The Client

I was just about to bite into my foot-long hot dog when I heard the door to the outer office jingle.

“Anyone here?” She had a deep throaty voice, full of self assurance. There was nothing tentative about her in finding the outer office empty. I heard her step in and close the door.

“In here!” I shouted. I watched a figure approach the mottle glass door of my inner office. Her form and coloration became more distinct as she drew near. The form was just fine from what I could see, and she was dressed in red. The knob slowly turned and the door creaked open.

I was dumbfounded. The hints from the textured glass could not have prepared me for what I saw. The woman was a 10-point-Oh on the Richter scale and had the kind of moves that left towns like Frisco and Anchorage piles of rubble. I gawked as she entered the room.

“I wasn’t sure if anyone was here.” She apologized. There was no apology in her bearing. She strode right in, again closing the door behind her.

“Ah, Stephanie’s out to lunch,” I explained. Stephanie used to be my secretary. She’d been out to lunch for three months now, ever since I stiffed her on her pay check.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” she apologized again. “I see it’s your lunch time too.” She shot a glance at my hot dog, and then beyond. I looked down to see a dollop of mustard had rolled off the bun to land squarely on my tie.

“Oh crap!” I grumbled and put the dog back into it’s paper tray. I wiped up the mustard with a paper napkin, smearing it halfway down the length of the tie and cursed again. I loosened the damned thing, pulled it off over my head and dropped it unceremoniously into a desk drawer with half a dozen of it’s mates, similarly soiled.

“I can come back later if it’s a bad time,” she offered.

“Oh, no. Please, have a seat!” I rose and indicated the chair to the side of my desk. It was on old wooden stiff-backed armless side chair, a la 1930′s government surplus. It was prone to wobble annoyingly because it was missing one of it’s gliders. It wasn’t too bad as long as the match book wedged under that leg stayed put.

“How can I help you?” I asked as she took her seat. Luckily the matchbook stayed in place.

“Mr. Mann?”

“Max.” I offered.

“Mr. Mann,” she reiterated, “I just don’t know what to do. I need help desperately and the police won’t do anything!”

“OK,” I said, sitting back down in my own chair. I leaning back, and it groaned under the stress. Like all the furniture in my office, it was well past its prime. “Why don’t you tell me what you need help with?”

“It’s my husband, Mr. Mann.” Her eyes began to get moist.

Oh jeez, I thought, don’t start bawling on me already. I figured she must suspect her husband of fooling around on her, and wanted me to get the goods on him. Happens all the time. “Your husband?” I encouraged.

“Oh, Mr. Mann, I’m so worried. He’s missing. I’m just sick to death over it, and the Police won’t do a thing.”

I rocked back in my chair and took out a pencil and pad. I tapped the eraser on the pad, as I started sizing up the potential for this job.

“I see,” I said. Something didn’t add up. The police generally make it their business to do something about missing persons. So I asked the obvious. “How long has he been missing?”

“Since last night.”

I put down the pencil.

“The police say they won’t even file a missing person’s report until he’s been missing at least 24 hours!” Tears began welling in the corners of her eyes.

I rocked forward. “Ah, yes ma’am,” I said. “A lot of times guys just don’t come home for a night… You know… car trouble. Tanked. Other women.”

She reached across the desk and slapped my face. Hard. I was so flabbergasted that I forgot to get mad.

“My husband would never cheat on me! How dare you suggest such a thing!”

Like an idiot, I apologized. “Well there is car trouble… Getting tanked…”

She shook her head vehemently. “My husband does not drink, and his store is only a mile from home. If he had car trouble he could have walked home.” She locked her desperate eyes on mine. “My husband is missing, Mr. Mann,” she beseeched me. “I’m afraid something terrible has happened to him.”

“Well, ma’am, I guess you know him better than me,” I conceded. “Have you checked all the usual locations?”

Her stare was as vacant as the old brick factory over on 41st Street. I could tell I wasn’t dealing with the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree here. “You know; the morgue, hospitals…”

She choked back a sob and looked away.

“I see.” I picked up the pencil and chomped down on the metal end. A jolt fired down my spine when it connected with my dental work. “Well, you know, in about six hours the police will be happy to take that missing person’s report from you, and check those… look into things.”

She wrung her hands. “Oh please, Mr. Mann. Six hours… What if he’s still alive, locked in a steamer trunk buried in a corn field and running out of air! How can I wait six hours! Please tell me you will help me find him. I love Rodger so much.” She batted her big blues at me and I found myself nodding.

“OK, ma’am. I’ll look into it for you. But I ain’t cheap. I need a $500 retainer and charge $50 an hour. Plus expenses.”

She had the check written almost before I finished the sentence. I looked at it and arched an eyebrow at what I saw. What I found interesting was the address printed on the check, #17 Park Avenue. From the address alone I knew this dame was rich. With any luck her old man would prove harder to find than I expected. I could use a cash cow like her just now. Maybe I could even get Stephanie back.

“Well thank you, Mrs…” I looked at the check again. “Jones. I’ll get right on the case.”

“Oh no, thank you, Mr. Mann,” she said raising from the chair. “I’m counting on you. Please find Rodger quickly.”

“I’ll certainly do my best.”

“Thank you,” she said again, gliding towards the door in that same smooth move that had brought her in. As she closed the door on her way out I’m sure they had another earth quake somewhere in Japan.

The Butler

It took me a minute to regain my composure after the door closed, and then it hit me like a brick. I had not gotten enough info from her to even go down to Rodger’s shop. I mentally kicked myself. Hard. Then I jumped up and ran after her.

The elevator was almost to the ground floor according to the indicator panel, so I made a dash for the stairs. I took the four flights at double time but the lobby was empty by the time I crashed into it. I bolted for the front door and hit the curb just in time to see a red Mercedes turn the corner onto Pine. Shit. Oh well, I had her address on the check.

I went back up to the office to collect a few things I’d need, the check included. I stuffed a notebook, a pencil, and the check into the breast pocket of my coat and flipped the “Come On In” sign over to “Be Back Soon” and headed out, locking up behind me. I took the rear steps to the lot out back, to collect my car.

My car was a rental fleet sale, a big old maroon Cadillac Brougham – reminiscent of a battleship. It got lousy gas mileage, but since all my dealings were “plus expenses” I could care less. After all, I didn’t drive it on my nickel. She fired right up, and I headed out for Park Avenue.

Now Park Avenue in this burg is where all the rich folks live, just like in New York. But unlike New York, there were no top floor penthouses, nor ground floor penthouses for that matter. This street had big houses that could be confused for the Taj Mahal, set in lawns that actually dwarf them. I was there in less than ten minutes and began a slow cruise looking for #17.

While #17 was not the biggest house on the street, it was by no means the smallest either. Three stories, stone and beam construction, at least six rooms wide by three rooms deep and with a hint a of servants quarters out back, from what I could see from the street. I pulled into the driveway and headed on up. It was a long serpentine driveway, probably longer than my street, and paved only of loose chat. But where chat said “poor” in most neighborhoods it said “historic” on Park Avenue. I drove slowly, so as not to raise any dust.

I rang the bell and waited. After an annoyingly long period of time the door opened about a quarter of the way and a man in a butler’s outfit peered suspiciously out at me. His eyes quickly ran down me, head to foot, assessing my attire, then darted out to my hulking battleship. He lifted his chin so as to peer down his nose more effectively and said, “Whatever you’re selling, we don’t want any.”

My foot kept the door from slamming in my face, which I could tell annoyed the heck out of him. “Mann.” I said. “Max Mann. Private eye.” I flashed my ID at him quick enough to make sure he did not have time to read it. “Mrs. Jones hired me today to find her husband,” I informed him. Then I held up her check, long enough to be sure that he could read that.

He held the door tight against my foot, unrelenting. “Well, he certainly is not here,” he reproached me.

That did it. I pushed hard against the door and forced it open. I outweighed the guy by a good sixty pounds, so there was no way he could keep me out. “Gee, maybe she should have hired you instead, Sherlock,” I shot back. “Go tell Mrs. Jones that I need to talk to her. I need to get a few more details before I can really get started.”

Reluctantly he stepped aside to let me fully enter the foyer. “Very well. I will inform madame that you are here. If she deigns to see you, I will show you in.”

“Very well,” I shot back at him in the same affected voice.

While “Jeeves” was gone I poked around the foyer. The floors were real marble, set off by a Persian rug. The staircase looked to be solid cherry. An oak hat tree stood to one side of the massive front door replete with gilded hooks for hats and coats. It looked to be antique, as did the other furnishings in the room. I took the notebook and pencil out of my breast pocket and hung my coat on the rack.

The butler returned with a very disappointed look on his face. I knew immediately I was going to be shown in, so I started walking towards him before he could say anything. His face blanched as he looked past me. I turned to see what he was looking at, and realized it was my coat. “It’s OK to hang it there, isn’t it?” I asked.

“Of course, sir.” But a shudder ran down his spine. Then, turning back to the business at hand, “Madame will see you, sir. Please follow me.”

He led me through the foyer and down a long hallway, past several large well furnished rooms and into what I would have to term the study. The room was lined with books, all hard backs, most leather bound. There was a large walnut desk with a leather chair near the French doors, and a couple of side tables to each side of the room, but otherwise the room was sparsely furnished, indicating that little time was spent among these magnificent works. From what I had seen of Mrs. Jones, that did not particularly surprise me.

