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Sin by Max Garland

It hovered in the glowing tips of my unmarried uncles’ cigarettes. And in the red, rounded tops of lipstick tubes. It smelled, not sweet like lilies of the valley or hyacinths, but more like the insides of purple irises or, stranger, like azaleas or hawthorn blossoms—not bad, but definitely not all that good. It sounded […]

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Cannery Row Prologue by John Steinbeck

I spent last week in California roaming the central coast from a home base on Cannery Row in Monterey. You can’t avoid John Steinbeck in Monterey since several of his novels take place there, which brought Cannery Row to my attention and this marvelously drawn prologue: Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, […]

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To Do by Jennifer Egan

I am intrigued and inspired by lists as a story form. By nature, they are quintessential flash writing. At the moment, I am forlorn with how difficult it is to tell a good story via a list.  Making a list is easy since I live by them and come from a long line of expert list […]

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Absent Without Leave by Susan Bradley Smith

The featured flash story this month comes from the European Journal of Life Writing and is by Australian author Susan Bradley Smith.  I just ordered Susan’s latest book of lyric poetry, Super Modern Prayer Book, which was shortlisted for several distinguished literary awards. Here’s the first passage of Absent, which begins in the Brisbane airport […]

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Last Night, the Little Dipper Looked Like … by Ethel Rohan

I fell in love this week with 100 Word Story, a literary journal of “perfect shards”, an exemplar of form that allows the writer “to keep a story free from explanation” – a distinction of flash writing.  To pick the Spotlight story for August, I wrote the titles of the first eight stories featured on […]

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Camping Box by Marsha Chandler

Crawling into bed and settling my face next to the screen, I was tired but closed my eyes only briefly. This summer traveling across the country, my cousin and I are sleeping in a box on top of the car made by my engineering-wiz grandpa.  The first day on the road was long, even the distraction […]

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Behind the Screen by Jo Ann Beard

I’m looking at the backs of all their heads.  They’re sitting on lawn chairs in the dusk and so am I, only their lawn chairs are on the lawn while mine is on the enclosed back porch.  I have to look at the back of their heads through the screen.  We’re waiting for the fireworks […]

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Race Point by Janet MacFadyen

… To celebrate the arrival of summer vacation season and walks with the dog on the beach at sunset — and the turning of the world in general — I bring you a lyrical flash story by Janet MacFayden published at Sweet literary journal. Race Point by Janet MacFayden Almost sunset. The earth hangs by a […]

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The Fine Art of Piddling by Rick Bragg

If you are a piddler, or if piddling runs in your family, you’ve got to treat yourself to this story. If you don’t know what piddling is, or you have great disdain for piddling, you will still love this story.  Only Rick Bragg, and his Pulitzer prose, can bestow piddling with the reverence it deserves. […]

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Afterimage by Beth Gilstrap

A soft spot in my heart for Oregon initially made me begin reading this story, and then it grabbed me like all good flash stories do.  See what you think … Afterimage by Beth Gilstrap begins like this: I turned a container of Morton’s over on a slug. The thumb-thick figure writhed and shrank. It moved […]

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Trying Too Hard by Morgan Padgett

When I was nine, my parents leased a horse for me at a small country stable outside Corvallis, Oregon. Cashmere was her name. The freedom to walk to the stable and ride her whenever I pleased was a new luxury and became the focus of my summer. She was a young Arabian with a beautiful […]

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The Rooster by Kerry Headley

I love this funny little story by Kerry Headley.  She explains its origin: “I responded to the theme ‘Craigslist Roommate.’ Since I’ve had more than my share of not so sane housemates, it was easy for me to come up with something. In fact, it was hard to choose.” See this and more great flash stories in […]

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