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Showing posts with label Flash Fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Flash Fiction. Show all posts

Twenty-Years Ago


Little has changed in China since 1989. Though now a world power in business, they still suppress their countrymen and refuse to address their nasty past. Today, the government loaded Tiamanmen Square with police to prevent commemoration of the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters twenty years ago, but the world has not forgotten. I wrote this flasher both to pay tribute to those who died in China, but also as a commentary on the way we (in the land of the free, the brave, and the television, often view political strife in other countries). Special thanks to Roger Waters for the inspiration.

I Watched Her Die

In '88 I seduced her with my idealistic, American exchange-student politics, talking about Bush while fingering hers. I recall almond eyes, teacup breasts, and widespread thighs.

She had such high hopes.

In Tiananmen Square, she wore a white bandanna inscribed FREEDOM NOW because I'd promised democracy could make the Great Wall tumble down. I lied.

Does anybody else remember the students who died? Can you spare a tear for my lost china doll?

She was everybody's sister, everybody's lover—her bloodstained clothes the symbolic banner of our failures.

She wanted to set us free and we just watched on TV.

'Til Death Do Us Part

My erotica is often inspired by songs. This flasher came to me after listening to the Stones song "You Can't Always Get What You Want" on a hot summer night on my way home from a wedding.

The verses of the song portray feelings of initial optimism and eventual disillusion, the whole punctuated by the resigned pragmatism in the chorus. Rather like some marriages, I thought. I played with the images and this is what I came up with. Enjoy.


I saw her today at the reception.

She lounged on the wedding-party table, her leather whip curling down the center—a hellish, black centerpiece among shimmering candles and white Calla Lilies. At her feet was a footloose man, wearing a self-satisfied smirk.

Practiced at the art of deception—you could tell by her bloodstained hands—she appeared only to me and toasted my new bride, my new life.

“You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need.” She sang along with the band and winked.

Then she vanished.

I Watched Her Die On TV

I'm inspired by many things. I've had politics on the brain lately and Sunday Roger Waters lost his inflatable pig during a concert, so here's a Roger Waters inspired political flasher:

I Watched Her Die On TV
In '88 I seduced her with my idealistic, American exchange-student politics, talking about Bush while fingering hers. I recall almond eyes, teacup breasts, and widespread thighs.

She had such high hopes.

In Tiananmen Square, she wore a white bandanna inscribed FREEDOM NOW because I'd promised democracy could make the Great Wall tumble down. I lied.

Does anybody else remember the students who died? Can you spare a tear for my lost china doll?

She was everybody's sister, everybody's lover—her bloodstained clothes the symbolic banner of our failures.

She wanted to set us free, and we just watched on TV.

Morpheus

I love flash fiction—complete stories told in a limited amount of words. When I began writing it, I stuck to the 100-word limit ERWA set. The spare format forces a writer to think about every word, every line, and is a great writing exercise.

My love started early; the first flash fiction that blew me away was Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss. He wrote it using only fifty words: a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, you.

Reading that list, 100 words feels positively decadent.

When I set out to write my first flasher, I got to thirty-seven words and felt complete. This is probably the closest thing to a poem I’ve written:

In my sleep
you came, all stillness,
muse-shadowed like night
kissed by the wet tongue of Morpheus

I devoured you there,
painted you under the moon—
velvet lust in red strokes,
silver etchings of tears