But there was no Mrs. Jones here. The butler strode on, into the room, to open the French doors on the far side behind the desk. He gave me a cold glance before heading outside. I hoofed it after him to find myself on a broad stone patio. He headed across the patio towards the swimming pool that lay just beyond. I followed and came up short when I rounded some huge rhododendrons to see Mrs. Jones laying beside the pool in a chaise lounge. She had on a bikini bottom and a small hand towel loosely draped over her otherwise bare chest. A man lounged on a chase beside her, outfitted in naught but Speedo racing trunks. He lifted his head to see who had dropped by and then flopped back down, apparently exhausted from the effort.

“Mr. Mann!” Mrs. Jones cried, pushing her sunglasses up onto her head. “Have you found my husband already!” She sounded delighted. I hated to bring her down.

“No ma’am.” I could see her deflate at the news. Her face got all pouty. “I’m sorry to disappoint you, ma’am. It’s just that I let you get away earlier, before I had enough information to make much headway. I need to get a few facts from you, to speed up my search.”

“Oh pooh.” She pulled her sunglasses back down over her eyes. “And I thought you had found Rodger.”

I flipped open my notebook.

She turned her head away slightly, obviously disappointed in me. “They never did find Jeremy.”


“My first husband.”

I got a knot in my stomach.

“I can’t imagine what the neighbors will say. What with Jeremy, and Henry…”


She nodded. “My second husband. He was killed in an automobile accident. It was dreadful. But at least I had closure. But to just be missing, gone with no trace… it’s awful.”

“Quite right,” the man in the chaise lounge put in. “Complicates procedures like the devil.”


“Oh yes,” Mrs. Jones confirmed. “Insurance companies don’t like it at all when they just go missing. They want you to wait for five years before they will declare them legally dead and pay you a cent!” She obviously thought that was a ridiculous amount of time to wait for an insurance settlement.  “And then they keep snooping around, implying all sorts of terrible things, just because your husband doesn’t have the decency to turn up anywhere – alive or dead.”

“Took forever to collect on Jeremy,” the man concurred.

“I’m sorry,” I said, “I missed your name?”

“Alex.” He flopped a hand in my general direction in lieu of a handshake. “Alex Marino.”

“Alex is my insurance agent,” Mrs. Jones informed me. “He has been very helpful, especially on Jeremy. I don’t know that I would have ever collected on Jeremy if Alex had not been around to fix things up. They never did find him, poor thing. Now Henry at least had the consideration to turn up dead right away. Wrapped his car around a bridge abutment. Terrible accident. Just terrible. But we digress. You said you needed some information to get started. What do you need?”

I wasn’t really sure I wanted to get started any more, but I needed the money. “Well, for starters, what does your husband do? Where is his store? And are there any business associates I could talk to?” I asked, ready to write things down.

“Oh, he runs Plum Orchard Fine Used Books down at the Plum Orchard shopping center. Do you know it?” I shook my head, no. I knew the mall, a little strip mall on the pricy side, but not the store. Now the books in the study made more sense to me. I could see how a purveyor of fine used books could afford to live in a joint like this, especially if he was selling first editions to his ritzy neighbors. I wrote “fine used books” in my notebook. I got a little more info from her, including what he was last wearing and the name of his business associate, Reginald Lewis, who should be at the store now. “If you hurry, you can catch him before it closes,” she added, strongly hinting that our session was over. I flipped my notebook closed and turned to go.

“Oh, his car. What did he drive?”

“A Lexus,” she answered.


“Robert?” She looked to the butler.

“BX7-143,” Robert answered coldly.

“He’s a treasure,” Mrs. Jones smiled. Robert nodded curtly in acknowledgment of the complement. “Robert will see you out.”

Robert was quite willing to see me out, the sooner the better. We retraced our route through the study, down the hall to the foyer. There he lifted my coat from the coat tree with disdain, and reluctantly held it for me while I put it on. He opened the door and stood to one side, anxious for me to leave. “Good day sir.”

“I’ll see you around, Robert,” I said with a wink. No sooner were both my heals on the porch stoop than the door slammed behind me. Hard. As I turned to go I noticed movement in the side glass panel. So I peeked back inside only to see Robert vigorously disinfecting the coat tree.

This is my first foray into #TuesdaySerial. I originally wrote Chapter One, The Client, as part of a writing contest. I liked Max so much I felt compelled to give him more of a story. When all was said and done I had a novella length manuscript, the first of seven. I plan to roll out several of the Max Mann novellas as serials on the web. If they garner enough interest I’ll publish them as as ebooks, probably as “doubles”, each book containing two novellas. Feedback, both positive and negative, is most welcome. Don’t be shy – I have the hide of a Rhino when it comes to critique. Thanks for reading. ~jon

Next week – Chapter’s 3 & 4: The Associate, and The Notebook

(c) 2010, by J. M. Strother – All rights reserved.


Today I present the winning essay in the first #fridayflash writing contest – What #fridayflash Means to Me. We had seven lovely entries. The following entry, by the esteemed John Wiswell, won and gets honored here on Mad Utopia. I think John captured the essential nature of #fridayflash quite well, a true writing community and a network of friends who give of themselves weekly to help each other grow. My sincere thanks to John, and all the members of #fridayflash, for helping make this a wonderful community. ~jon

Exposure by Community

by John Wiswell

There is a certain kind of Submissions page that bothers me. It rants about what the zine doesn’t want to see and strikes a deliberate attitude at the writers who want to work with it. It also lacks something: it has no Payment section. It might even claim it’ll pay you in exposure.

It’s great to get some readers, but how conceited can an editor be? You’ll reward me with the honor of it being known that I did work for you?

We all wrote for free at some point. Once I actually paid to write; that was college. After graduation I wrote for free to build my confidence and make connections. Even after my prose started selling, I’d write for a friend’s site without charge. I have no problem helping people and causes I like. But there is a business somewhere around here and saying you’ll pay me in exposure is an insult. You’re not exactly McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and you know, paying sites grant exposure. Being profitable enough to pay your writers is an indicator of having a big audience – the kind a writer would want to be exposed to. If you’re going to write for free, there needs to be warmth.

#fridayflash is attractive because it subverts the exposure-based system. Dozens of readers willingly buzz around the hashtag, leaving compliments and feedback, starting conversations and sharing what they like. It’s a community that exposes you out of personal engagement. The “networking” here is reading and working with your peers; you get more attention for spreading goodwill. Communities like this make bitchiness obsolete in the free scene. Social networking can turn Blogspots and WordPress blogs into viable webzines (heck, those two sites provide templates for most of webzines anyway).

Twitter scenes like this one encourage a community that isn’t tied to a magazine or web brand, but a brand that fluctuates based on what everyone feels like contributing. I write a lot of humor for Fridays; Anthony Venutolo writes in homage for Kerouac and Carver; Barry Northern records audio fables; Carrie Clevenger writes her dark materials; Jeff Posey writes tales of Native Americans. Intrepid writers like Marisa Birns and Tony Noland try to write different genres at least every few weeks, if not weekly. Some people do it for the love or the hope of a little attention; others are sharpening their skills for careers in letters.

I strive for and admire improvement. It’s why I post daily. I can’t catch all my own typos (few writers can), which is why I leave notes about typos in my comments. It’s a public service when somebody (usually @mcantor) catches my flubs before too many others see them. You may have seen my rarer gigantic critiques in Comments, which come when I’ve got the mental energy. If writers are trying to improve then, in addition to the praise that keeps us from hanging ourselves, we need feedback. I try to isolate what was hilarious, or felt awkward, or needed better explanation. If I think it can sell somewhere, I try to notify the author. This, too, is what the community can do for each other.

I’m hardly the only maven for fiction sales. Every couple of weeks somebody shares a new contest or zine opening with me. And if you befriend the community, #fridayflash readers will follow you to wherever your fiction goes. Your weekly entry doesn’t have to be tied to your blog; it can be a guest post elsewhere or a professional sale. I saved the announcement of my first pro-rate sale, “Alligators by Twitter” at Flash Fiction Online, for #fridayflash. The result was wonderful; Twitter users left more compliments than any other FFO story for April and it was retweeted by a dozen kindly souls. Members of the community make exposure for each other. So in a way, it pays in exposure.

For the cynics who think everyone is only out for themselves, I provide the one time this networking actually paid. In November 2009, I was diagnosed with severe gallstones. Surgery was necessary. I’m uninsured because of medical conditions and the procedure cost over ten thousand dollars. After friends urged me into making a PayPal donation account, I put up just one post explaining my circumstance.

Friends promoted for me; I couldn’t, largely out of embarrassment and the inability to sit up. Friends like Jodi MacArthur. Linda Simoni-Wastila. Michael Solender. Laura Eno. They tweeted it, put it on Facebook and added the Pledgie badge to their blogs. They cared. Half the donations I got were from people related in some way to this community.

I even got a personal check from J.M. Strother, the founder of #fridayflash.

#fridayflash is not an island of weekend writers. It is one of the labels under which the community shares work. #fridayflash writers crossover with #amwriting, #weblit, #pennydreadful, #writechat, #scribechat, #writerslife. Regular #fridayflash writers edit and promote magazines like Pow Flash Fiction and Full of Crow. Last week one of G.U.D.’s editors dropped a story into the network. I met Jodi and Michael through Six Sentences; Peggy McFarland through Harbinger*33; Strother at Editor Unleashed. The writing community keeps getting bigger and more useful the more places you click. It’s a far cry from a snarky Submissions page.


