Playing Dice With The Issue
We’ve seen Dave Hoing in these pages before, early in the magazine’s history: His story “Souls of the Harvest” and essay “The Hand of the Dead” were in early issues of Flash Fiction Online. His voices have included farmers and, indirectly, immigrants. This time it’s freed slaves during the American Civil War. “Is, Not Mighta Been” is about a chance meeting and its meaning, or lack of meaning. I’ll let you decide which one it is.
While we’re at it, we’d like to congratulate Dave on the recent publication of his novel, Hammon Falls. He says, “It’s set primarily in Iowa between 1910-1940, with spatial stopovers in Paris, Dublin, Chicago, and Buffalo, plus occasional temporal side trips into present day. Written in literary style, with nary a whiff of fantasy or science fiction, its structure nevertheless uses some of the techniques of genre fiction.”
Back to our stories. Chance also plays a role in “The Numbers Game” by Michael Aaron. This starts off like stereotypical sword-and-sorcery, but there’s an unusual reason that everything seems to fall into place just so.
Even our Classic Flash starts off with a bet, and although that’s not the point of the story, the ending left me saying, “Figure the odds.” It was written by turn-of-the-20th-century novelist and short story writer Elliott Flower. Never heard of him? Me, neither, but he was quite well known in his day, and I enjoyed this story — first published no later than 1916 — quite a bit. It’s a great example of an ending that makes you think it’s a twist, and then takes the twist just a little bit farther.
Bruce Holland Rogers is back this month, with two related fixed forms that he calls “prose sonnets”. He has two exemplars, “The Invisible Man” — I really like the ending of that one — and “Renaissance”.
As always, please comment (comments are like gold to an author) and tip the authors (money is like gold to an author, too). And a special thank-you to R.W. Ware for his original artwork for “The Numbers Game”!
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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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