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The Many Faces of Fictional Children

Sometimes, it happens that we have a perfect selection of stories for a particular month. Stories about gratitude for November (American Thanksgiving), or stories about love for February (Valentine’s Day), or stories about new beginnings for January. Last month we had a nice lineup of mother themed stories.

In the absence of thematically relevant stories, I do like to try to pick stories with some kind of common theme if I can.  Maybe stories set on the seashore, or stories about future technology.

This month, we’re fortunate enough to have three stories with a child as the protagonist.

But before I explore the many faces of fictional children, I’d like to honor fathers.

In May, many nations celebrated mothers, and we were fortunate enough to have three mother-themed stories.  Most of those same nations will celebrate Father’s Day in June, but we failed in our efforts to find three father-themed stories.  We have one, which I’ll save for a later date and for a different theme.

But fathers need celebrating.

The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families seeks to help fathers of all stripes become the great fathers they want to be.  As their website states: “Great dads help to raise great children.  From bedtime storyteller to backyard basketball coach, nurturing fathers give children the structure, security, and self-confidence they need to be healthy, well-balanced individuals.”  The Center’s programs help fathers strengthen job prospects and parenting skills,  navigate child-support and custody, improve relationships with the mothers of their children.  A worthy pursuit.

The late Reverend Billy Graham once said, “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.”

I believe that’s true.

I’d like to honor all the fathers out there–bio-dads, step-dads, grand-dads, and all men who do for children what father’s do–nurturing, protecting, teaching.  Thank you!

Now on to this month’s stories.

We often take for granted that adults offer a wide array of personalities and personal foibles.  But I think sometimes we see children as one of two types–slugs and snails and puppy dog tails versus sugar and spice and everything nice.  But children are much more complex than that.  They come to this world precharged with certain tendencies and traits that combine with relationships and experiences that slowly mold them into the adults they will become.

This month’s three original stories offer three young protagonists, each distinct individuals, and each influenced in unique ways by the people in their lives.

We hope you love them as much as we do.

Suzanne Vincent


Suzanne Vincent

Suzanne Vincent is the editor-in-chief of Flash Fiction Online. That’s what people think anyway. Actually, she’s really a pretty ordinary middle-aged woman packing a few extra pounds and a few more gray hairs than she’s comfortable with. As a writer, she leans toward the fantasy spectrum, though much of what she writes is difficult to classify. Slipstream? Isn’t that where we stick stories when we just can’t figure out where else they go? Suzanne’s first professional publication was right here at FFO, published before she joined the staff: “I Speak the Master’s Will,” — a story she’s still very proud of. While she doesn’t actually have time to blog anymore, she once did. You can still read her ancient posts on writing at The Slushpile Avalanche. Suzanne keeps a house full of kids (3), a husband (1), and pets (too many to number) in Utah, USA. Yes, she’s a Mormon. No, there isn’t another wife. Mormons haven’t actually practiced polygamy since the 1890s. Too bad. She’d love to have another woman around to wash dishes and do laundry.


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