DL Shirey writes from Portland, Oregon, where it's probably raining. His short stories and non-fiction appear in over 20 publications, including "Page & Spine," "Zetetic" and "Every Day Fiction." You can find more of his writing at www.dlshirey.com.
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.
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.
Haven’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.
Okay, two stories in a row published with ‘dead’ in the title; all those years listening to Jerry Garcia must have had some impact. Anyway, I’m grateful to Cafe Aphra for featuring this flash story in May 2017. 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.
When I Called in Dead
by DL Shirey
The boss was angry when I called in dead again. I could tell by the way he didn’t respond, gave nothing but a frustrated huff and clattered the phone back to its cradle. Still, there was too much undone to take the day off, so I went to the office as usual.
First stop, coffee, but no one would serve me. Not even Yolanda who knew my usual. She didn’t even smile, in fact yelled NEXT to my face and beamed at the fellow behind me. He pushed me out of line.
Zetetic: a Record of Unusual Inquiry published my short story in June 2016. It was originally titled “An Occasional Family Photo,” but the editor wanted me to change the name. It was easy to agree, “The Dead Fund” was the working title of the piece before it was finished. Personally, this story sets a high bar and motivates me to write its equal.
The Dead Fund
by DL Shirey
I’ve lost hold of time these days. It’s been four months since Pops passed, but the house looked nearly the same. Six years of peeled paint and tarred-over roof since the last time I saw it in person. Sis sent an occasional family photo, but the house was only a backdrop. I remember thinking how the people seemed smaller posed in the front yard. Now the house itself looked small as I stood in front of it.