A Highly-Focused Story Characterized by its Brevity

I judged the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for the first time tonight. High school writings. Twenty-five pieces of flash fiction from the comfort of my desk and each one went down like dessert. Sad, sad dessert. I read about a room, an empty room in a derelict apartment building where a teenage girl goes to be alone because her father is angry and her mother is dying. I read about an old woman living in a nursing home who still pours tea for the daughter who never came home after being pushed out of the house to go play. I read about a boy with OCD who won't leave the house but whose mother thinks is doing just fine. About a kid longing for the day when he won't get beat up. About the mother with breast cancer; the father with lung cancer. 

I wrote about needing new pants in high school. Pants.