Character Count, Published

Will Haiku for Food

homeless-crop
image : pixabay.com

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. They published it in June 2017.

Will Haiku For Food

by DL Shirey

Quite cold this morning.
Someone stole my shopping cart
with my heavy coat.

Don’t move or intrude,
never meet eyes, sit meekly,
raise cup, jingle coins.

Continue reading

Character Count, Published

Limbs and Misc.

mine2
image : thedrabble.wordpress.com

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.

END

Character Count, Published

Barbarism

barbarism25p
image : mens-hairstylists.com

In September 2016 my 50-word story was published by 50-Word Stories. What are the odds of that? The idea sprang from one simple word: LOBE. Enjoy, if you will:

Barbarism

by DL Shirey

The first one gets a careful trim; blade running along edges for a new, neat, well-sculpted line. For the second, I cut off the lobe completely. I hear people scream reactions to my previous work. There are worse things to do in a retirement home than reshape jigsaw puzzle pieces.

END

Character Count, Published

Surf Guitar

surf-guitar-75p
Published Monday, June 6, 2016 in
Microfiction Monday Magazine

“Surf Guitar,” a 100-word story was published by Microfiction Monday Magazine. The soundtrack for the piece came before writing it. I happened on a band I hadn’t heard before: Daikaiju. The word in Japanese means “giant monster,” but to me, as inspiration for this brief, grizzly tale, it was the band’s giant surf-rock sound. Please do not read this less than hour before swimming.

 

Surf Guitar

by DL Shirey

My little sister’s screams filter through salt water like the tremolo of a surf guitar. Who knew the undertow had a soundtrack? It crouches out where the slant of sand drops deep, always moving, crabbing sideways behind bones of coral, peeking up, pulling hard.

I call to my sister. The words skitter up the frets of my throat into a useless strangle of bubbles, left behind with scratched strings of flesh, cut by coral, picked by fish.

Black-green stands of seaweed block what little light remains. The last thing I see are long shadows swaying to the strums of riptide.

END