John lives in New York state and can be found posting daily on his blog, The Bathroom Monologues. He is a regular participant of #fridayflash, and podcaster extraordinaire. John is currently running the Fleming-Mayer Aid Drive for two ailing friends. You can read more about it here:


Wow, we had eighty-three (86!) stories on the #FridayFlash circuit this week including eleven debuts. Quite a week. Please give a warm welcome to Sarah Callejo, Jane Travers, Runbeagle, Kemari Howell, Kate Davis-Holmes, NL Gervasio, Nomar Knight, BrainhazeWP, David Garrett, Denise Covey, and Anneke Klein. We are honored that you have joined us.

If you did a #FridayFlash, and your story does not appear in the listing below, please go to the Collector and add the details. I’ll be happy to add it to the list once I have the particulars. We always have a few stories show up late, so be sure to come back and check the list later this week to see if you’ve missed any. I typically add stories that get added to the Collector thru Wednesday (Central US time), so if your story is for next week please don’t add it to the Collector until Thursday. It helps me keep my housekeeping in order. Thanks.

We have a ton of stories for your enjoyment. So have at ‘em.

The Stories

What Moonlight Sees by Katherine Nabity @katen ~ Fantasy ~

Water Of Life by J. M. Strother @jmstro ~ Science Fiction ~

Warrior Regret by D. Paul Angel @D_PaulAngel ~ Historical ~

Walking Closet by Peggy McFarland @peggywriter ~ Magical Realism ~

Universal Bureau of Inspiration by Wulfie @wulfshado ~ Cross Genre ~

Turbinado by Christian Bell @christianbell37 ~ Unspecified ~

True Horror Show by Rachel Blackbirdsong @RBlackbirdsong ~ Literary ~

Totentanz by Marc Nash @ExisleMoll ~ Humor ~

Today Belongs to Her by Denise Covey @pichetsinparis ~ Literary ~ Debut

Three Steps by Tomara Armstrong @2maraA ~ Horror ~

Things we do for love by KjM @kevinjmackey ~ Slice of Life ~

The Wobegone’s Slaughtered Dreams by Alison Wells @alisonwells ~ Science Fiction ~

THE WILL’S THE WAY by Absolutely*Kate @AbsolutelyKate ~ Suspense ~

The Smell of Tornadoes by Jennifer Stakes @Jenzarina ~ Literary ~

The Siren by Sarah Callejo @SCallejo ~ Unspecified ~ Debut

The Shades of Chawton by Jane Travers @janetravers ~ Historical ~ Debut

The Queen of Hearts – Part 1 by Jodi Cleghorn @jodicleghorn ~ Magical Realism ~

The Pianist, Part 4 by P.J. Kaiser @doublelattemama ~ Unspecified ~

The Penny Pincher by Elijah Toten @authoreit ~ Unspecified ~

The Nick Of Time (and other abrasions): Breaking The Girl by Al Bruno III @albruno3 ~ Fantasy ~

THE DEATH OF A LIVING MUG SHOT by Anthony Venutolo @bukowskisbaseme ~ Literary ~

The Big Event by Alan W. Davidson @AW_Davidson ~ Slice of Life ~

The Adoption by Anneke Klein @Rammenas ~ Unspecified ~ Debut

Swimfin by Runbeagle @Runbeagle ~ Literary ~ Debut

Somewhere Else by Jen Brubacher @jen_b ~ Slice of Life ~

Shoshonna Two-tone by Cathy Olliffe @Matthiasville ~ Slice of Life ~

Sea Sixteen by Pablo Gully @pablogully ~ Humor ~

Scent of a Zombie by Kemari Howell @Kemari ~ Romance ~ Debut

Sap, Sucker by Michael J. Solender @mjsolender ~ Humor ~

Rum Balls by Rebecca Brown @rebeccaebrown ~ Slice of Life ~

Roses for Mum by Kate Davis-Holmes @crystalsinabox ~ Slice of Life ~ Debut

Rooftops by Shawn Main @shawnmain ~ Slice of Life ~

Romeo and Juliet are Dead by Tony Noland @TonyNoland ~ Fantasy ~

Revision by Deirdre M. Murphy @wyld_dandelyon ~ Experimental ~

Rescue Missions by A. M. Harte @am_harte ~ Humor ~

Religion, Revelations, and the Zombie Resurrection by Jason Warden @ShadowCastAudio ~ Horror ~

Reflection by Danielle La Paglia @Dannigrrl5 ~ Unspecified ~

Rare Birds of Prey by Annie Evett @annieEvett ~ Science Fiction ~

Ransom by Lauren Cude @NA ~ Slice of Life ~

Predictable by Laurita Miller @lauritamiller ~ Humor ~

Pieces O’Eight by Icy Sedgwick @icypop ~ Humor ~

Phantom, P.I. by Matt Merritt @1block ~ Cross Genre ~

Perfect Harmony by Rebecca Emin @RebeccaEmin ~ Slice of Life ~

Parchment of Love by Eric J. Krause @ericjkrause ~ Fantasy ~

On Deck by Neil Shurley @thatneilguy ~ Suspense ~

NyQuil Dreams by Pia Veleno @piaveleno ~ Unspecified ~

Not A Virgin by Pamila Payne @mspamila ~ Unspecified ~

Noise by Gracie Motley @gracecrone ~ Horror ~

Nameless by Tim VanSant @TimVanSant ~ Cross Genre ~

Moving Out by Virginia Moffatt @VirginiaMoffatt ~ Unspecified ~

May I Come In? by Melissa L. Webb @melissalwebb ~ Horror ~

Love After Death by Joanie Rich @nightcrafter ~ Horror ~

Lola by Shannon Esposito @soesposito ~ Literary ~

Krone’s Lottery by Aidan Fritz @AidanFritz ~ Fantasy ~

Kevin’s Real Boss by Benjamin Solah @benjaminsolah ~ Experimental ~

It’s not easy being green by Catherine Russell @ganymeder ~ Cross Genre ~

Island Nights by Laura Eno @LauraEno ~ Unspecified ~

In My Study by David Garrett @carpedavid ~ Horror ~ Debut

Imperfections by Thom Gabrukiewicz @tgabrukiewicz ~ Unspecified ~

I’ll Eat My Gun by John Wiswell @Wiswell ~ Western ~

Human Touch by Kat DelRio @katdelrio ~ Unspecified ~

Homecoming by The Socks @leftsocks ~ Romance ~

Hide and Seek by J. Dane Tyler @DarcKnyt ~ Horror ~

Heartless (a Skeleton Crew Love Story) by Monica Marier @lil_monmon ~ Horror ~

Glass Half-Empty by T.S. Bazelli @tsbazelli ~ Cross Genre ~

Final Conversation by Michelle Dennis Evans @michelledevans ~ Cross Genre ~

Family Values by Anke Wehner @Anke ~ Horror ~

Fallen by NL Gervasio @NLGervasio ~ Unspecified ~ Debut

Fallen by Nomar Knight @Nomar_Knight ~ Cross Genre ~ Debut

Eellen by Louise Dragon @WeezelWords ~ Horror ~

Dragonfire, Part 2 by Angie C. @techtigger ~ Fantasy ~

Day One by Gary Harmon @Gary_Harmon ~ Slice of Life ~

Compensation by Paul Servini @None ~ Humor ~

Come Together by Carrie Clevenger @carrieclevenger ~ Suspense ~

Club Necropolis by David G Shrock @dracotorre ~ Horror ~

Bumwattle’s Bird by Chris Chartrand @chrischartrand ~ Humor ~

Broommates: The Future’s So Bright by Valerie Valdes @valerievaldes ~ Cross Genre ~

Beautiful Beast by Tonya R. Moore @mikodragonfly ~ Experimental ~

Balance by Diandra Linnemann @LaCaffeinata ~ Slice of Life ~

Avast my heart by Karen Schindler @karenfrommentor ~ Romance ~

And then there were none by Emma Newman @EmApocalyptic ~ Cross Genre ~

aliens at the foot of my stairs by adam j. keeper @Adam J. Keeper ~ Science Fiction ~

A Wrong Turn by Trisha L. Castillo @trishalcastillo ~ Unspecified ~

A Tissue For Your Issues by BrainhazeWP @BrainhazeWP ~ Literary ~ Debut

A Penchant for Cotton by J. Timothy King @JTimothyKing ~ Romance ~

A Missed Flight by Leila Vandiver @CallMeJalopy ~ Cross Genre ~

In Other News

Each week I try to include news for and about the #FridayFlash community. If you have a writing related, news-worthy item you’d like to have included just DM me on Twitter, or email me at jstro AT swbell DOT net and I’ll consider listing it. Did you sell a story? Publish a book? Are you running a flash fiction contest on your blog? Your fellow flashers would like to know. Drop me a line and I’ll help spread the word. ~jon

Michael J. Solender is running a summer heat writing contest over at the Not. It’s to help commemorate his unending love for summer. ;) Check out the details here.

Tim VanSant has published a collection of his food related flash fiction on Smashwords. You can find Flash In the Pan here.

Emma Newman has an ongoing contest at her blog just for #FridayFlashers. Nominate your best flash for the month of June (anything posted as a #FridayFlash this month) and she will select a winner at random. The winner gets a profession podcast recording by Emma of their story. Emma has a beautiful recording voice which will do any story proud.

