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January 2008

We started the year off right. Eric Garcia  — you know him, right? the guy who thinks “hard-boiled mysteries” and “dinosaurs in latex disguises” go together? — took us on a 1,000-word fantasy romp called “The Materialist”. Stefanie Freele gave us “James Brown is Alive and Doing Laundry in South Lake Tahoe”, an up-close look into a family — and a moment that turned strain into laughter. Beth Wodzinski brought us from conflict to love with “The Human Clockwork”. And Rod M. Santos gave us the story that won the Liberty Hall Writers' Workshop year-end flash contest, a light fantasy piece called “Speed Dating and Spirit Guides”.

Of course, we also had a classic flash, this one from Bolesław Prus: “Mold of the Earth”. And please enjoy the great art from R.W. Ware.

Flash 1/2008, #1: Eric Garcia

The Materialist

Dr. Albrecht woke from his afternoon nap to find himself on fire. At least, that’s how it felt: like someone had taken an acetylene torch and given his body a good talking-to. In the seconds it took him to wake, scream, and leap from the cot, tearing off his nightshirt and batting wildly at flames that, to his surprise, did not seem to exist, Albrecht came to the conclusion that the source of his agony went deeper than a bit of charred flesh.

His reflection in the bathroom mirror gave him his first clue: his skin shimmered. . . . Read more: HTML PDF MP3 

Flash 1/2008, #2: Stefanie Freele

James Brown is Alive and
Doing Laundry in South Lake Tahoe

Stu is driving to South Lake Tahoe to take his post-partum-strained woman to the snow, to take his nine-week-old infant through a storm, to take his neglected dog in a five hour car ride, and to take himself into his woman’s good graces. And he’s hungry. Even though Stu has considered, more than once, stopping the car on the whitened highway and plunging himself over a cliff so he could plop into a cozy pile of snow and hide until his wife is logical again or the baby is able to tend to itself, he’s not dressed warmly enough for months or years in a snowbank, he has no snacks in his jacket, and he must focus on The Family. Read more: HTML PDF MP3 

Flash 1/2008, #3: Beth Wodzinski

The Human Clockwork

Every morning, the Human Clockwork arrived at the park promptly at 6:25. He’d set up his clock face behind his pedestal and then he’d arrange himself in front of it, and by 6:30 he’d have his arms just so, pointing straight at his feet. It was his duty to keep perfect time, and he never failed.

But this morning, there was a woman in his spot when he arrived at the park. He blinked at her, as if blinking would make her disappear, but no matter how quickly he blinked, she was still there. In his spot. Immovable. Impossible. Read more: HTML PDF 

Flash 1/2008, #4: Rod M. Santos

Speed Dating and Spirit Guides

“I can do this,” I told my squirrel. If Babycheeks — my totem and spirit-guide — answered, it was lost beneath the bar’s raucous gabble of small talk and pick-up lines.

A hostess with shiny teeth and a clipboard approached. “Are you here for Insta-Date?”

“Yeah.” My voice squeaked. “I pre-registered. Joseph Ahanu.”

“That’s a pretty name. Hawaiian?”

“Algonquin.”

“Go ahead and sit at table H. . .” Read more: HTML PDF 

Classic Flash #2: Bolesław Prus

Mold of the Earth

One time I happened to be in Puławy with a certain botanist. We were seating ourselves by the Temple of the Sibyl on a bench next to a boulder grown over with mosses or molds which my learned companion had been studying for several years.

I asked what he found of interest in examining the irregular splotches of beige, grey, green, yellow or red?

He looked at me distrustfully but, persuaded that he had before him an uninitiated person, he proceeded to explain. . . Read more: HTML PDF 

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