Published

Floaters

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image : livescience.com/

“My floaters followed the motion of her hand, lurching gelatinously whenever my eyes moved.” That’s the excerpt Truth Serum Press used to promote my story for their fiction anthology.

This story is one of my earliest. It is among the first read to my writing group in early 2015. A dozen times rejected, it underwent a major rewrite somewhere along the way. Reading it now I still see many flaws, but reprint it here, warts and all.

FLOATERS

by DL Shirey

I noticed floaters whenever the room was lit; particles danced in the periphery, my vision framed by ghostly specks.

Long before I knew them better, an ophthalmologist explained. She palmed a plastic replica the size of a grapefruit, popped apart each nested section of the eyeball and placed them on a stainless steel tray. As a fleet of half-orbs rocked upon flat metal, the doctor held one up.
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Published

Tiny Black Fingers

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image : garygardiner.com

This story was published in Volume 2, Issue 4 of Thing Magazine back in June 2017. The only way to read this Ezine is to subscribe and get it delivered via email. So, for those who missed it, may I present…

Tiny Black Fingers

by DL Shirey

The baby slumped on my shoulder, noiseless except rapid breathing. Tiny black fingers slipped around my neck, a grasp of desperation, pulling at my pale skin. His name was Sam and his grip relaxed slightly when I stroked the hair on his head. He finally realized the man who pulled him from his hiding place was not the one who abused him.

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Published

How To Blink

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image : VOZDRA BiH

In June 2017, The Citron Review published my account of a bar fight, from the perspective of someone waiting for the first punch to be thrown. Reprinted for you now: 

 

How To Blink

by DL Shirey

I’m nose to nose with a guy who has a neck tattoo. It wouldn’t be fair to let you imagine some seedy joint filled with bikers and angry drunks. It’s a spotless cantina in a Mexican chain restaurant and the tattoo in question is that of a cartoon duck. Even though my opponent and his posse look like they walked out of an algebra class, looks can be deceiving.

Be he mathlete or meth-head, I never start the fight. I look into my opponent’s eyes and concentrate on blinking normally. That and not being the first to talk. If Donald Duck, here, speaks before throwing-down, chances are he’s looking for an out. I am happy to de-escalate, welcome it, actually. However, I am always prepared to counter.

Blink.

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Published

Pyrophilia

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image : pickywallpapers.com

Who says a pyromaniac can’t be a poet? First published in May 2017 by Liquid Imagination.

Pyrophilia

by DL Shirey

The beauty of an unstruck wooden match is in the potential. It is uncomplicated. Scratch one on any surface to achieve resolute combustion. Simple phosphorus atop sulphur, like a beautiful redhead wearing a pale beret. She will dance, unbridled, in her full yellow skirt, twirling with wide folds of fire; an impetuous flare that calms, without fail, to flame.

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Uncategorized

The Short List

smallHaven’t blogged about The Short List for a while, but it’s time I did. I’ve curated this list for a couple years now, keeping track of 450 journals which specialize in publishing writer’s shorter works.

Up to now it’s been in alphabetical order, until I realized that’s not how writers use it. It made no sense to comb the list and cherry-pick the ones that apply.

Now, when a story is ready for submission, you can find all potential journals organized by word count. Much easier.

As always, I’ve highlighted the ones new to the list, and relegated others to the boneyard. Check it out and Tweet me your opinions.