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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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

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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Published

In Time

infinity-clock
image : videoblocks.com

What events would occur in the preliminary phases before time travel was perfected? To me, the electronic transmission of messages through time would be developed before a living creature or an object crossed that threshold. At least that’s the premise for this short story. Published in September 2018 by Theme of Absence Magazine, they were also quite kind to do an author interview.

In Time

by DL Shirey

Dear Ersei,
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This will sound strange coming from me, but after tomorrow you will never see me again. The funny thing is you may be reading this while I sleep in bed beside you.
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The rumors of Time Capsule are true. Messaging can now be sent backwards in time. Not forward yet, as I understand it.
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That’s the thing about all this time technology frap, it’s impossible to verify. I may be pounding out words that go no place except to the guys in TT.
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They may be reading this now and having a good laugh. Joke’s on me. Enjoy yourselves, belkholes.
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Published

No, Thank YOU

thank-you-letter-writing
image : kurakurahitam.wordpress.com

Writing thank you notes is a lost art, one I only found after marrying my wife. Sometimes it’s a point of conflict between us, as this story shows. Published in Gravel, September 2018.

No, Thank YOU

by DL Shirey

My wife holds her mouth a certain way when I don’t pay full attention to something she said: lips parted, jaw unhinged, bottom teeth standing out like white-helmeted soldiers. These troops mass at the border between impatience and anger as Lynn waits for my response. Breakfast is over, the last of the coffee poured, I am half-listening, half-reading the newspaper. More the second than the first.

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Published

Inevitable Lies

Lies
image : masterfile.com

There are stories that make me proud I wrote them and there’s this one. Writing sometimes takes me places that aren’t pleasant, with characters who are unlikable, where a scalding shower might be needed to wash off the scum. Fortunately, there are journals like Close To The Bone who love this kind of stuff. They published my story in October 2018.

Inevitable Lies

by DL Shirey

The conversation needn’t be engrossing, pleasing would do. Pleasant enough for Della to ask one question: ‘What kind of movies do you like?’ If she chose to ask, she knew how the evening would go, just not how it might end. Like a good movie, it’s better when the end comes as a surprise.

Della never tried the same bar twice, yet the script was always the same: guys asked if she was alone, plied her with drink and said anything to make small talk larger. They were looking to get laid, but so was Della. While they took furtive glances at her unbuttoned V of skin, she searched the men for lies.

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