Flash fiction is big right now, but what about micro-fiction? This tiny format almost borders on poetry at times and seeks to make the biggest impact in the fewest words – something all too familiar to the ‘Twitter’ generation. Last week, we asked our community to create for us a story with no more than 29 words – on the theme of “ROAD TRIP”. And in just one day we received almost a thousand entries!
We have read them all and discovered that most seem to fit into three loose categories – happy or nostalgic road trips, hated or uncomfortable road trips, and well, downright DARK tales where people are either killed or about to be! So, on that cheery note, here is a selection of our favourites – enjoy!
Packed into the car like they themselves were luggage, the Fosters bickered. The broken air conditioner gave Mary a headache, and the permanently silent radio drove the rest mad.
– Artie Kuyper
I never saw it coming. A road trip is normally brilliant, but not this one. If I’d have seen the stone I wouldn’t have fallen flat on my face!
– Mikey Mike
Dusty feet, dusty swag, dusty heart. Left or Right. Return to those left behind or keep right on going. Damn the road, damn the dust, damn my heart. Right.
– Simon Lewis
Sitting in the back
My cousin and I
There is no engine in this car
But we are driving fast
To a place unknown
The car was a prison. I had waited months for this; now I wanted out. How can something be romantic when you don’t have a choice?
‘Smile,’ he said.
– Marie N
Freedom. Feeling the warmth of the sun. Fresh breeze tickling my cheeks. I’m alive. I don’t want to go back. I’ve lost everyone. I have to keep moving.
– Brigitta Hegyi
The endless, winding road. The smell of her hair on the wind. The warmth of her hand.
‘No better place,' I smile, tilting the urn out the drivers window.
– Fionna Cosgrove
I studied the Mexican map.
“We’re in Progreso.”
Mom looked confused. “Near the ocean?”
I shook my head. “The Gulf.”
Her mouth fell open. “We took a wrong turn.”
– Leah Mueller
Zip through the fresh air. Trash by the road? Dinner. Yum.
Sun on my wings. Eyes close. Air rushes.
Uh oh. Wind sucking. Truck coming. Windshield too close!
We heard a clunk and saw a part of the engine roll down the steep hill in Scotland.
“Do we need that?” he asked.
“I’m not sure,” she replied.
– Catherine Sheridan
“Mommmmeeeeeee! Hayden hit me!!!”
“Those were cows. You lose.”
– Al Peel
Car chewing up long roads scenery a constant blur. My mind wandering the lanes of memory. For one last kiss before your soul travels roads beyond this life.
– Melly Farek
Palms are sweaty on the wheel. It’s pitch black on the road. I pull over and lock the doors. A scared voice asks “why have we stopped?” I smile.
– Madison Paull
I squint, attempting to decipher the lines on the map.
The Grim Reaper, one hand on the wheel, looks over.
“Don’t worry”, he smiles, “I know the way home.”
– Belinda Saville
Up at dawn, car packed, cat kenneled, coffee in a sippy cup, tires checked, GPS on, open road beckons, but hark! Covid restrictions. Back to bed.
– Susan DeSandoli
“Are we nearly there yet?” Just twenty minutes into the journey shortly followed by, “I really need a wee.”
“Oh Dad, cross your legs and concentrate on your driving!”
– Michael Wright
“Can you find a red car?”
“How many cows are there?”
“You all have enough biscuits.”
“Don’t kick my seat!”
“Don’t pinch your brother!”
We need a bigger car.
– Meg Warrington
Three kids crammed in the backseat fighting and parents half arguing in the front. What I would give for that time back? I miss the closeness of it all.
– Nadya Sotnychuk
“Help! Let me out!” the mumbled voice came from the boot.
“Be there soon!” Annie yelled out in her sweetest voice from behind the wheel. Best road trip ever.
– Natalie Coleiro
Years saving, months planning, routes debated, hotels booked.
