Nostalgia City Mysteries

By Mark S. Bacon

Category Archives: flash fiction writers

Flash fiction: baseball

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Today’s flash fiction is a blast from the past.  As baseball season winds down, all but the pitiable D-backs fans–don’t forget the Padres and Braves–are looking to next season. So here’s a chuckle for all fans.

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Platitudinous Pronouncer

“That was a clutch hit,” said the color man. “Eaton hit a rocket. He really came to play. Showed mental toughness.”

Gawd, thought Dick, the play-by-play announcer, was that four in a row? Where’d they dig this guy up?

“You know all the clichés, don’t you, Ron?” Dick said during a commercial break, hoping he’d get the message.

“I call ‘em as I see ‘em,” Ron said slapping Dick on the back.

A week later, Ron was downcast. “They canned me,” he told Dick. “Said I was too trite. Can you beat that?”

“Your career just took a bad hop.”

Faulkner’s ‘Fissures’ filled with strange moments

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Fissures
Grant Faulkner
Press 53    2015
122 pages
Trade paper $14.95

“We all carry so many strange little moments within us,” author Grant Faulkner says in the introduction to his new book of one hundred, 100-word stories. In Fissures he offers weird day dreams, wonderful expressions, stories of love and morality, character studies and other “strange little moments” that will have you rereading, pondering and admiring these delicately crafted vignettes.

Although short tales have been around since Aesop, flash fiction has only recently become an accepted–though evolving–literary genre, and a challenging one, especially if you limit yourself to an arbitrary 100 words. Arbitrary is perhaps not the correct terminology because the 100-word limit fissures-web-optiseems to be the most widely accepted format for flash fiction, though there are others. The arbitrariness lies in selecting this daunting form.

Faulkner’s stories sometimes neared 150 words as he wrote, he explains in the introduction. But with discipline, the excess is removed. And the result is a collection of precise, incredibly creative moments in the lives of Faulkner’s characters.

Faulkner is not a newcomer to the genre. He is founder of the online literary journal, 100 Word Story. He’s also executive director of National Novel Writing Month.

It’s impossible to provide a complete review or synopsis of any 100-word story without almost repeating the story. Instead, let’s talk about the book’s style, subject matter and characters.   In his flash fiction, it’s Faulkner’s sentences that make the stories and it’s his inventive metaphors, similes and his succinct philosophical observations that make the sentences. A few samples:

True lovers are experts at constructing penitentiaries.

He felt like a cheerleader with Tourette Syndrome.

Funny how when Russians speak, it always sounds like someone is going to get killed.

Palm trees swayed like drugged witches… Continue Reading →

Flash fiction, episode two

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I’m pleased to publish the second installment of the flash fiction story “Stone Motor,” about a different kind of rebel band. Each of these pieces is 100 words. If you missed the first story, it’s reproduced below, followed by the second episode.

 Stone Motor

by Jim McCormick

Stone Motor played a gig in the music room of a moss shrouded, antebellum mansion near the Mississippi. Its audience included the usual bland tourists and a blue-haired guide named Maude, who disclaimed the South’s loss in the War between the States. Lately, she’d been trying to poison visitors from up north with complementary mint juleps. Melvin Carnahan of Boston accepted one and he expired as he drove off the plantation. The band’s lead singer was arrested; seems he had a likeness of Jeff Davis tattooed over his heart. Soon after, Maude seized the mike and the rest was history.

civil war stuff

Shortly after joining the band, lead singer and murderess Maude Dossage changed her name; she wanted a stand-alone nom de guerre. Slightly bent in her 80th year, red hair exchanged for blue, she told the Stone Motor boys her name was now Mudd. Sympathy with the Confederate cause persisted; she hatched a plot to do in Brooklyn born drummer, Grant Getty. Mint julep concoction again? No! Too good for Getty. He got it one cool evening when Mudd laced his doobie with strychnine; he never even made it to the bandstand. Thereafter, the smug Miss Mudd doubled on percussion.

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