Deadline

By Gary Hewitt

Jack Richards awaits the murderer of murderers. He smooths his remaining strands of white hair. The wall-clock trudges to the hour of 10.

His companion stares up from the table, his blue eyes reddened. Jack orders him to eat the rest of his breakfast. Tommy Glass bites into a charred sausage. Jack wanted to treat him with a full English feast but was told no.

Jack vowed never to get close. He read the papers and the gruesome reports. The butchering and violation of that toddler deserved no mercy. And yet the young man in front of Jack appears to be a charming, intelligent and gentle soul. Continue reading

Author Profile: Simon Brown

SimonBrown

How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

I loved writing stories when I was little and of course, loved to read, but as I grew older I wrote less and less, only occasionally keeping a journal. In my early twenties I moved to England on a two year working holiday visa and it was the fortnightly emails that I sent to friends and family that piqued my interest in writing again.

When I (eventually) moved back to Australia I began writing seriously, trying my hand at everything from short stories, flash fiction and poetry in an effort to find my voice as a writer.

What inspired you to write flash fiction?

I see flash fiction as the perfect ‘workout’ for a writer. Writing a story that engages the reader in such a short amount of time and words is an incredible challenge, and I personally feel that any writer should not attempt any longer forms of writing without first mastering the shorter forms.

Describe your writing process.

I have a love of typewriters and own four of them, so everything that I write is written on one of them first before I proof read and make any changes to the text by hand. I’ll then re-type the second draft on the typewriter and then finally type a third draft on my laptop.

I like to listen to music while I write, instrumental jazz or classical, and due to the music and how much noise the typewriter makes, I generally write during the day so I do not disturb my neighbours.

What was the inspiration behind what was published on FewerThan500.com?

In ‘The Docks’ I wanted to write a small piece of fiction containing only dialogue and see if I could still tell a story. I love old mafia/gangster films and just felt like toying with a scenario that could’ve taken place in one of those worlds.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a novel about the eighteen months I spent working in pubs around London, as well a book of poems about my life here in Paris and also writing flash fiction for my blog at:thetypewriteraddiction.wordpress.com. You can also follow me at Twitter (@typewaddiction) and Instagram (thetypewriteraddiction).

Read Simon’s story: The Docks

A Short Course in Short Fiction

“Short-shorts seem so simple. Also known by such names as sudden, flash or micro fiction, short-shorts are tight little tales packed into 1, 500 or so words. They can be powerful and memorable stories, the kind we’d all like to write. They’re so elegant in their brevity that we think, “Hey! I can write that!”

Unfortunately, simple elegance is seldom simple to achieve. Not in dress, not in scientific theories and not in short-short fiction. You discover how difficult it is to write when you sit down to write. The challenge—to make them appear as though they were dictated directly by the Muse—makes short-shorts so satisfying to write.”

Read the rest!

Temple Saloon

By Robert Lackey

Sheriff Jack Temple leaned against the bar watching them in silence. The air was musty and the smell of burnt gunpowder lingered. The rusty Colt taken from the Mexican lay on the bar, its barrel still hot. Outside, another dust storm rattled the front door and fine sand worked its way in at the edges, spiraling into the light of bare bulbs dangling above the bar. Warren Temple and the Mexican sat opposite at a nearby table, sharing heavy silence except for the rattling door and the wind whispering above the rafters. Warren was still the thug Jack knew as his abusive father, but the Mexican was new to him. Continue reading

Author Profile: Jim Freeze

 

Freeze3How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

That is not easy to answer because I finally started three years ago after I retired and mainly to have something to do. I have been thinking about writing since I was 15 or 16 years old but always found a reason to put it aside until my retirement.

What inspired you to write flash fiction?

I was not aware of flash fiction until I saw it on a couple of sites on the Internet. It seemed like a fun challenge and I like challenges. Continue reading

Who Needs Air?

By Brie Beach

I am falling. Plunging irreversibly toward the ocean surface. I have always had an irrational fear of drowning, and here it is, about to happen. My entire life does not flash before my eyes as gravity takes me downward headfirst; only certain memories appear in my mind. I cannot pick and choose which ones, but so far, they are all good. Most involve one particular person held near and dear. I am distracted by the reel until I hit the water, when dread and panic set in. Continue reading

Author Profile: William Bentley Sturtevant

Sturtevant2

How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

Sophomore year at LaSalle High School in Pasadena, California. Brother Paul was a true inspiration because he taught us how to hold people’s interest using our own words. Later at Art Center College, then in L.A., now in Pasadena, during my creative classes in package design and advertising copy writing.

What inspired you to write Flash Fiction?

At Art Center College I designed a 40 foot outdoor billboard for AT&T: “A buzz is faster than a zip – AT&T.” When during my 40 years selling products and packaging, I learned to always be succinct. A package must be clean, to the point and chock full of information in almost no words. At Bed, Bath and Beyond, you can still buy a clever and useful product and package that I designed, namely: FRIDGE-LINERS TM. All of the panels of copy must read quickly, hold interest and tell a valuable story that makes you put it in your basket without question.

Describe your writing process.

I keep a pad of paper beside my bed. When I get a piece of a dream, or an otherwise brilliant phrase or inspiration, I jot it down. This either leads to more of the same and I write for hours or it was something I needed to record in order to relax. Satisfied that I would not lose the moment, I sleep in peace. I usually have three things in the mix so that when I need more rumination for my primary story, I can busy myself with rewrites on my other efforts. It’s like herding cats, sometimes. Rather than getting frustrated if I can’t seem to move forward, I jump on my bicycle and lose myself in the vineyards surrounding the town, where my wife and I live, in the Unter-Franken part of Bavaria. In winter I walk to town for an espresso by the Main River and return with a clean slate ready to write again.

What are you working on now?

I am working on a follow-up memoir to Hobie and Dewey Days, titled Dead Stones Days, 1968-1972. I hope to self-publish it on Amazon in early 2016.

I’m currently working on a more extensive non-fiction novel which I am extremely excited about. It is tentatively titled Émigré. It’s a story about all the current interlopers, including myself, here in Germany; the humanness of us all while moving from continent to continent, culture to culture, our fears and our strengths. It will be a third person narrative novel based upon individuals I meet here every week, all trying to find what we could not find in our homelands. How can this yearly migration into one country, over a million people, possibly work? And why can only Germany pull it off?

My third “critter” is a play about cosmetics, teased in my first submission to Fewerthan500.com, “The Canadian Goose Killer,” posted on October 27th. Great fun this.

I use my rather stratified middle name now that I find there are at least four or five published William Sturtevant’s. I’m the only Bentley in the crowd, so far.