Car serviced, clothes packed, windows checked, doors locked – we’re off!
Rain falling, wipers wiping, hours driving, seconds dozing…
…blue lights flashing.
– James Dunford
It was just perfect, finally, she was on a trip down the coast with the man she loved. The wind in her hair, her gun in his ribs. Perfect.
– Melissa Brown
My ankle dangles out the window playfully.
I catch him looking and smile. He smiles back.
I'll do it soon. He should know better than to pick up hitchhikers.
– Tarik Bacchus
blurry green blurry green house cow cow cow house blurry green horse cow horse horse cow windmill house screech kangaroo carcass blurry green
– Bruna Gomes
A list of forgotten items, remembered during the road trip.
My drink bottle.
Enough booze to last the holiday.
Your hands. One on the steering wheel, the other caressing my thigh. A white circle of skin on your wedding finger. In the rearview, I watch the past disappear.
– Selina Hill
Freshly licensed, she was excited about the drive. She never saw the Semi in her blindspot.
She made it, just barely. Now she's got a new set of wheels.
– Rajko Bacchus
Dad yells “ROAD TRIP!” We grab our bags and hop in the car. We are so happy, yes we are! A year of adventure … I wonder how far?
– Hamo (11 years old)
The Irish backroads had enough of rain and recessions. Feeling neglected, unloved and wet, they tripped off, leaving pot-holed, grassy byways behind. I hope they're somewhere nice and dry.
– Mary Sheehan
Did I turn the iron off?
Did I turn the iron off?
Did I turn the iron off?
Did I turn the iron off?
Turn the car around.
– Kristy Schirmer
We all like to travel. We love to see all the places in Australia.
– Leo (8 years old)
Yellow car spotting game. Road trip Melbourne to Sydney. First yellow car just south of Gundagai. Road trip Sydney to Orange. Thirteen yellow cars. No kidding.
– Diane Wilson
Stacking, packing, listing, tracking.
You need to be prepared when you're backpacking.
Time to go, let's get cracking.
Stop the car! there is something lacking.
You forgot the kids!
– Chris Hall
Regret. Such a gnawing feeling of your insides, particularly when it could've been avoided. Why did I do it? No one needs to watch Road Trip a second time.
– Samuel Foster
The road to Jindabyne was long and winding, interrupted only by a thump from the boot.
“What’s that,” asked Jerome.
“A cliche,” answered Denise.
– Lynette Minucos
Gumtrees coalesce against the lip of the highway, our car hosting stained glass windows of green and sky. My brother sees only hours of bore in their bearings, slouching.
“We are going on a road trip.” I said. I couldn't understand what she was trying to say but, I guess her muffled screams meant she was excited too.
Reaching the lookout, she got out of the car and walked to the seashore, inhaling deeply.
The fresh, tangy sea breeze and the waves' crashing sounds replenishing her soul.
611 kilometres. Comfortable silence. Grey tarmac. Red dust. The odd tree, standing lonely. It was the return journey she was dreading. Alone herself. After she’d said goodbye.
– Louise McNee
“What’s a bastard, Mum?” Six-year old Lily’s voice filled the void after the engine stalled yet again.
“Your father!” Mum replied bitterly, “for taking us on this road trip.”
– Helen Manias
A mist rose like ghosts in a cemetery, obscuring my view. Missing the sign, my car left the road and floated momentarily. The weightlessness before the plunge was unbearable.
– Rita Riebel Mitchell
Mum nudged me awake. It was early, before dawn. I shivered in excitement. Outside, the car already packed. Dad liked to be on the road before the morning traffic.
– Tiffany Plummer
I had never seen this man in my life. I didn't even know who he was. But yet, he had promised me candy.
The radio weather report painted a picture of blue skies and bright sunshine with amazing surf.
Through the windscreen the kilometres of cars not moving was not as scenic.