Tony Noland placed his story, Nearer Comes the Moon,  in the upcoming anthology, “Inhuman”, from Absolute X-Press. It will be out later this year. Congrats, Tony.

Mari Juniper is having a Zombie Luv contest on her blog,  Mari’s Randomities. There are prizes, including publication in Flashes In the Dark.

Wow, that #FridayFlash crowd is a busy lot. ~jon

The wrap

Thanks to all our readers. We love you. And please, if you enjoy a story leave comments when you visit. Writers love feedback almost as much as chocolate. Maybe more! Then go tell your friends to read it too. Help these writers grow.

You can subscribe to the #fridayflash hashtag (external link) on Twitter every week for more great flash fiction.

We’re on Facebook (external link) too.


There were seventy-nine stories this week, including five debuts. Please give a warm #FridayFlash welcome to Jan Oda, Tina Lynn Sandoval, Melissa L. Webb, Essie Spencer, and Kate Davis-Holmes. We’re glad you all decided to join us and hope you will make #FridayFlash part of your weekly routine.

Congratulations to John Wiswell for winning the first ever #FridayFlash writing contest with his essay, Exposure by Community. John garnered 48% of the votes in a field of seven excellent essays. My thanks to all the contributing authors. You’re all winners in my book. I’ll be contacting John soon to arrange for delivery of his prize.

Now please:

The Stories

12 items or less by Matt Merritt @1block ~ Slice of Life ~

21st Century Writer by Barry J. Northern @BarryNorthern ~ Humor ~

311 by Danielle La Paglia @Dannigrrl5 ~ Horror ~

A Curious Scrap of Paper by Elijah Toten @authoreit ~ Unspecified ~

A Forest Full Of Lies by Leila Vandiver @CallMeJalopy ~ Romance ~

and where do you see yourself in five years time? by adamjkeeper @adamkeeper ~ Magical Realism ~

Bad Weather Warning by Virginia Moffatt @Virginia.Moffatt ~ Unspecified ~

Bedtime Story by Tim VanSant @TimVanSant ~ Cross Genre ~

Being Right by The Socks @leftsocks ~ Experimental ~

Broommates: Rue the Day by Valerie Valdes @valerievaldes ~ Cross Genre ~

Building a Man by Mark Kerstetter @markerstetter ~ Historical ~

Burial by Thom Gabrukiewicz @tgabrukiewicz ~ Unspecified ~

Context by T.J. McIntyre @southernweirdo ~ Magical Realism ~

Danëh by Jan Oda @Janoda ~ Fantasy ~ Debut

Death Before Dishonour by Maria Protopapadaki-Smith @mazzz_in_Leeds ~ Unspecified ~

Dolly’s Day Off by Pamila Payne @mspamila ~ Horror ~

Down the end of lonely street by chance @Chance4321 ~ Unspecified ~

Dragonfire, pt1 by Angie C. @techtigger ~ Fantasy ~

Everybody Needs a Hobby by Anke Wehner @Anke ~ Unspecified ~

EVOLVE by Absolutely*Kate @AbsolutelyKate ~ Experimental ~

Fallen Angels by David Masters @davidmasters ~ Unspecified ~

Family Reunion by Louise Dragon @WeezelWords ~ Science Fiction ~

Final Exit by Eric J. Krause @ericjkrause ~ Horror ~

Fish out of water by Lauren Cude @NA ~ Magical Realism ~

Flash by Alison Wells @alisonwells ~ Slice of Life ~

Friday Flash, Flash, Flash by Tony Noland @TonyNoland ~ Slice of Life ~

Full Circle by V.R. Leavitt @vrleavitt ~ Slice of Life ~

Get Rid of #1 by John Wiswell @Wiswell ~ Crime ~

Happily Ever After by Trisha L Castillo @trishalcastillo ~ Unspecified ~

Homecoming by Joanie Rich @nightcrafter ~ Cross Genre ~

How To Save A Life…or not by Tina Lynn Sandoval @TinaLynn_ ~ Science Fiction ~ Debut

Idle Life by Laurita Miller @LauritaMiller ~ Slice of Life ~

Junket by Karen Schindler @karenfrommentor ~ Science Fiction ~

Just A Bite of Coffee and Ice Cream by J. Timothy King @JTimothyKing ~ Literary ~

Leaving Behind the Home and the Pain by Stefanie Howerton @SteferstheGreat ~ Unspecified ~

Like a Weird Dream by Mari Juniper @marirandomities ~ Cross Genre ~

Lyric by Donald Conrad @NoddlaNocdar ~ Fantasy ~

Max by J. Dane Tyler @DarcKnyt ~ Suspense ~

Midnight Train by Laura Eno @LauraEno ~ Magical Realism ~

Mirror Mirror by T.S. Bazelli @tsbazelli ~ Horror ~

Mixed Messages by Jodi Cleghorn @jodicleghorn ~ Slice of Life ~

Naughty but Nice by Kate Davis-Holmes @crystalsinabox ~ Slice of Life ~ Debut

Office Politics by Neil Shurley @thatneilguy ~ Slice of Life ~

Opportunity by Katherine Nabity @katen ~ Fantasy ~

Pant and Slobber by Deanna Schrayer @deannaschrayer ~ Humor ~

Pant and Slobber by Deanna Schrayer @deannaschrayer ~ Humor ~

Partners by J. M. Strother @jmstro ~ Crime ~

Party Time by Catherine Russell @ganymeder ~ Horror ~

PEEPING TOM’S PARADISE by Anthony Venutolo @bukowskisbaseme ~ Literary ~

Plato’s Cave by Marc Nash @ExisleMoll ~ Literary ~

Possessed by Michael J. Solender @mjsolender ~ Literary ~

Remembrance and Retribution by Jason Warden @ShadowCastAudio ~ Literary ~

Roses are Red–and White–and Yellow by Susan Cross @SusanJCross ~ Slice of Life ~

Salvation’s Curse: Retribution by J.C. Montgomery @BiblioBrat ~ Science Fiction ~

Sampaati’s Last Flight by Aidan Fritz @AidanFritz ~ Science Fiction ~

Score a Point for Dear Old Dad by Walt @waltw ~ Thriller ~

Sound And Fury by Aislinn O’Connor @Aislinnye24 ~ Fantasy ~

The ‘ghost’ writer by JB Slater @magicradio ~ Literary ~

The Best Pie in the World by Emma Newman @EmApocalyptic ~ Unspecified ~

The Casket Crew: Folds by Carrie Clevenger @carrieclevenger ~ Science Fiction ~

The Cutting Edge by LindaSW @drwasy ~ Literary ~

The Dark Inside You by Simon Larter @WritingAgain ~ Fantasy ~

The Eater of Worlds by Melissa L. Webb @melissalwebb ~ Horror ~ Debut

The Excitable Whipping Boy by Alan W. Davidson @AW_Davidson ~ Humor ~

The Gift by Rebecca Emin @RebeccaEmin ~ Cross Genre ~

The Interview by Essie Spencer @essiespencer ~ Slice of Life ~ Debut

The Key by Icy Sedgwick @icypop ~ Romance ~

The Painting on the Wall by Tomara Armstrong @2maraA ~ Science Fiction ~

The Pianist – Part 3 by P.J. Kaiser @doublelattemama ~ Unspecified ~

The Rights Of Octopi by John McDonnell @McDonnellWrite ~ Humor ~

THE SCRAPYARD DIARIES: Midnight Lullaby by Al Bruno III @albruno3 ~ Horror ~

Thoki and Lor by Monica Marier @lil_monmon ~ Humor ~

To Trick A Mockingbird by Peggy McFarland @peggywriter ~ Magical Realism ~

UCF Stories #13: Wyrm Hunting by Sam Adamson @FutureNostalgic ~ Fantasy ~

Unresolved by G.P. Ching @gpching ~ Unspecified ~

When Boys Play Battles by Annie Evett @AnnieEvett ~ Humor ~

Where were you? by Denis Vaughan @inshin ~ Slice of Life ~

Why Mr. Duka Smiled by Cathy Olliffe @Matthiasville ~ Slice of Life ~

Zeno’s Agony by Mike Robertson @miker_lazlo ~ Experimental ~

In Other News

Long time FridayFlasher, Shannon Esposito, has released her new novel Strange New Feet, a Science Fiction thriller seemingly ripped from today’s science headlines. It is available in multiple ebook formats from SmashWords for just $1.99. Congratulations, Shannon.

Fellow FridayFlasher, Stephen Book, won the latest round of Your Story, a bimonthly writing contest hosted by Writer’s Digest. For winning, Stephen’s story, Yellowed Kodachrome, will appear in the November/December issue of Writer’s Digest later this year. Drop by his blog, Powder Burns and Bullets, and offer him your congratulations.

If you have some publishing news you’d like to share with your fellow FridayFlash authors and fans, or know of someone worthy of a mention,  just drop me a line at jstro AT swbell DOT com, or DM me on Twitter.

The wrap

Thanks to all our readers. We love you. And please, if you enjoy a story leave comments when you visit. Writers love feedback almost as much as chocolate. Maybe more! Then go tell your friends to read it too. Help these writers grow.

You can subscribe to the #fridayflash hashtag (external link) on Twitter every week for more great flash fiction.

We’re on Facebook (external link) too.


