Four stories I loved: August 30 – Sept. 5

These are four stories I loved reading.

Before The Original Sin by Mileva Anastasiadou in Flash Boulevard
“…in the old days people didn’t cover their mouths or noses, I didn’t believe you, I rolled my eyes to make sure you knew you couldn’t fool me…” Mileva plays with words like a cat, and weaves a beautiful/terrible future.

Cigarettes and Mint by Shelonda Montgomery in Akikiro
“Daddy lost his job, Momma got lupus, and the rent is due…” What runs like steel wire through this piece is the fierce love this family has for each other.

Swimming Pool Blues by Brian Koukol in Hippocampus
“I watched from my pediatric wheelchair as she plucked powdery purple jewels from the vines that hugged the redwood siding of the hillside home my grandpa had built when my dad was still a kid…” This story had me sitting on the couch literally gasping for breath.

Tussaud by Noa Covo in Flashback Fiction
“She grows up in a house of abandoned arms and legs…” I didn’t know a thing about Madame Tussaud beyond the wax museum before I read this piece. Noa Covo effortlessly brings her to life.

Join me next week, for four more fantastic stories.

Four Stories I Loved: August 23 – 29


These are four stories I loved reading.

The Soft Th by Rosaleen Lynch in Janus Literary
“My English teacher counted my ‘you knows’ during a debate and the soft ‘th’ that made ‘dis’ out of ‘this’ and ‘dat’ out of ‘that’…” Want to find out what a 101 word story that effortlessly covers 30 years and makes you want to hug the author feels like? Go read this story by Rosaleen Lynch.

Untameable by Zahirra Dayal
“Sundays smelled like burnt hair because that was when you had your hair tamed…” Zahirra Dayal had me involuntarily saying, “YES!” out loud as I read the last paragraph. I’m just mad it wasn’t book-length. (Write this book, Zahirra, I WILL BUY IT.)

Space Oddity by Mark Stocker in Ellipsis Zine
“Alan next door was that kid – the one always saying stuff, like when he said David Bowie was an old friend of the family on his mum’s side who was forever popping round for tea or just to see how everything was going…” I didn’t have any friends when I was Alan’s age, but if I had I’d have been Alan. Mark Stocker creates a character, a family, and a neighbourhood I believed in with all my heart.

Third Class Superhero by Charles Yu by Mariner Books
“We’re deep in Sunday Afternoon. This neighbourhood is called Luxury Car Commercial. Absolute last place I ever thought we’d be.” This collection of short stories by Charles Yu is funny and sad and my favourite is “Autobiographical Raw Material Unsuitable for the Mining of Fiction”. I mean, I wrote that and then I was like, “Except maybe it was “401(k)”. Or “The Man Who Became Himself”. Or – look! Go read it! It’s fantastic.

Join me next week, for four more wonderful stories.

Four Stories I Loved Reading: August 16 – 22


These are four stories I loved reading.

Machine Love by Joy Kennedy-O’Neill in Flash Fiction Online
“My neighbor spreads a blanket on his grease-stained garage floor, easing down with a grunt…” My partner apologizes to the robot vacuum and says please when he asks the digital assistant to play music. He is definitely going to fare better than I will in the robot wars. Or maybe Joy Kennedy-O’Neill is right, and THIS story is our future…

Being a Zombie by Florence Heap in Maudlin House
“When I wake up I want to eat people and that’s literally all I want…” There is SO MUCH JOY in this zombie story. I read it twice.

Revival Season by Monica West on Simon & Schuster
“We rumbled toward Georgia from the west, the direction from which all great and powerful things originated…” The characters in this book are so multi-faceted. I understood why every single person, even the most awful, made the decisions they made, because Monica West created them with such intelligence and empathy.

Does Your Tattoo Mean Something? by Deirdre Danklin in Nashville Review
“At night, my neighbors’ tattoos come to me and spill all their secrets…” What would your tattoos say if they could talk? Deirdre Danklin knows, and it is funny and heartbreaking.

Join me next week, for four more fantastic stories.