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 sister site to this one, the A Bunch of Wordz 2 Literary Blogazine, has died. Or rather, I killed it. It just wasn’t taking off, while this site has been. I’m also in talks with b5media to do a blog for their Beauty & Style channel (yay!), so it just made sense to put my time into the areas where it will be the most useful. (If you’ve been following my posts for awhile now, you know I’ve been trying very hard to get on the b5media team.)
In case you haven’t visited or didn’t know about the second site, here are the original works that were posted:
- Six Kinds of Fool (Poem) — I actually did a write up previously about the author, M.C. Bruce. A very talented guy, formerly from my neck of the woods (“the O.C.”).
- Sand (Flash Fiction) — Pavelle Wesser delivers a scorching piece of fiction.
- Cinderella’s Diary Page 44 (Poem) — LOVED this poem in which Kimberly D. Robinson brings a new twist to the Cinderella story.
- Every House is a World (Flash Fiction) — a quiet and satisfying, slice-of-life type piece by Christopher Woods.
Take a few minutes to browse through these great, original works.
Bruce Holland Rogers is a prolific, talented, and award-winning writer. He has a unique setup on the web where, for a very small fee, you can get 3 of his short short stories a month sent to your email account. There are different types of discounts available, including one for just plain being broke.
Many of the stories will eventually end up in various publications, but you will see them first. This seems to me like a great bargain for fans, and once you’ve read his stories, you will be a fan.
Here is an excerpt from a piece called “The Dead Boy at Your Window”:
“His voice was like the rasping of dry leaves. Because it was so hard to hear him, the teacher made all the other students hold their breaths when he gave an answer. She called on him often, and he was always right.”
You can read the full text of The Dead Boy at Your Window at a website called Tales of the Decongested (which features London-based authors) or on Bruce Holland Rogers’ website. His site features free samples of his work and various links, including one to his blog.