I want to thank everyone for all the well wishes on the first anniversary of #FridayFlash. It was quite a year, and we’ve developed into quite a community of readers and writers. I am so pleased to spend time with you all each week. There is a slight change to the report this week. I’ve changed the title to reflect that this is now our second year, by marking it Vol2. #1. I hope there are many more volumes to come.

This week we were down a little bit, with just 70 stories, but I think that is to be expected with the onset of summertime in the Northern Hemisphere, and the big Memorial Day holiday in the States. This is a big weekend for that first summer get away, and I image a few people are on the road (or the lake). Still a great turn out though, and still lots of great stories. [Edit - With some late arrivals we are now up to 70 stories despite the holiday. What a great turn out!]

We had five debut authors this week. Please welcome Adam J. Keeper, Alison Wells, Pamila Payne, Denis Vaughan, and T.S. Bazelli to the fold. We’re honored that you’ve joined us and it’s great to have you all aboard.

I’ll post the winners of the Reader’s Contest tomorrow, and try and have to poll up for the Writer’s Contest early this week. Thanks again for making #FridayFlash a success, and keep writing. ~jon

The Stories

Writer’s Block by Michelle Frank @wickedmoxie ~ Unspecified ~

Work in the Daylight by J. Dane Tyler @DarcKnyt ~ Unspecified ~

Who Ya Gonna Call? by J. M. Strother @jmstro ~ Unspecified ~

Wealth, Luck, Love Guaranteed, no disappointments by Adam J. Keeper @Adam J. Keeper ~ Magical Realism ~ Debut

Under an August Moon by T.J. McIntyre @southernweirdo ~ Slice of Life ~

Unbeaten by Amy Taylor @adastrapoetry ~ Unspecified ~

Trouble by Joyce @jolantru ~ Cross Genre ~

Third Party Repair by Katherine Nabity @katen ~ Humor ~

The Writer’s Block by Jim Dempsey @jimdempsey ~ Humor ~

The Street Near and Far by Christian Bell @christianbell37 ~ Unspecified ~

THE SCRAPYARD DIARIES: Burma Shave by Al Bruno III @albruno3 ~ Horror ~

The Problem With Alex by Gary Harmon @Gary_Harmon ~ Humor ~

The Pianist – Part 2 by P.J. Kaiser @doublelattemama ~ Unspecified ~

The Lunar Gate by Chris Chartrand @ChrisChartrand ~ Unspecified ~

The Finale by Danielle La Paglia @@Dannigrrl5 ~ Unspecified ~

The End of It All by Eric J. Krause @ericjkrause ~ Science Fiction ~

The Blue Chair by An American Soldier @worksofwords ~ Action ~

The birthday by Estrella Azul @EstrellaAzul ~ Slice of Life ~

The Bean by Emma Newman @EmApocalyptic ~ Slice of Life ~

The Agency by Cecilia Dominic @RandomOenophile ~ Fantasy ~

Ten Wobegones lie sleeping by Alison Wells @alisonwells ~ Science Fiction ~ Debut

Sologamous by John Wiswell @Wiswell ~ Humor ~

Six Months From His Life by Michael J. Solender @mjsolender ~ Slice of Life ~

Silence Everywhere by KjM @kevinjmackey ~ Science Fiction ~

Rufus Bent by Marisa Birns @marisabirns ~ Unspecified ~

Ripples by Walt White @waltw ~ Unspecified ~

Ripple Creek Bar-B-Que by Louise Dragon @WeezelWords ~ Horror ~

Ringmaster by Christina Vincent @stinavincent ~ Horror ~

Revelations by Angie C. @techtigger ~ Fantasy ~

Repetitive Patterns by Peggy McFarland @peggywriter ~ Science Fiction ~

Problems with the T.P.S. Report by Tony Noland @TonyNoland ~ Humor ~

Prelude part 2 by Timothy P. Remp @Tim_Remp_writer ~ Science Fiction ~

Patrick by Nancy Brauer @tenaciousN ~ Horror ~

Over Breakfast by Pia Veleno @piaveleno ~ Unspecified ~

On the Beach by Neil Shurley @thatneilguy ~ Humor ~

Not According to Plan by Pamila Payne @mspamila ~ Horror ~ Debut

Night Life by Carrie Clevenger @carrieclevenger ~ Thriller ~

Mumtaz by Kim Batchelor @Kim_Batchelor ~ Literary ~

Midwinter by Gracie Motley @gracecrone ~ Fantasy ~

Man dances on forecourt by Dan Powell @danpowfiction ~ Slice of Life ~

Love is Blind by Catherine Russell @ganymeder ~ Cross Genre ~

Just Desserts by Michelle Sussman @michellesussman ~ Action ~

Iron Mike by Mark Kerstetter @markerstetter ~ Slice of Life ~

Hard Time by Marc Nash @ExisleMoll ~ Literary ~

Guy’s Worst Nightmare by Joanie Rich @nightcrafter ~ Cross Genre ~

Eugene Tallhammer, First Mate Extraordinaire by Karen Schindler @karenfrommentor ~ Humor ~

Dolores Meets Pierce Brosnan by John McDonnell @McDonnellWrite ~ Humor ~

Death By Chocolate by Laura Eno @LauraEno ~ Fantasy ~

Dearie by Monica Marier @lil_monmon ~ Slice of Life ~

Crystal by Denis Vaughan @inshin ~ Mystery ~ Debut

Count the Stars by Jim Wisneski @wisneski ~ Horror ~

Corkscrew Chester by Aidan Fritz @AidanFritz ~ Fantasy ~

Constructive Criticism by Sam Adamson @FutureNostalgic ~ Crime ~

CLAUDE by Absolutely*Kate @AbsolutelyKate ~ Magical Realism ~

Cipher of the Heart by Annie Evett @AnnieEvett ~ Slice of Life ~

Changed, Unchanged by Michelle Dennis Evans @michelledevans ~ Slice of Life ~

Broommates: Lord of the Land by Valerie Valdes @valerievaldes ~ Cross Genre ~

Breakfast Storm by David Masters @davidmasters ~ Slice of Life ~

Bad Decisions by Anton Gully @antongully ~ Crime ~

At least the cake is good by Diandra Linnemann @LaCaffeinata ~ Crime ~

At Dawn by Virginia Moffatt @VirginiaMoffatt ~ Unspecified ~

Arresting by A. M. Harte @am_harte ~ Unspecified ~

Anniversary by Thom Gabrukiewicz @tgabrukiewicz ~ Unspecified ~

Adam Learns the Truth About Mr. Wilson by Deanna Schrayer @deannaschrayer ~ Humor ~

A Taste of Love by Katirra @katirra ~ Unspecified ~

A Summer’s Day by Lauren Cude @NA ~ Fantasy ~

A GOSSIP NATION by Anthony Venutolo @bukowskisbaseme ~ Literary ~

A Gift for Mother by T.S. Bazelli @tsbazelli ~ Science Fiction ~ Debut

A Conversation by Cathy Olliffe @Matthiasville ~ Slice of Life ~

The wrap

Thanks to all our readers. We love you. And please, if you enjoy a story leave comments when you visit. Writers love feedback almost as much as chocolate. Maybe more! Then go tell your friends to read it too. Help these writers grow.

You can subscribe to the #fridayflash hashtag (external link) on Twitter every week for more great flash fiction.

We’re on Facebook (external link) too.


We Were All Young Once

I just spent some time looking over the old #FridayFlash archives. Hard to believe we’ve had 248 participants share their stories with us over the course of the past year. It is fascinating to see who started flashing when, and what their debut story was. I’ve enjoyed rediscovering some old friends who have, for one reason or another, moved on.

Below I have attempted to list everyone’s debut story, in chronological order. I am sure there are some errors in it (it was a manual hunt, copy, and paste operation sure to be prone to human error). The early listings may be a bit of a jumble as I did not keep good records for the first few weeks. If your debut story is listed incorrectly please drop me a line via email or a DM on Twitter, and I’ll correct it. Also, if for some reason you don’t want to be listed just let me know and I’ll delete that entry.

Some of the stories do not have live links. Either the story is no longer available, or the author provided a link to their blog rather than a link to the actual post. Again, I’ll be happy to patch those up if you provide me a direct link.

So, pull up a chair and spend a little time with me strolling down memory lane. Thank you all for participating in #FridayFlash. It would be nothing without you.

