Published

Marine Corps Chow

poodle
image : today.com

Published by the Oregon-based journal Cascadia Rising Review, this story can be categorized as creative nonfiction because it’s written about actual events. Truth be told, though, liberties were taken to enhance the drama. Since these characters are based on my relatives, but not 100% pure, their names have been changed.

I must give a shout out to Alle Hall, whose editorial prowess helped shape the story. Even though I withdrew it from consideration for her journal, the rewrites she requested definitely made the piece better. Thanks Alle.

 

Published

Fivers

fivers
image : smithsonianmag.com

The publisher of this tale wrote a nice “dust jacket” description of the story: A young man is out spreading the word of the Lord, despite the heat and his own weariness. He comes across a strange couple at a strange house, and finds his faith faltering as their oddly calm demeanor and intimate knowledge of things catches him off guard. Determined, he redoubles his efforts, only for them to offer him a deal – they simply want to play a simple game…

A digital copy of FIVERS is available for purchase, so please support this small, independent publisher who provides opportunities for writers to get their stories out there.

 

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

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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Published

Couple

coupleDavid Bowie always fascinated me, so I thought it was about time I worked him into a story. Not that I ever wanted to have sex with Bowie, but that’s the fun of science fiction– if it’s done right, almost anything can happen. This short story was published In October 2018 in issue 14 of Riggwelter, one of my favorite online journals.

Couple

by DL Shirey

ROBIN: What I miss most about Edward is his kiss. The sandpaper grit of unshaved whiskers around his lips. Feeling the corners of his mouth pull up in a smile before inviting in my tongue. A thousand subtleties that foretold a mood, not for Edward, but for the lovemaking to follow. I could tell, simply by his kiss, if he was going to be playful or forceful or passive in bed. The tension in his lips. The way his tongue danced. And the degree of pressure between our mouths.

His kiss cannot be reproduced. That’s why I don’t kiss when I Couple, even though the men I’m with look exactly like my husband.

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