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Classic Flash

The Philosophy of Composition

This essay details the writing of Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous poem, “The Raven”. Although flash fiction isn’t poetry, it strives for the same “unity of effect” that Poe tries to obtain in his work. Some have said that Poe must have written this as satire, since it’s a little too precise and methodical in […]

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Nyarlathotep

Nyarlathotep… the crawling chaos… I am the last… I will tell the audient void…. I do not recall distinctly when it began, but it was months ago. The general tension was horrible. To a season of political and social upheaval was added a strange and brooding apprehension of hideous physical danger; a danger widespread and […]

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President of Baseball Operations

This story illustrates Bruce Holland Rogers’s sixteenth Short-short Sighted column, “George Washington’s Life in Baseball: Using Characters Your Reader Already Knows.” The secretary never had a chance to say, “Do you have an appointment?” Washington was already past her and opening the CEO’s door. Benjamin Rush, the man behind the enormous desk, was on the […]

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Master Tēng-t’u

One day when the chamberlain, Master Tēng-t’u, was in attendance at the palace he warned the king against Sung Yü, saying: “Yü is a man of handsome features and calm bearing and his tongue is prompt with subtle sentences. Moreover, his character is licentious. I would submit that your Majesty is ill-advised in allowing him […]

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Christmas Presents, 1914

“It’s perfectly simple,” said the Reverend Henry, adopting his lofty style. “We must cut the whole lot. There is no other course.” “I don’t consider that your opinion is of any value whatever,” said Eileen. “In fact you ought not to be allowed to take part in this discussion. Every one knows that you have […]

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The Failure of Hope & Wandel

From Mr. Jabez Hope, in Chicago, to Mr. Pike Wandel, of New Orleans, December 2, 1877. I will not bore you, my dear fellow, with a narrative of my journey from New Orleans to this polar region. It is cold in Chicago, believe me, and the Southron who comes here, as I did, without a […]

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The Five Boons of Life

Chapter I In the morning of life came a good fairy with her basket, and said: “Here are gifts. Take one, leave the others. And be wary, chose wisely; oh, choose wisely! for only one of them is valuable.” The gifts were five: Fame, Love, Riches, Pleasure, Death. The youth said, eagerly: “There is no […]

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The Blind Man

A man carrying a small red box in one hand walked slowly down the street. His old straw hat and faded garments looked as if the rain had often beaten upon them, and the sun had as many times dried them upon his person. He was not old, but he seemed feeble; and he walked […]

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Bust-Head Whiskey

For two days the quiet of the Rising Sun Tavern, in the quaint little town of Shearsville, Ohio, was disturbed by a drunken Democratic member of the Pennsylvania Legislature, who visited the town in order to address what he hoped would turn out to be the assembled multitude of copperheads, but which proved after all […]

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The Beggars

I was walking down Piccadilly not long ago, thinking of nursery rhymes and regretting old romance. As I saw the shopkeepers walk by in their black frock-coats and their black hats, I thought of the old line in nursery annals: “The merchants of London, they wear scarlet.” The streets were all so unromantic, dreary. Nothing […]

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