The End of the Year
This issue marks the end of our first full year of publishing. It has been a great year for us, with phenomenal stories and tremendous growth. We’re reaching about 5,000 people per month worldwide: Quantcast shows just under that number, while Google Analytics shows about 5,400. Almost 400 of you have subscribed by email (if you haven’t, do that here), and many more subscribe to the RSS feed. Most importantly, most of you read our stories or columns, which is, after all, why we’re here.
I’d like to take a moment to thank the Flash Fiction Online staff for all of their hard work in making this happen. Special thanks to Suzanne Vincent and Mark Freivald for handling the majority of the slush work.
We have some big plans to launch our second year of publishing, but I’ll get to those next issue. For now, I’d like to offer you five great short-short stories.
We published our first, Ray the Vampire by Mercedes M. Yardley, a day early for Halloween. It’s fun — “jazzy”, one of our editors called it — and the lightest of the bunch. (You’re allowed to read it after Halloween, too, by the way.)
The rest of the stories are haunting pieces, a fitting beginning for the winter months.
“The Scientific Method” by Amanda Yskamp touched off a lot of conversation among the editorial staff. It’s a story with a moral question, and it gives one possible answer among many. It sticks with me.
“The Cleansing” marks the return of Suzanne Vincent to our story pages. When I first launched this publication, I remembered seeing “I Speak The Master’s Will” at an online workshop, and I asked her if I could publish it in our premiere issue. (It’s also a moody and disturbing piece: I think I’m sensing a trend.) Since then, she has become a staff member and written a useful article on speculative flash fiction writing, and her story “Strange Love” was recently published in Norm Sherman’s excellent podcast Drabblecast. (In case you’re wondering, no, her status as a staff member conferred no privileges on her. We read all entries anonymously, including staff, and most staff submissions get rejected like anyone else’s.)
“The Dead Boy At Your Window” accompanies Bruce Holland Rogers’s Short-short Sighted column. Normally I talk about Bruce’s column first and its accompanying story second, but I’m particularly happy to be reprinting this story: it has an eerie pull and the restless feel of dried leaves to it. No doubt that’s why it won both the Bram Stoker award for horror and the Pushcart Prize for small-press fiction.
Bruce’s column is great as always, too. He focuses on writing fairy tales this month, and he shows his knack for identifying categories while showing how they can be transcended at the same time.
Finally, in honor of our elections here in the United States, I’m reprinting the extremely short (eighty-seven words) story “A Little Fable” by Franz Kafka. It may seem silly, but I was thinking of the word change — so beloved of both Republicans and Democrats this year — and that led me to think of metamorphosis, which led me to Kafka; and this little fable is about change, too, though there are no cockroaches in it. Special thanks to Bob Thurber for calling it to my attention.
Tip the Author
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About the Author
Jake Freivald lives in New Jersey in a house that teems with life: a wife, eight kids, two dogs, two cats, and ten fish. They’re all being neglected right now, so he’s going to stop writing this.
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