Published

Gunslinger

gunslinger
image : biznews.com

Ever wake up not knowing where you are? The character in this story does and the good folks at Fiction On The Web brought you the tale, originally published in November 2018.

Gunslinger

by DL Shirey

I flinch awake. My shoulder blade sears, the afterburn from a dream. Everything but the pain evaporates, leaving half-remembered threads: a horse thief, face pressed in dirt, a boot on the back of his neck. My neck. Arm wrenched up an instant before feeling the red heat of metal; a branding iron hissing skin.

The dream is displaced by another unreality: I don’t know where I am. There’s a trail of ants on a bedside table converging on an ashtray and a half-sucked peppermint. Alongside it an empty Jäger bottle, a lighter and pack of smokes. The first inhale tells me this isn’t my brand. When I kick away the ratty blanket and curl my legs off the bed, the floor comes too quickly. The mattress and box spring have no frame beneath them. Between knees I see my nakedness, cement floor and a spent condom.

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Published

Dental Casting

dental
image : ortodoncia.ws

There’s something inherently creepy about dental castings, but this story is not scary. What drew me to writing this was where the tale takes place and trying to integrate some of the tools a technician uses to make castings. The story was published by Scarlet Leaf Review in October 2018. Hope it makes you smile.

Dental Casting

by DL Shirey

“You right-handed or left?”

The woman jumped at the voice behind her. She had been concentrating on her work and would have been as easily startled had it been Ray or Yvonne, but the other technicians had left promptly at five. She took a deep breath and did a slow spin on the stool to face the man.

Why is he dressed like he works here? What is he up to? she thought. Her eyes darted from side to side as if in her mind she was flicking through a playbook, trying to decide how to handle this.

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Published

Nicole Kidman’s Shoes

Shoes
image : macys.com

The idea for this short story was already in place. What was missing was the movie star; someone well known and famous. To be honest, I don’t know if Nicole Kidman is as temperamental as she comes across in the story. When writing it I had just watched one of her movies on Netflix and decided she would be perfect. The folks at CommuterLit must have agreed because they published it.

Published

Told By Clouds

clouds
image : pinterest.com

This flash fiction was originally published by formercactus in November 2018. It is about one possible future of our planet. Quite a few of my stories have this theme, in one form or another. Hard to avoid the subject given the news reports about how we harm the environment.

Told By Clouds

by DL Shirey

From here the neat rows of apple trees look like corduroy covering the roll of hills. You can’t tell the leaves are lifeless from this altitude, only gray-brown. It’s January, but not winter. There are no seasons any more, no storms or snow or wind. Not since the low clouds formed three years ago and never dissipated. Our daylight world is now perpetually dim, the sky covered in thick frosting. The only observable change is told by clouds: day or night, dully backlit or dead dark.

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TSL

The Short List

smallThanks to everyone who visited this site in 2018. You came from far and wide, according to my WordPress statistics. The top five countries viewing my blog were: United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and, for reasons which escape me, Palestinian Territories.

Visitors came primarily to view The Short List, which now features 950+ entries. There were 360 additions to the list this year, an average of 30 new publications per month. Other than Facebook, Twitter and WordPress Reader, the top five referrers to this blog were: Wikipedia, Sandra Seamans, Christopher Fielden, Alex J. Coyne’s article in Author’s Publish and 805 Lit. I appreciate you spreading the word.

The Short List is for writers of flash fiction and short prose. The list is organized by word count, providing links to the submission guidelines and potential publication. These were the top five publication links that were clicked this year: Folded Word, Antimatter Magazine, Degenerate Literature, Down in the Dirt and Fairy Tale Magazine. This last one may or may not be defunct at this writing, but that’s why I keep an ever-growing list of departed publications. A moment of silence for those we lost this year.

Other than The Short List, a few other of my blog posts received top clicks: Barbarism, 6:58, A Fortune, Night Before Trash Day and Forget-Me-Pops. It is no secret that these posts are for stories I wrote. In fact, 21 stories of mine were published in 2018. Click on over and give them a read.

Here’s to a Happy New Year and for more words in print in 2019.

Published

All You Can Drink $5.00

all you can drink
image : twofivesix256.blogspot.com

According to the character in this story “if you can find a refuge away from the world, where people know you, where you feel comfortable enough to be yourself, that can be family enough.” For him that might be a comforting statement, but the place where he finds it is anything but comfortable.

A toast to Yellow Mama, the webzine that published the tale.

Published

Faithful

Faithful
image : slickwraps.com

Horror Tree is a valuable resource for authors of speculative fiction, with news and information about publishers and markets. They also post writers’ stories in the editor’s weekly column, Trembling With Fear. That’s where you’ll find my short story “Faithful,” a tale of technology being used in the wrongest way possible.