I’m so glad this site chose my story. Such a cool idea to publish fiction and pair the stories with music, so it was quite a treat to have these folks provide a soundtrack to my weird tale. And I must say, the selected tune fits the piece, as they say, like a glove.
Tyler Malone, editor at madswirl, wrote this note at the end of my piece: When we wonder what we’ve become, the next thought will be when will we become more, then it becomes the last breath that we take. Thanks, Tyler.
“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.
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.
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.
Postcard Shorts publishes microfiction that fits on a postcard. The were kind enough to select Leper.
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.
My second 50-word story was published by blink-ink. This is a subscription-based quarterly publication, and I urge you to sign up and support it. Twelve bucks a year for a quartet of nifty fifties. What, that’s like three lattes?
Time to cut down on caffeine and start the day with more microfiction.