Short Story of the Day, The Strange Story of the World by Chigozie Obioma

Papa did not surrender. He fought his slide into poverty as if he were fighting something supernatural, a demon.

― Chigozie Obioma, The Strange Story of the World

Rodeo Goat, Dallas, Texas

The Strange Story of the World by Chigozie Obioma

from Granta

Short Story of the Day, Standard Loneliness Package by Charles Yu

We draw closer for a moment.

Why won’t you just love me, I ask her.

She says it’s not possible to make someone feel something.

Even yourself, she says.

Even if you want to feel it.

― Charles Yu, Standard Loneliness Package

Transcendence, on the first night.

In perusing the interwebs I came across a nice list of ten online long(er)-form short stories. So I’ll test the patience and attention span of everyone in this best of all possible worlds and slide away from flash fiction for a while.

It’s hard to believe that it was almost eight years ago that I read How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu and wrote a blog entry about it.

Standard Loneliness Package by Charles Yu

from Lightspeed Magazine

Short Story of the Day, The Faery Handbag by Kelly Link

“We had this theory that things have life cycles, the way that people do. The life cycle of wedding dresses and feather boas and t-shirts and shoes and handbags involves the Garment District. If clothes are good, or even if they’re bad in an interesting way, the Garment District is where they go when they die. You can tell that they’re dead, because of the way that they smell. When you buy them, and wash them, and start wearing them again, and they start to smell like you, that’s when they reincarnate..”

― Kelly Link, The Faery Handbag

Main Street Park Dallas, Texas

In perusing the interwebs I came across a nice list of ten online long(er)-form short stories. So I’ll test the patience and attention span of everyone in this best of all possible worlds and slide away from flash fiction for a while.

I’ve been a huge fan of Kelly Link for a long time and have written about her stories before. She writes these weird adult fairy tales – stories of a world with one foot in our own and another foot, plus two hands and a head, in a fantastic and sometimes scary alternate dimension. These should be read to kids, to insure they grown up nice and insane.

Today’s story The Faery Handbag, won the 2005 Hugo Award for Best Novelette, the 2006 Nebula Award for Best Novelette, and the 2005 Locus Award for Best Novelette. It was also nominated for the 2005 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story. And the author has posted it on her website just so you can read it and enjoy it free of charge. This is truly the best of all possible worlds.

The Faery Handbag by Kelly Link

from Small Beer Press

Short Story of the Day, Flash Fiction, Cinders by D. J. Moore

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman, Coraline

Sightings: Mai-Thu Perret Nasher Sculpture Center Dallas, Texas

Cinders by D. J. Moore

from Every Day Fiction

Short Story of the Day, (very, very, short) Flash Fiction, The Best A Man Can Get by Steven Arcieri

“Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.”
― James Joyce, Ulysses

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

I hate when this happens:

The Best A Man Can Get by Steven Arcieri

from Hobart

Short Story of the Day, Flash Fiction, Disclaimer by Jackson Arn

“This world . . . belongs to the strong, my friend! The ritual of our existence is based on the strong getting stronger by devouring the weak. We must face up to this. No more than right that it should be this way. We must learn to accept it as a law of the natural world. The rabbits accept their role in the ritual and recognize the wolf is the strong. In defense, the rabbit becomes sly and frightened and elusive and he digs holes and hides when the wolf is about. And he endures, he goes on. He knows his place. He most certainly doesn’t challenge the wolf to combat. Now, would that be wise? Would it?”
― Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Recycled Books Records CDs Denton, Texas (click to enlarge)

Disclaimer by Jackson Arn

from 3AM Magazine

Short Story of the Day, Flash Fiction, Floating by Benjamin Selesnick

“I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Wrecked Car waiting for the decision – scrap or repair

Floating by Benjamin Selesnick

from Lunch Ticket

Short Story of the Day, Flash Fiction, Aperture by Christy Hallberg

“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”

― Susan Sontag

Inverted image from tintype camera. Dallas Library

Aperture by Christy Hallberg

from Fiction Southeast

Christy Hallberg

Christy Hallberg twitter

Short Story of the Day, Flash Fiction, The Inconvenient Dead by Andi Boyd

“For fucksake became a regular word in her vocabulary.”