The Beginings, May and June, 2009
J. M. Strother - Plus Tax 05/22/09
Kevin J. Mckey - Untitled 05/22/09
Tomara Armstrong – The Cave 06/12/09
Laura Eno - They Feed 06/19/09
Frances Wookey -  All That Glitters 06/19/09
Jennifer Jones (Jen Tropy) - Recycled 06/19/09
R. J. Keller - Utopia 06/19/09 Story no longer available
Dan Powell - Reverse 06/19/09
Jeff Posey - Unrequited Kopavi 06/19/09
E. D. Johnson Terror Road 06/19/09
Declan Stanley - New Man at the Lesbos Palace 06/19/09 Link not posted
Jeni Burns - The Hallway 06/26/09 Story no longer available
Pippa Hennessy - Ghosts (again) 06/26/09

judy b. - Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off 07/03/09
Stephen Book - Life Happens 07/03/09
anniegirl1138 The Renter 07/03/09
Ryan Bradford Desert Island Records 07/17/09
Craig Daniels Infused Purple 07/17/09
Chris Chartrand - The Crazy Mixed Up Day Of Bob and Tony 07/17/09
skrblr The Eaters 07/17/09
Violet Hilton Go Fish 07/31/09
Ryan Harron In Flames 07/31/09
Greta Igl To The Lake 07/31/09

Daine Salmon Best Friend 08/07/09
Victoria Anisman-Reiner It Was a Dead Zombie Werewolf Baby, Of Course 08/07/09
Kate Sherrod Bartender and the Babe 08/07/09
Dana Larose The Academy Bijou 08/07/09
Selina Jane Eckersall A Certain Destiny 08/14/09
Jodi Cleghorn A Lover’s Tryst 08/14/09
Jenny Lemberg Two Stamps to Mars 08/14/09
Jim Wisneski A Moment At the Pirate Wheel 08/21/09
Lauren Cude A Normal Life 08/21/09
Christine Love Tyr’s Last Stand 08/21/09
Shannon Esposito A Basement Story 08/28/09
Anthony Deaver Cyber Mummies 08/28/09
Matthew Bacon Eggs Over Easy 08/28/09
Alan Baxter Forgivness 08/28/09
Tanya L. Schofield Hostage 08/28/09
Susan Sonnen - I Only Ate Half 08/28/09 Story no longer available
Susan J. Cross - Just Words 08/28/09
netta50 Old Habits 08/28/09
ganymeder Of Penguins and Men 08/28/09
PJ Kaiser Samantha’s Dress 08/28/09
Michelle D. Evans The Best Of Times 08/28/09
Leigh Barlow The Last Pirate 08/28/09
Rosa Say The Vision 08/28/09
Marisa Birns - The Yin and the Yan of It 08/28/09 Link not posted
Anton Gully Viking Blood 08/28/09
Kay Anna Kirby 8 Minutes 08/28/09
Eric J. Krause Jaime’s Home 08/28/09

dragonwrites Untitled 09/04/10
Gloria Oliver Achievement 09/04/10
Jennifer Duncan Change Of Season 09/04/10
Karen Schindler Do Unto Others 09/04/10
Hazel Gaynor Eliza Plum: Credit Crunch Mum 09/04/10
Maegan Denton Bacon Pancakes 09/04/10
Michael Solender Respiratory Arrest 09/04/10
Lily Mulholland Snowgate 09/04/10
CJ Stuck 09/04/10
Trevor Mcpherson (3S_stories) Switcheroo 09/04/10
Benjamin Solah The Boat 09/04/10
Kylie Szymesko 28 Gears 09/04/10
Tony Noland Nearer Comes The Moon 09/04/10
Xan Marcelles - One More Night 09/11/09 Story no longer available
kaolin fire Ouroboros 09/11/09
Carrie Clevenger Rain 09/11/09
randilin - Rescue Dog 09/11/09 Story no longer available
Avery Tingle September 11, 2001 09/11/09
Deirdre Murphy The Perfect Gift 09/11/09
Nick Name The Third Attempt To Take the Teddy 09/11/09
T.J. McIntyre - Untitled 09/11/09 Story no longer available
Clifford Fryman Wolf And Twilight 09/11/09
Christina Vincent Heading Toward the Border 09/11/09
Laurita Miller Look Here 09/11/09
Say Hello, Beanty Folsom Prison Blues 09/11/09
Chris Lynch Hitler’s Wonderland 09/11/09
John Wiswell Possible Origins For Him 09/11/09

The week of September 18 saw eighteen writers debut, the most ever in one week!
Paul D. Brazill 6 Word Story 09/18/09
Shannon Reinbold-Gee 13 To Life 09/18/09
Elizabeth Ditty A Love Story 09/18/09
Maria Protopapadaki-Smith Anti-Social Networking 09/18/09
TheBusyMystic Forgetting the Horse 09/18/09
Linda Simoni-Wastila Lifeguard Off Duty 09/18/09
Stephen Parolini Meant To Fade 09/18/09
Inez Kelley Myla By Moonlight 09/18/09
Jodi MacArthur -  Oh Hell, It’s Shail 09/18/09 Link not posted
Al Bruno III Oozing My Religion 09/18/09
Amanda Scotney Pay Day 09/18/09
Ann Aguirre Razorland 09/18/09
Matt Marko Reflect 09/18/09
Mark Kerstetter The Mechanics of Seeing 09/18/09
Rosalind Stone -  The Top Ten Reasons 09/18/09 Story no longer available
Clive Martyn Time Will Heal All 09/18/09
Stefanie Howerton Untitled 09/18/09
Gary Harmon The Vicious Cycle 09/18/09
David Masters A Room-full Of Discarded Dreams 09/25/09
Alex Carrick Death Of a Mattress 09/25/09
Barry J. Northern The Fable of the Spider 09/25/09
Sarah Joyce Bryant Reclaiming of the Soul 09/25/09
Paige Bruce Sophie’s Day 09/25/09
Chad Beninati The Italian Soda Man 09/25/09
Cecilia Dominic Three Beers and a Monster 09/25/09

Cliff Stornel B Is For Blank 10/02/09
Monica Millard Dignity 10/02/09
techtigger Enter The Grim 10/02/09
Sumit Dam I/O Error 10/02/09
Joseph Paul Haines Malingering 10/02/09
Donna Carrick North On The Yellowhead 10/02/09
Rachel Blackbirdsong Stumbling 10/02/09
Matthew Glenn Ward Sudden Standards 10/02/09
Tim VanSant The Mystery Writer 10/02/09
C. A. Beninati A Child and The Musician 10/09/09
Barb Relyea A Word Of Advice 10/09/09
Emma Newman Burnt 10/09/09
Laura Packer Crazy Jane’s Dream 10/09/09
Dan Faust Eviction Notice 10/09/09
April L. Hamilton Justice For Cody 10/09/09
Patty Jansen Mass Extinction 10/09/09
Daniel Warskow Milking 101 10/09/09
Chance The Backstreet Berlin Brawl 10/09/09
Jennifer Derfoldy The Dreamer 10/09/09
Lionel Braud The Tragic Fate of Armani Claudius 10/09/09
Jeremy C. Shipp Parasite 10/16/09
Taliana Silent Treatment 10/16/09
Deanna Schrayer Snow Quiet 10/16/09
Donald Conrad - Take A Hit 10/16/09 Link not posted
Llanor Alleyne The Cannon 10/16/09
Elsa Pozu Untitled 10/16/09
Jon Gilbert When A Man Goes Bad 10/16/09
Amy J Taylor Accidental Death 10/23/09
Olivia Tejeda Cupcake 10/23/09
Ari Collins Rocks 10/23/09
Alan W. Davidson - Targeting Hunger and Blue Balloons 10/23/09
David G Shrock Young Secret 10/23/09
Pia Veleno Ashes To Ashes 10/30/09
Estrella Azul Carving Terrific Jack-o’-lanterns 10/30/09
Jim Dempsey Skin Stripper 10/30/09
Melissa D. Johnston Toward The Light 10/30/09

Christian Bell The Thirst 11/06/09
Deborah Szajngarten Tommy And The Train 11/06/09
Peggy McFarland Turn Around, Tadpole! 11/06/09
Skycycler Skycycler 11/13/09
Andrew Rosenberg RIP Subaru Outback 11/13/09
Prats - Night 11/13/09 Story no longer available
J. Dane Tyler Morning Commute 11/13/09
Lesley Wood Meeting the Tenbull 11/13/09
Lou Freshwater Lucille 11/13/09
Shawn Main A Burnt Original 11/13/09
Sam Mr Fluffles and the Art of Feline Psychiatry 11/20/09
Kat Del Rio The Berserker 11/20/09
Louise Dragon Remedy 11/27/09
Kim Batchelor - My Life in Publishing: A Fictional Autobiography 11/27/09

Chad Redden - Building A Sparrow 12/04/09 Story no longer available
Mike Procter Item 27 12/04/09
Sarah Snell-Pym Melvin Is A Coconut 12/04/09
Tim Remp Perfect, After Death 12/11/09
Anne Tyler Lord - Frostbite: A Mafia Family Christmas 12/11/09
Jake Freivald Enigma 12/11/09
The week of December 18 was one of only two weeks where we did not have any debuts.
Richard Gardner Under Grey Skies 12/25/09
J.C. Towler EF 5 12/25/09

January, 2010
Peter Etherington Almost Omniscient 01/02/10
G.P. Ching iSurgeon 01/02/10
Hannah Bisson Touched 01/02/10
Lindsay Oberst Word Smells 01/10/10
Gregory VanWagenen - The Next Best Thing 01/10/10 Story no longer available
Jesse Groppi Post-Invasion Christmas 01/10/10
Virginia Moffatt Happy New Year 01/10/10
ThomG Drain 01/10/10
Deborah Bundy - A Puppy In Need 01/10/10 Link not posted
Chrys Constant Eclipse 01/15/10
R Canepa Narcoleptic Princess 01/15/10
David B Dale Proof’s Hammer 01/15/10
Jessica Rosen The Bubble 01/15/10
Cheshire Scribe The Great Escape 01/15/10
Katirra Thomas & the Good Folk’s War 01/15/10
D. Paul Angel The Light Around the Doorframe 01/22/10
brookelyn -  Well Done 01/22/10 Link not posted
Aaron Polson Unchecked Expansion 01/22/10
Yaara Naor-Elman Red Scarf 01/22/10
EllenO Plastic Flowers 01/22/10
AJ Campos Mother’s Little Luchador 01/22/10
Anke Wehner Stretching Limits 01/29/10
Mel Morton Drop-Dead Date 01/29/10
Annie Evett Forgytan 01/29/10
Anthony Venutolo She Needed A Job 01/29/10
Cathy Olliffe The Bus Driver 01/29/10
Jen Brubacher The Crab 01/29/10
Calvin Seen The Impala 01/29/10

