It is my pleasure to introduce this month’s stories. Each of these stories caught me off-guard and demanded to be included.
The first, Joe Seale’s difficult and tense, “The Boy and the Misunderstanding,” hurts to read. At first, I read it as a scene. It is, and a dangerous one, but there’s a world of story behind that scene, and we catch glimpses of it in each new paragraph. It doesn’t hurt that it’s beautifully written. When I was done with it, I hugged my kids, and you might do the same if you have any.
Up next, we have “The Neighbors” by Maria Pascualy. I thought I knew where this story was going, but it didn’t go there. It is a fantastic example of the old rule: “a story must be both surprising and inevitable.” I literally gasped, and at the same time, I had to admit that the story went exactly as it should have gone. The narrative voice is both hilarious and disturbing.
And finally, on a lighter note, David G. Walker gives us “The Creationist.” This story is what I love in flash-fiction: economy without frugality. Walker lets his descriptions breathe a bit, but uses that extra room to build a bigger world, to craft a better character, and to tell a bigger story than I see in some other flash pieces. Also, I laughed out loud in the middle of the fifth paragraph.
So, find something cold to drink (this July is way too hot), crank up the air conditioning, and enjoy these fun stories.
Daniel R. Julian