―Andi Boyd, The Inconvenient Dead

Sculpture by Paul Perret, 1984, Helmet by me, French Market, New Orleans

Your friends and relatives can be a pain – but you miss them when they are gone

Inconvenient Dead by Andi Boyd

From Drunkenboat

Andi Boyd Twitter

Sunday Snippets – Fun With Writing Prompts

Writing in my Moleskine Journal outside the Mojo Lounge, Decatur Street, French Quarter, New Orleans

A writing group I used to attend in the pre-sickness and Pre-Covid days is now meeting on ZOOM. I re-joined this week and I’m glad I did. This meeting was “Fun With Writing Prompts” and here’s a couple silly little things I wrote.

The first prompt was three things:

  • Taxidermist
  • a person who doesn’t get the hint
  • One half of a ripped love letter.

We wrote for a half hour. This is what I came up with:


The sign on the door said “Wilbur’s Taxidermy” and the man walked up clutching a ragged piece of paper.

He entered the shop and rang a bell on the counter. A rear door opened to a wave of foul, chemical soiled air. A man wearing a thick plastic apron, long rubber gloves and heavy protective goggles emerged and took up a spot behind the counter.

“Well,” he said.

“You must be Wilbur,” the customer said.

“Nope, Wilbur was the moron that I bought the shop from. Total failure. I never felt like changing the sign, though. Name’s Sam.” He thrust out a rubber-gloved hand.

“Uhh,” the customer said, “I’m not sure if I should…”

“Of course,” Sam replied, “Sorry, I forget sometimes,” and removed the glove.

The customer still didn’t shake his hand. “My name’s Glover, Richmond Glover, but everyone calls me Glover. I was wondering if you can stuff something for me.”

“We prefer to call it ‘preserving’ if you don’t mind. And yes, I can preserve something for you, Mr. Glover.”

Glover didn’t reply right away. He looked increasingly nervous, fidgeting and shifting his weight from one foot to the other. He took the scrap of paper and smoothed it out on the counter and looked at it. Sam the taxidermist could see that it was a hand-written note, torn in half.

“Well, Mr. Glover, I’m afraid I’m going to need some more information.”

“Ahh, yes, you see… this isn’t the usual job that you see every day.”

“I think you would be surprised at how… unusual… some of the jobs that I have done.”

“Not like this. I would like to preserve… I like that word… something that is very near and dear to me.”

“Yes.”

“Very. Very. Very near and dear.” Glover looked again at the paper held against the counter.”

“Excuse me Mr. Glover. What is that paper? Why is it torn?”

“Oh this… it’s a lover letter. One I received a year ago. From someone… very near and dear to me.”

“Again, Why is it torn like that”

“They tore it trying to snatch it from my hand.”

“So this person had a change of heart regarding your affections?”

“That would be an understatement. But back to business.. how large of a specimen are you able to preserve?”

“Oh, I’ve done moose heads.. a bison head or two. How large are you needing.”

“About ten stone… that’s one hundred forty pounds.”

“That’s big, but doable. About how long?”

Glover moved his hand down from his forehead to just above his chin. “This long. What, about five foot three inches.”

“Is that length or height?”

“Both, really, I suppose. You haven’t asked what species it is.”

“Doesn’t matter, really. As long as it’s a mammal. Reptile skin, or fish, that’s another thing altogether.”

“Oh good.”

“And what condition is this thing that is very near and dear to you? Is it frozen? Fresh?

“Oh,” said Glover, “It’s fresh, very fresh. As a matter of fact, right now it’s still alive. And I might be able to use some help with that aspect of the job, too.”

“Mr. Glover… I think you are outlining a very, very expensive preservation job.”

“I promise, money is no object. No object at all.”


This woman, a bartender at the NYLO Southside, asked Candy, “Is your husband a professional photographer?” Candy answered, “He thinks he is.”

That’s as far as I got.

The second exercise was to write a hundred words. It had to start with the phrase, “There I was, just standing there, when what I wanted to do was forbidden.” It also had to contain the phrase, “A dark and stormy night.”

When I stopped writing I had about a hundred and thirteen words. Some quick editing and it was exactly one hundred.


There I was, just standing there, when what I wanted to do was forbidden. The bar was stretched out before me and I had a new drink I wanted to mix. Curacao and rum and other good stuff. It had a name. A Dark and Stormy. Night had fallen and the bar was crowded. When the barkeep was busy at the other end, I reached across, grabbed the bottles and started to mix.

“Hey! The bartender yelled, “You again!”

“This time it’ll be good, I promise!”

I stirred and shook like crazy while the bartender reached for her baseball bat.