My latest story is now available in Volume 2, Issue 4 of Thing Magazine. The only way to read the Ezine is to subscribe for delivery via email. Sign up for free and read all the great stories in this issue.
Masters of the art of haiku will poo-poo the stanzas in my piece. They will scoff, “not nature-y enough or in the Japanese tradition.” A rejection from another mag had words to this effect. A Quiet Courage saw the 5/7/5 format and recognized the title for what it was: a reflection of the character who was writing the verse. Thanks AQC.
The story itself may be surreal, but the location is authentic. It takes place at a tiny square in the Park Blocks of downtown Portland, Oregon. Every Day Fiction originally published the tale in June 2017.
Roosevelt’s Long Shadow
by DL Shirey
It is nearly impossible to remain motionless, though I’m persistent in trying. Even as I hold my breath and concentrate away a blink, my crossed leg tics. It’s barely perceptible, but the slight tide of blood causes my dangling foot to bob.
How can I turn invisible when I can’t stop moving?
Who says a pyromaniac can’t be a poet? Read all about it at Liquid Imagination.
Cafe Aphra published my flash story. It’s a cautionery tale for those who feel like they’re being worked to death. Sometimes it’s hard to tell when the work day ends and your other life begins.
You know how automation is displacing many American jobs? This is what I wanted to write about, but at the time, I needed a good jolt of coffee to kickstart the first draft. 365 Tomorrows published this short story in December 2016. How do you like your science fiction, black?
The Box Adjacent
by DL Shirey
I pound shots of espresso until my vision tinges brown as a sepia tint. The tip of my fat finger barely touches the skin of my thumb through the hole in the handle of the tiny cup, small and fragile like half an eggshell, yet it nests another stiff dose of caffeine. I need more. I won’t be ready to work until my teeth are coated with gritty film, that welcome friction between enamel and lips to help me force a smile.
My 100-word story was originally published by The Drabble on January 25, 2017. This journal’s slogan is “shortness of breadth” and what they publish proves that tiny storytelling can be an art. This story is about a mining disaster, a news story I read about. The part about Limbs and Misc. is complete fabrication.
Limbs and Misc.
by DL Shirey
Afterwards, they called themselves the Dead Gang. Survivors, covered in dust, still on the clock, piling intact bodies onto pallets. Parts tossed in two bins labeled LIMBS and MISC.
Once the elevator started again, the job went quicker. It didn’t get easier. At end of shift coveralls and work gloves were burned, the Dead Gang given an extra day off.
Conversations at the bar that night were slurred, but grim flashbacks were not. All those hands, fleshed and unfleshed, aimed every direction, alleging blame. Some fingers pointed to heaven, others hell, most at the mineshaft. Never at the Dead Gang.