A year ago, the wonderful Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal published this surrealist flash fiction of mine, so to honor the event, I am reprinting it here. I hope you enjoy!
A full year ago today, I was honored to have this flash fiction published by Gingerbread House Literary Magazine. This is my personal favorite of my work, so to celebrate its anniversary I am reprinting it here. I hope you enjoy! 🙂
Rain fell the day he went to the shore, to see the place where his wife left him. Grey weighted the clouds like sacks full of stones, sagging closer and closer to the sea. Grey upon grey, water upon water, the sea and sky took hands. The way he once took hers.
She never held his hand long. Always wrenching from his grasp, her flesh still as slippery as a seal. Sometimes she would oblige him, sit shaking like a penned animal as he made hushing noises and rubbed her knuckles with his thumbs.
Please let me love you, he would say. I’ve earned it. I found your skin.
One full year ago, the awesome Jersey Devil Press published this flash fiction of mine. I decided to reprint it here to celebrate the occasion. Hope you enjoy!
The purple monkey hugs my kneecap with his armpit. Squashed into my front is the yellow dinosaur, her spinal ridges prickling my belly every time she shifts. The blue elephant’s hindquarters press against my ear, which is unpleasant, but not as much as the child’s face flattened against the glass.
In case you ever got the ridiculous impression that I am suave, let me clear that right up for you with a story.
In either 2007 or 08, I went to a live reading by David Sedaris. Perhaps you know him? Writes hilarious personal essays, often appears on the radio show This American Life, does an uncanny impression of Billie Holliday… Anyway, I first became a fan around 2003 when I read Me Talk Pretty One Day, and have giggled over several of his books since.
Naturally, I was excited to hear him read at Royce Hall in Los Angeles. I got to the theatre way too early and ended up milling around outside for a while. It was pretty empty – one of the few others there was this man wandering around by himself, eating a sandwich. There was something peculiar about him, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Maybe it was the flagrancy of his sandwich-eating. Like who does he think he is, right? Just eating a sandwich, like, right there? Doesn’t he know he’s about to see a David Sedaris reading?
I’m fuzzy on the details, probably because I blew up in a cloud of awkwardness, but what happened next was the man finished his meal, went around chatting to people who were now arriving, eventually made it to me and the person I came with, talked with us while I was like “why is this stranger talking to us, what’s his deal,” and then finally introduced himself as…
… David Sedaris.
~ a fictional letter-story ~
To the woman on the bench left of the crabapple tree by the fountain, who wears that coat with all the buttons and I think has black hair but might just have really dark brown hair, and who yesterday was looking much sadder than usual —
Last Thursday I got two acceptance letters for short stories in one day.
Seriously, what weird cosmic fluke is this!? This isn’t me. Who am I? What planet am I on? How does… That is… What!
I am very, greatly, extremely, utterly, and all sorts of other adverbs excited to announce that I’m having another short story published! (I’m reigning in the urge to use a ton more exclamation points. Fight it, Shannon… Fight it… ! …… !! …… !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! aw dang it)
Okay, writers. Grab your electrolytes-infused sports drink, because we’re about to karate chop some GREATNESS into your manuscript! Right now your “story” may feel more like a BORE-y, am I right? But with these ten simple tips, your book can become the belle of the bookshop, guaranteed.