Why is it that the end of summer is the busiest time of the year? For our ancestors it was because the harvest needed bringing in and storing away. For us, here in the north anyway, I suppose August to September is a time of transitions — a change of season, the start of a new school year, the end of summer vacations and watermelon holidays, time to prime the furnace and cover the swamp cooler, time to give the car one last pre-salted-roads waxing, time to haul out the sweaters and galoshes and put away the sandals and swishy sundresses.
That busy-ness caught Flash Fiction Online unawares as well, leaving you, kind reader, flash-fiction-less for the month of August.
Never fear. Instead you get twice the fun, twice the tears, twice the imagination for this, our August/September issue.
We begin with a tribute to two people near and dear to Flash Fiction Online — and all in one story. We are pleased to give Stefanie Freele, author of James Brown Is Alive and Doing Laundry in South Lake Tahoe (one of my personal favorite FFO stories of all time) and The Flood of ’09, the honor of returning with another fabulous story — this one a tribute to long-time FFO contributor and columnist, Bruce Holland Rogers. How Did I Get Here Bruce is a surprising foray into the idea that maybe mild-mannered Bruce isn’t as mild-mannered as we like to think.
Also this month, Abigail Shaw gives us Outside the Chase, a love triangle of sorts, involving a man, a woman, and Death.
For this issue’s Classic Flash, I’ve chosen another love story — this one with a surprising ending — The Lie, by Holloway Horn, originally published in Harper’s Bazaar in 1922.
Next, in tribute to the millions of children beginning school in the northern hemisphere, we bring two child-centered tales.
Katherine Clardy’s Vet takes social work to a whole new level, in which one little girl has a very unusual ’teddy bear,’ and in which a veterinarian doesn’t just take care of the needs of puppies and kittens.
Then a deeply moving tale that cuts to the heart of the grim reality of bullying in Shane Rhinewald’s horror/fantasy, Good As New.
So, we have a little something for everyone. Humor, romance, fantasy, horror. We hope you enjoy. No, more than enjoy. We hope you FEEL. For that is what makes a story more than just a story.
Suzanne Vincent — an old fat lady from the heart of Mormondom — ekes out a little spare time to crank out the occasional interesting story, usually with a somewhat deranged bent, but softened by an undercurrent of spirituality. She writes about her interests, which range far and wide: history, “low” fantasy, really good psychological horror, tattoos, Indonesian puppets, fortune cookies, mirrors, and a particular soft spot for old and/or unfamiliar fairy tales, myths, and legends. A 2005 graduate of Orson Scott Card’s Literary Boot Camp, she regrets not having begun her study of the writing craft while in her youth. “I Speak the Master’s Will” was featured in the first issue of Flash Fiction Online, and “The Cleansing” appeared in November 2008. She has also been previously published at anotherealm.com, and her story “Strange Love” was published in audio form at Drabblecast.
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