Now here is a spring-like story I dug up for you all, as presented by Fantasy Scroll Magazine. “Red Cup,” by Paul Magnan is a story about a flower who can walk. And talk. That’s pretty much the gist of it, and as the brief description (and publisher) alludes, it is a fantasy piece. Still I think you will find it enjoyable if you can get past the premise, and the middle paragraphs.
It is a little bit longer than the stories I normally link to, but you can read it here: http://fantasyscrollmag.com/article/red-cup-paul-magnan/
P.S. Puns I refrained from using:
1) Red Cup shows us some real flower power during the action.
2) Don’t trust him, he’s a plant!
3) The love interest could be a Tulip. Tulips are better than one.
4) When Red Cup gets mowed, he can get stem cell treatment.
5) What did Red Cup say to his parents? What’s Stomata?
6) He needs to get to the root of his problems.
7) Good morning Dave. Daisy….Daisy…
This piece by Bojan Ratkovic is like proper southern cornbread to me. Not too sweet, but it butters you up real…
OK maybe I need to make dinner. While I am doing that, I think you will enjoy her story, it’s called “Sophie.” This work’s theme is subtle. It doesn’t beat you over the head with an inspirational message. It doesn’t try to pull you in, then drop a twist at the end. It just simply “is,” just like the little girl protagonist. At the end of the story, I was impressed with how the author managed to convey a simple feeling of “self” into the character. Read on, and you will see what I mean.
I tell you folks, short story authors are some of the most depressingly dreary writers. Perhaps nuts as well, or at least eccentric. Myself included in that mix. However, after a few hours of scouring various online magazines, I have at least found one piece that is thought provoking, albeit not precisely sunny.
From Aleph to Tav, by Sean Williams, is set in a plausible near future – so long as your definition of “plausible” requires a little extra salt intake. I won’t delve too much into the plot here, beyond that the theme of Pear Drop’s (the literary journal) sixth issue revolves around libraries. So keep that in mind while you are perusing this little piece. And perhaps, if you are so inclined, check out the other stories therein. It is a solid run.
Inheritance, by Sarah Helen, is a dizzy piece. I found it interesting how this torrent of words swept me up, as I am not normally fond of this particular type of writing style or theme; first person narrative recanting. Still, it works. Where I thought I was only going to read a paragraph, I ended up driving through the whole piece. And quite happy for it. Read it here:
I am not sure what to even categorize this at. Still, “49 letters never mailed, to live out their days in a nonexistent shoe-box in a make believe attic” is an interesting piece. Yes, believe it or not that is the actual title to Jack C. Buck’s little, expose? Story? Rant?
Maybe it is meant to represent the degeneration of conversation. Maybe it is an allusion to the concept that all stories are derivative of eight original, ancient pieces. Who knows, I have my theories, decide for yourself here:
Daniel Wilmoth’s story “Heating Up” has shades of Orwell all over it.The writing flows effortlessly, and the dialogue is quite sly. Really liked the ending. I especially like the way it dealt with a current hot-topic (no pun intended) without actually really going into it. More or less, a good what-if scenario, with a clever ending.
Victoria Giffin’s story “My Baby’s Scars” is disturbing. Disgusting at times. Raw. And absolutely powerful. In the hands of another, the story’s concept could have easily leapfrogged authenticity, skipped passed absurdity, and landed well into the folly of so many writers; mistaking shocking writing, for original and cutting edge work. But Victoria pulls this one out soundly.
Warning for content: language and violent/sexual content.
Scouring these online journals for decent stories to share here, can be somewhat tedious. But I found a little gem today. “Arctic,” by Nathan Alling Long,” one of the winners for the Open Road Review Short Story Contest, made it worth it.
This piece is a truly mesmerizing bit of storytelling, there really is little I can find fault with. Perhaps a one spot where the language gets a little too flowery, but all in all I believe it is effectively used, and not overdone. From the descriptions, to the setup, to the surprise ending, it is really solid throughout.
A story just needs to be entertaining, nothing more. Most of the little pieces I read here tend to range in artistic level. But tonight’s? Well it is well written, but beyond that, it is just fun. “The Good Neighbor” by Tim Bass is hardly ground-breaking, but it is definitely amusing. Read it here:
“Making Ends Meet,” is an intriguing story. The writing is quite witty, and I immediately could relate to the main character. This would have been a good one for Halloween, as it is genuinely creepy. However, I did find the ending lacking. No spoilers though, read Jarod Anderson’s short story here: http://fantasyscrollmag.com/article/making-ends-meet-jarod-k-anderson/