Character Count, Published

Leavings

leavings
image : Pinterest

In my opinion, when you have a piece that is 101 words, there’s only one good place to submit it. First published in June 2018, his story, though fiction, has a real character from my youth: a tree.

Leavings

by DL Shirey

The dreamy, slow circle of the overhead fan. The sound of a fly making lazy pivots on this hot afternoon. “Sweltering,” Mom would have said, “But the lawn won’t mow itself.” A push mower leans against the maple we named Old Man. His leaves cover the tall grass. The rake is just outside the screen door. So are the grass shears. Mom would have made iced tea, jangled cubes in the sweating pitcher to tempt me, to show my reward for doing her yard. I’m nursing a beer instead, satisfied, having trimmed around her headstone and raked up all the leavings.

END

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