Sometimes sudden fiction blurs the line between the short short story and poetry. Walking Upside Down, John Ravenscroft’s previous winner of the Storycove Flash Fiction Award, is one such piece. Personally, I think this would read better as a long poem than a flash fiction story, but no matter how it’s presented, there’s no denying it’s a fantastic piece of writing. It starts out:
“In my dreams, the good ones, Mary Iris McCormack – Mim for short – is forever doing handstands, her knees bent, her feet planted flat against the redbrick playground wall. The skirt of her school uniform hangs like a soft green bell about the half-hidden clapper of her head, and when she turns to face me I see strange, knowing, upside-down eyes…”
You can read the flash fiction story “Walking Upside Down” in its entirety at the online literary journal, Word Smitten.
So what do you think? Is it a story or is it a poem?
Check out Teresa Valle’s flash fiction story, Watermelon Goblins, on her blog, Cuentos, Little Stories by Teresa. (Note: the link points to the full poem which has a couple of slightly off-color words. Nothing major, but I like to warn people.)
Here is an excerpt:
There’s a story everybody tells about a box that should never be opened, and in the story of course somebody always opens it and then things happen. This is a story told by all the people of the world, is what my grandmother always said. In some stories the box is made of gold, or pewter, or brass. In some it is made of woven rushes, or thin porcelain or wood. In my grandmother’s version, the box is made of mud, and inside the box lives a storyteller also made of mud. He is a mud goblin, with reaching hands and a large slobbering mouth.
It’s a pleasantly rambling story, yet it is still cohesive in its own quirky way. It almost reads like creative nonfiction, except it’s creative fiction. Teresa admits to “blenderizing fact and fiction” in her About Me page, so who knows, part of it could be nonfiction. She also shares on her About Me page that her brothers have enormous foreheads but that her and her iguana have relatively small ones.
The flash fiction story, Statistical Evidence by Hugh Cook, begins:
“‘Another bloody werewolf!’ said Doctor Blix. Where the hell were they all coming from? ‘Okay, give him the usual, and I’ll take a look at him tomorrow.’
This was worrying. So far, the only thing they had found which could control lycanthropy was Voodozlin-X, and their stocks were running low.”
Read the rest of this story at the link above or read more of this New Zealand writer’s poems, stories, and even some complete sci-fi fantasy novels at his website, Zenvirus.com. You can also visit his blog, Hugh Cook — Cancer Patient, at hughcook.blogspot.com.
Prick of the Spindle is a brand new online literary journal featuring poetry, fiction, drama, creative nonfiction, and literary reviews. It’s off to a good start with solid pieces and a simple yet creative layout. I’m thinking about submitting some of my work to them. Here are some brief snippets of what Prick of the Spindle has to offer.
Poetry — This town with the train and the prison on the top of the hill by Susanna Fry:
“black spots and stripes
this rooftop town
of poison ivy and open windows
The poem is done in 6 parts, offering 6 unique views of the town. I like the way this was done.
Fiction — Writing My Angel by Corey Messler:
“His face wore the countenance I have seen in nightmares where those who love me turn on me like formerly tame wolves.”
A piece of micro fiction. Every sentence is engaging. Very well written.
Creative Nonfiction — Tectonic Synapses by Derek Ramsey Holst:
“As you hang there waiting for all the blood in your body to pool in the center of your brain, you think names like, Hemingway, Dickinson, and Poe. You ask the question everyone asks, were they writers because they were crazy, or were they crazy because they were writers?”
This piece seems random at first as it circles around and around until you see how all the pieces fit together at the end.
Do check out this online lit mag as it has a lot to offer.
Mystorypage.com is one guy’s flash fiction, micro fiction, and graphic fiction. He doesn’t post his name, but his email says Giles. Here’s a story told in 100 words called “The Sale”:
“Nice car! Can I buy it?” He asked.
“Now?” I say.
“Now, including everything in it. I’ll pay you double what it’s worth.”
I look around the car, finding nothing of real value.
“OK” I say, “but I need to get home first.”
He follows me home and I sign a hasty contract whilst sat in the driver’s seat.
Inside my house my dog starts barking as I hand back the contract.
In his hand the man holds a studded dog collar.
“My dog wasn’t in the car!” I protest.
“Your dog wasn’t.” he says and reaches for my throat.
Read more of (Giles?) stories at mystorypage.com. He also posts stuff by others if you want to submit something.