– Ray See
The “quick drink down the pub” somehow became beers in Ballarat, then bourbons in Bordertown. John never remembered reaching Adelaide, but when he awoke he was unemployed and single.
– Marc Howard
We give up. What do you spy, with your little eye, beginning with “L”?'
‘That's it! I'm turning this car around right now!'
– Andrew R. Krey
About the journey not the destination.
Every day a new location
Bellyaches, spills, service stations
Rattles bumps, aggravation
Tyres now needing inflation
Not about the journey, where's our destination?
– Martin H
Life's road trip endures many bumps, hurdles, bends and dead-ends. Friends come and go, careers fumble, partnerships waver and finances struggle. Life's road trip is what you make it.
– Alison Miller
Mum, why is there poo in shampoo?
Mum, do birds wee when they tweet?
Mum, why does father sound like fart?
Family roads trips. Measured in questions. Not hours.
– Janine Robertson
Dawn, sky shimmering, road winding up between marching sugarcane. At the summit, in fog and shivery air, we watch the slow-sliding green river, searching. Finally, platypus splashing delight
– Danielle Baldock
The engine is rumbling beneath us as the radio begins to crackle. I reach my hand out for the dial. He does too. Our fingers touch and we smile.
– Ellen Milankovic
Breathless, I dismount at the summit, a panorama of beauty in front of me – marred only by one thought: Look what we took from the people of this land.
– Bernice Shepherd
It's the art of going nowhere and everywhere, with someone or no one, in the here, then, when? It's a hair in wind, music tongue, time numb, road ode.
– Tracie Lark
No number of paper plate wheels stopped the cardboard folding inward. The road trip ended before it had begun, triggering a tremendous tantrum that rumbled throughout the house.
– Rachel Cartledge
‘That bank teller was quite lovely.’
Clarence gripped the steering wheel.
‘We’re going to make it. Just me, you, and the open road.’
A police siren blared, closing in.
– E. S. Sibbald
Pass me those chips.
How good’s this song?
We’re almost there. Maybe two hours.
No, you can’t see electricity.
Did we just miss the bloody exit?
– Gem Hathaway
‘Oh, and another one!’
‘Mum you have to say spotto!’
‘Fine! Spotto then.’
Spotto the dead kangaroo was definitely easier than spotto the yellow car.
– Amy Stapleton
Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? NO!
– Sue Brown
The hearse on the freeway seems out of place. A road trip taken after the journey has already ended.
– E.G. Nesbitt
Here? Nah, too close to civilization.
Another eighty clicks.
Here? Nope. Dry riverbed. Could get washed up come the rains.
Open boot. Shovel. Body bag
– Graham Yates
“Don’t be ridiculous. You’ve got the GPS.”
“It’s telling me Perth in WA, not Hobart.”
“Well, which way’s North? We’ll hit water eventually.”
– Wendy Barrett
The mountains and ocean warmly greeted us today, like they really knew us. We drove around those beautiful bends and this time we weren’t just visiting, we were home.
– Doll Quinn
Windows down, zephyrs throw our curls and slice our laughter. We can fall apart later: hurl spite; compare sins borne of chaos. For now, salty air, innocence and invincibility.
– Hayley Young
I drive the long way round, through my childhood and teenage years.
Visiting hours: 2-4. I arrive on time.
Maybe today will be a day you remember my name.
– Fiona McKay
Looking through the window at the landmarks of yet another town, I began to wonder if I’d ever find a home like the one I found in his arms.
Mother was atypically chatty today. I tried, unsuccessfully, to ignore her 100-mile kvetch about my job, my life.
She hardly ever spoke to me when she was alive.
– Michael Seese
A road is not always the shortest distance between two points. Crows fly while we twist and turn. Answers are never straight forward. Crows missed whatever point there was.
– Thomas M Brooks
I write a letter every day and post it home.
People I’ve met on the road, landscapes traversed.
So that when I return, the story of a lifetime awaits.
– Bianca Millroy