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Literary

Six One-Sentence Stories

This story collection is an exemplar for Short-short Sighted #19, “A Story of n Words: How Low Can You Go?” Story One He left the village of his birth, crossed the mountains, crossed the seas, saw great cities, learned a few words in a dozen tongues, met the high and the low, and returned after […]

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Midnight Mambo

My future daughter-in-law Janey told me exactly how it would go down and what to say. She’s been doing this for a while now, so she had this Nancy lady down pat, from the extra-extra smile to the cautious handshake to the little sing-song apologies dangling off each phrase. Everything went just like she said […]

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We Stand Up

This story collection is an exemplar for Short-short Sighted #20, “Consolidated Flash and the Collective Narrator”. From the beginning, they’ve made us pay. For saying that the king was not a god, they cut out our tongues. For reading the holy books for ourselves, they cut out our eyes. We have been starved in dungeons. […]

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Small Rebellions: Prose Poems

Read Bruce’s previous column here, or visit his author page to see them all. These columns are about writing flash fiction, but this month I want to peer over the border to examine flash fiction’s sister genre, the prose poem. At least some flash fictions and prose poems are similar enough that it can be […]

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Sea Anemones

This story collection is an exemplar for Short-short Sighted #22, “Metamorphosis and Compassion”. In a little church by the sea, long after the old gods had begun to sleep, there was a preacher of the Christian gospel who earnestly worried for the souls of his congregants. He wanted every one of them to one day […]

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Border Crossing

This story collection is an exemplar for Short-short Sighted #23, “Let Me Repeat That: A Prose Villanelle”. Lately I don’t recognize this country, the land of my birth. The contours of the land are the same. I can buy what I always bought in the stores. The weather has changed, though. Last winter, we had […]

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Through Amber Eyes

I paint whiskers on my face with bath water. The water doesn’t stay, but the whiskers remain. I prowl around the house in my bathrobe. The cat is washing herself on the rug. I kneel down to show her my fresh whiskers. “Meow,” I say. She flicks her tail in disdain, as though I’m any […]

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Kolkata Sea

I remember the time my mother took me to see the city where I was born. She was a young woman then. There were sea-birds rippling through the warm white sky high above her head, drifting like ashes on the summer breeze. I was in her lap, slightly nauseous from the motion of our vessel […]

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The Invisible Man

This story collection is an exemplar for Short-short Sighted #24, “By The Numbers: The Prose Sonnet”. When the guy with the junked-out cars moved into the house two doors down, I said to Glenna, “I don’t understand why someone like that would move into a neighborhood like ours.” But Glenna bought a ham, cut some […]

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Renaissance

This story collection is an exemplar for Short-short Sighted #24, “By The Numbers: The Prose Sonnet”. Snow. Ice. Heavy skies. All flights delayed. Morris wished he could smoke. He wished that he could go stand outside. This is what life becomes, he thought, watching ice collect on grounded wings. The career he’d expected to take […]

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