing on —
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8 Responses to Because I can’t write poetry …

  1. Anonymous says:

    Crisp, sudden, powerful, speechless! My 4 word salute!
    Now can I have my cupcake?! 🙂
    P.S.: That’s why I rely on the weather for small talk ;p

  2. Rinzu Susan says:

    A lovely polished and crisp piece of micro fiction it was! The only microfiction I ever wrote, was published in the same mag! Congratulations for the lil literary achievement! 🙂

  3. Sourav says:

    Liked your attempt at micro-fiction. 🙂 How about this slightly alternate ending?
    “I have. In my bed. And he was my best friend.”

  4. I enjoyed the shock value in the closing line. Keep it up!

    And I’m glad you explained what micro-fiction and flash- fiction is all about as many are yet unaware of it.

    I have written ’70 words’ short stories.

    You can read them here

    My longer works are here

    And poems here

    Would love ur feedback!

    Keep writing!

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