Heather Lloyd -  The Last Meal 02/05/10 Link not posted
Jack Roth Itch 02/05/10
Tom B. Reeves Dude Goes What 02/05/10
Maria Kelly Bad Day At Bull Funk’s 02/12/10
Mark Champion - Edward 02/12/10 Story no longer available
Jared Branch Untitled 02/12/10
Joyce Sojourner 02/12/10
Bill Dowis Snow Day 02/12/10
Kelly Lynn Thomas Ruby and the Moon: The Dog Who Didn’t Yet Have a Tail 02/19/10
A. M. Harte A Simple Prayer 02/19/10
Leah Saylor-Abney Hindsight 02/26/10
Julie Jordan Scott Nothing 02/26/10
Jason Henry McCormick Shots of Hell At the End Of a Lonely Street 02/26/10
Lyn Thorne-Alder Storm 02/26/10

Derrick Espadas Where’s Ivan 03/05/10
John McDonnell Deaf Jam 03/05/10
Cyn Crayons For Algernon 03/05/10
Neil Shurley Burrito 03/05/10
EJ James Apples In the Air 03/12/10
Phlegyas Assassin Excellence 03/12/10
Paul Servini Bequest 03/12/10
Icy Sedgwick Beyond The Door 03/12/10
Paula Ray Deconstruction of a Body, Resurrection of a Marriage 03/12/10
G L Drummond Top Of the Food Chain 03/12/10
Meg Wingo Finally, She Smiled 03/19/10
Christopher Rivan Awakening 03/19/10
Valerie Valdes Airy Nothings 03/19/10
Johanna Harness Another Weird-Ass Parade 03/26/10

Gracie Motely The Faces 04/09/10
Orjan Westin There Is No Coke 04/09/10
Sike Ward Patient The Here and Now 04/09/10
Aislinn O’Connor The Dark Assassin 04/09/10
Monsterbat - Story 04/09/10 Story no longer available
AidanFritz Magic Envelope 04/09/10
Lynda Sinclair The Letter 04/16/10
Morbus Iff The Guardian of Aloons – 1 04/16/10
M.S. Fenster, MD - My Decade in the Ninth Circle 04/16/10 Link not posted
V.R. Leavitt Dandelions 04/16/10
Josie Lyon Conversations From the Sea 04/16/10
Anna Tan Another Scar 04/16/10
Holly West A Piece Of Cake 04/16/10
Aaron Weed You’ll Never Do So Good 04/16/10
d8uv Awaken 04/23/10
Jay Nakamura - 04/23/10 Title and link not posted. Sorry.
Isaac Liljedahl The Newscast 04/23/10
Mike Robertson Who Breathes 04/30/10
Sarah Ann Juckes The Mummy Tree 04/30/10
Julian Slater Apartment Block – Part 1 04/30/10
Michelle Frank Chemistry 04/30/10

The week of May 5th was the second week we had no debuts.

Mari Juniper Zombie Walk 05/14/10
kennwhite What you don’t know can help you 05/14/10
Patience Ray Pest Control 05/14/10
Nancy Brauer Holiday 05/14/10
Absolutely*Kate “36-26-38? ~ A Pretty Ziegfeld Girl Is A Melody 05/14/10
Joanie Rich The Last Flight 05/14/10
Monica Marier Daddy’s Little Yog-Sothoth 05/21/10
Wulfie Same Shit Different Day 05/21/10
Danielle La Paglia The Return 05/21/10
MCM Yaktastic 05/21/10

And there you have it — 248 debut stories and authors in our first year of #FridayFlash. Many wonderful stories here, and many new friends. Spend some time visiting. Above all, keep reading, keep writing, and keep honing those skills. I hope someday to read a NY Times Bestseller, look back at this list, and say to myself, “I knew them when…”



Happy Anniversary!

It’s hard to believe, but this marks the one year anniversary of #FridayFlash, the online experiment in crowdsourcing flash fiction. It’s been a wonderful year, and I want to thank everyone who has participated in one form or another, be it as a writer, a reader, or a promoter. I’d like to make one special shout out to Maria Schneider, the host of Editor Unleashed, and one of the nicest people on web.

It was not until Maria allowed me to guest post about #FridayFlash that it really took off. I’d provide you a link to the post, but sadly her site was recently attacked and Editor Unleashed is currently down. Not sure if and when it will come back, but I want Maria to know that I, and hundreds of other writers out in the wide world, greatly appreciate all she has done over the past year to support new and emerging writers via her blog and forum. We’re all pulling for you Maria.

This week we had 75 stories (that count will likely go up, it usually does) with five debuts: Wulfie, Danielle La Paglia, MCM, Monica Marier, and Walt White. Please give our three new participants a very warm #FridayFlash welcome. Please be sure to visit their sites and spend some time chatting over that nice warm plate of cookies you took along. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.

Our writing and reading contests are both winding down. You still have time to enter either or both. Just follow the links for the details.

If you did a #FridayFlash and your story does not appear here, please visit the Collector to enter your details. I check back periodically and add late arrives as they come in. Don’t be too slow — the cookies go fast. ~jon

The Stories

A Storm of Dragons by Gracie Motley @gracecrone ~ Fantasy ~

Anniversary by Anton Gully @antongully ~ Slice of Life ~

Aunt Agnes by Kim Batchelor @Kim_Batchelor ~ Humor ~

Block by Matthew Marko @litrock ~ Science Fiction ~

Brilliant Thieves by Diandra Linnemann @LaCaffeinata ~ Unspecified ~

Broommates: Passing Muster by Valerie Valdes @valerievaldes ~ Cross Genre ~

Brush Strokes by Virginia Moffatt @VirginiaMoffatt ~ Unspecified ~

Burnt by Cathy Olliffe @Matthiasville ~ Unspecified ~

Coming Soon by Gary Harmon @Gary_Harmon ~ Slice of Life ~

Daddy’s Little Yog-Sothoth by Monica Marier @lil_monmon ~ Humor ~ Debut

Dangerous Glances by Walt White @waltw ~ Fantasy ~ Debut

Dark World by Chris Chartrand @ChrisChartrand ~ Science Fiction ~

Dead of the Night Living by Christian Bell @christianbell37 ~ Unspecified ~

Disobeying Orders by Aidan Fritz @AidanFritz ~ Science Fiction ~

Dolores, Larry And A Naked Kim Kardashian by John McDonnell @McDonnellWrite ~ Humor ~

Dusk Dweller by Maria Protopapadaki-Smith @mazzz_in_Leeds ~ Fantasy ~

Eliminations by Mike Robertson @miker_lazlo ~ Slice of Life ~

Equipped For Battle by A. M. Harte @am_harte ~ Humor ~

Greenman Ridge by Jodi Cleghorn @jodicleghorn ~ Science Fiction ~

Grow, garden, grow by Tony Noland @TonyNoland ~ Science Fiction ~

Her Fall by Emma Newman @EmApocalyptic ~ Unspecified ~

In Shelter or In Danger by Michelle Dennis Evans @michelledevans ~ Cross Genre ~

Irreconcilable Differences by Nancy Brauer @tenaciousN ~ Humor ~

It’s Saturn by David G Shrock @dracotorre ~ Unspecified ~

Jail Break by Angie C. @techtigger ~ Fantasy ~

Kid by Jen Brubacher @jen_b ~ Western ~

LICKETY*SPLITS by Absolutely*Kate @AbsolutelyKate ~ Humor ~

Marie & George: Putting Out Fires by Lena S. @DarthFormal ~ Humor ~

Martians Don’t Eat Corn by Laura Eno @LauraEno ~ Humor ~

Mid-life Reality by David Masters @davidmasters ~ Slice of Life ~

Mischievous by J. Dane Tyler @darcknyt ~ Fantasy ~

Mistaken Identity by Johanna Harness @johannaharness ~ Unspecified ~

Moonlight and Sand by Jeremy Warach @jwarach ~ Literary ~

Night by James T. @TheFourPartLand ~ Unspecified ~

Not a Christmas Miracle by J. M. Strother @jmstro ~ Humor ~

Objet de’art by Thom Gabrukiewicz @tgabrukiewicz ~ Science Fiction ~

Out into the Dark by KjM @kevinjmackey ~ Science Fiction ~

Pale Horse by Carrie Clevenger @carrieclevenger ~ Slice of Life ~

Past Her Prime by Michelle Frank @wickedmoxie ~ Literary ~

Patriot Ford by Linda Simoni-Wastila @drwasy ~ Unspecified ~

Pirate Glasses by Peggy McFarland @peggywriter ~ Literary ~

Polishing the Giant by Mark Kerstetter @markerstetter ~ Unspecified ~

Prelude by Timothy P. Remp @TIm_Remp_writer ~ Science Fiction ~

Pushed Too Far by Alan Baxter @AlanBaxter ~ Horror ~

Red Riding Hood Revised by Catherine Russell @ganymeder ~ Cross Genre ~

Sally by T.J. McIntyre @southernweirdo ~ Crime ~

Same Shit Different Day by Wulfie @wulfshado ~ Experimental ~ Debut

Sirens At Dawn by L Faulk @ellecee ~ Literary ~

Standing by by JB Slater @magicradio ~ Experimental ~

Stories We Tell Ourselves by Mike Robertson @miker_lazlo ~ Science Fiction ~

Strictly No Digging by Icy Sedgwick @icypop ~ Humor ~

Sweet ‘ol Fuckin’ by Jim Wisneski @wisneski ~ Horror ~

The Forsaken by Marc Nash @ExisleMoll ~ Literary ~

The Gardener by Michael J. Solender @mjsolender ~ Fantasy ~

The Immortal by Christina Vincent @stinavincent ~ Horror ~

The Listener by V.R. Leavitt @vrleavitt ~ Cross Genre ~

The Lonely by Deanna Schrayer @deannaschrayer ~ Cross Genre ~

The Lonesome Elm by Louise Dragon @WeezelWords ~ Horror ~

The Mosque by American Soldier @worksofwords ~ Action ~

The Pianist – Part 1 by P.J. Kaiser @doublelattemama ~ Unspecified ~

The Return by Danielle La Paglia @Dannigrrl5 ~ Horror ~ Debut

THE SCRAPYARD DIARIES: On A Foggy Night by Al Bruno III @albruno3 ~ Horror ~

The Security Guard by Eric J. Krause @ericjkrause ~ Fantasy ~

The Stupid Tea Party by Joanie Rich @nightcrafter ~ Slice of Life ~

The Taste Of Youth by Dan Powell @danpowfiction ~ Horror ~

THE WRITER AND THE READER by Anthony Venutolo @bukowskisbaseme ~ Literary ~

Through the Darkness and the Screams by Katherine Nabity @katen ~ Horror ~

Tomorrow by Marisa Birns @marisabirns ~ Unspecified ~

UCF Stories #10: Professional Services. by Sam Adamson @FutureNostalgic ~ Fantasy ~

Warning Belles by J.C. Towler @n/a ~ Science Fiction ~

We Love Yankees by Cecilia Dominic @RandomOenophile ~ Suspense ~

Werecabbage by Barry J. Northern @BarryNorthern ~ Fantasy ~

What’s It Like? by Mari Juniper @marirandomities ~ Unspecified ~

Work the Curse by John Wiswell @Wiswell ~ Fantasy ~

Yaktastic by MCM @1889ca ~ Humor ~ Debut

The wrap

Thanks to all our readers. We love you. And please, if you enjoy a story leave comments when you visit. Writers love feedback almost as much as chocolate. Maybe more! Then go tell your friends to read it too. Help these writers grow.

You can subscribe to the #fridayflash hashtag (external link) on Twitter every week for more great flash fiction.

We’re on Facebook (external link) too.


What a great week for flash fiction. We may have a record with seventy-six (76!) stories so far, including five debuts. Please welcome debut participants Mari Juniper, kennwhite, Patience Ray, Nancy Brauer, and Absolutely*Kate. Pass them the hot chocolate and brownies while you’re in their reading rooms.

Next week marks the one year anniversary of #fridayflash. Don’t forget, time is rapidly running out for the two contests we’re running. Get your entries in for the #fridayflash nonfiction writer’s contest, and the dead simple to enter, #fridayflash reader’s contest. The reading contest will close at midnight (Saturday/Sunday) on May 22nd. The writing contest remains open thru May 24th. Anyone can enter both contests; readers and writers alike.

I have been pretty bad at maintaining a presence on the the #fridayflash Facebook page. During my wife’s illness this past winter a lot of things began to slip. Now that she’s home and healthy I am making a conscious effort to reconnect, both on Facebook and on various blogs. So expect to see more on the #fridayflash Page in the coming weeks. This week I added a Q&A to the discussion section. If you have any questions feel free to post them there.

As always, if your story is not in the listing below, visit the Collector to add your details. I’ll get it onto the list. Thanks for reading, and thanks for writing. You’re a great group. ~jon

The Stories

Zombie Walk by Mari Juniper @marirandomities ~ Horror ~ Debut

Work by Jessica Rosen @jessrosenbooks ~ Unspecified ~

when every last possibility is calculated by Kaolin Fire @kaolinfire ~ Science Fiction ~

What you don’t know can help you by kennwhite @worksofwords ~ Action ~ Debut

Undercover Garden by Louise Dragon @WeezelWords ~ Horror ~

UCF Stories #9: Something Slithering This Way Comes by Sam Adamson @FutureNostalgic ~ Fantasy ~

Too Much Information by Nancy Brauer @tenaciousN ~ Cross Genre ~

The Raffle by Eric J. Krause @ericjkrause ~ Fantasy ~

The Night There Were Two Lead Singers for The Souls of Styxx by Donald Conrad @NoddlaNocdar ~ Horror ~

The Masquerade by Pia Veleno @piaveleno ~ Cross Genre ~

The Marriage by GP Ching @gpching ~ Slice of Life ~

The Last Flight by Joanie Rich @nightcrafter ~ Cross Genre ~

The Killing Song by Tony Noland @TonyNoland ~ Slice of Life ~

The Idea by Jen Brubacher @jen_b ~ Experimental ~

The Future’s not Bright by J. Dane Tyler @darcknyt ~ Science Fiction ~

The Day the Grid Failed by Mike Robertson @miker_lazlo ~ Science Fiction ~

The Birthday Gift by Gracie Motley @gracecrone ~ Fantasy ~

That Day in Spring by Kim Batchelor @Kim_Batchelor ~ Literary ~

Thanks for the Song by Susan Cross @SusanJCross ~ Slice of Life ~

Swimming Lessons by A. M. Harte @am_harte ~ Horror ~

Sunset camp by Orjan Westin @Cunobaros ~ Science Fiction ~

Start With A by Lyn Thorne-Alder @lynthornealder ~ Cross Genre ~

Special Magic by Diandra Linnemann @LaCaffeinata ~ Unspecified ~

Size Matters by Cathy Olliffe @Matthiasville ~ Unspecified ~

Rock Fall by Mike Robertson @miker_lazlo ~ Literary ~

Red-cap, Mad-cap by katirra @katirra ~ Unspecified ~

Puzzling news by Estrella Azul @EstrellaAzul ~ Humor ~

Piazzi Mining by Aidan Fritz @AidanFritz ~ Science Fiction ~

Pest Control by Patience Ray @NA ~ Fantasy ~ Debut

No Place Like Home by John McDonnell @McDonnellWrite ~ Science Fiction ~

Mrs Simpson by Jodi Cleghorn @jodicleghorn ~ Science Fiction ~

Monster Teeth and Art Glass by Deirdre M. Murphy @wyld_dandelyon ~ Science Fiction ~

Mom Called Him A Gift by Peggy McFarland @peggywriter ~ Magical Realism ~

Minstrel by Marisa Birns @marisabirns ~ Slice of Life ~

Meus Culpa by Annie Evett @annieEvett ~ Slice of Life ~

Marie’s Dragon by Lena S. @DarthFormal ~ Unspecified ~

Maison d’Etre by Barry J. Northern @BarryNorthern ~ Fantasy ~

Inanimate by Nancy Brauer @tenaciousN ~ Science Fiction ~

Idolised by Emma Newman @EmApocalyptic ~ Horror ~

I Just Haven’t Met You Yet by V.R. Leavitt @vrleavitt ~ Unspecified ~

Human Cartography by Marc Nash @ExisleMoll ~ Experimental ~

Home by Heather Lloyd @heatherlloyd83 ~ Slice of Life ~

Holiday by Nancy Brauer @tenaciousN ~ Cross Genre ~ Debut

Head’n'shoulders by Orjan Westin @Cunobaros ~ Unspecified ~

Hairpiece by Maria Protopapadaki-Smith @mazzz_in_Leeds ~ Unspecified ~

Gift from a stranger by JB Slater @magicradio ~ Suspense ~

Friends by Laura Eno @LauraEno ~ Fantasy ~

France Bans High Heels by John Wiswell @Wiswell ~ Humor ~

Four Coins in a Cup by E. D. Johnson @geektreasure ~ Unspecified ~

First Impressions by Icy Sedgwick @icypop ~ Fantasy ~

Fast Folly by Carrie Clevenger @carrieclevenger ~ Thriller ~

Erica by Lynda Sinclair @sudnleavalable ~ Unspecified ~

Eloise’s Secret by Shannon Esposito @soesposito ~ Literary ~

Drake M. Causeway: Intergalactic Explorer by Tomara Armstrong @2maraA ~ Science Fiction ~

Disease by Christina Vincent @stinavincent ~ Horror ~

Demands by Matthew Marko @litrock ~ Unspecified ~

Day of Reckoning by Alan W. Davidson @N/A ~ Cross Genre ~

Conjoined by Thom Gabrukiewicz @tgabrukiewicz ~ Unspecified ~

Ching Ching by Neil Shurley @thatneilguy ~ Crime ~

Broommates: Homeward Bound by Valerie Valdes @valerievaldes ~ Cross Genre ~

Broom Closet Blues by Karen Schindler @karenfrommentor ~ Humor ~

Bibliophilia by David Masters @davidmasters ~ Slice of Life ~

Best Laid Plans by Michelle Frank @wickedmoxie ~ Unspecified ~

Are You Saved? by Mark Kerstetter @markerstetter ~ Slice of Life ~

Apartment Block -part2 by JB Slater @magicradio ~ Slice of Life ~

Andre, cursed by Orjan Westin @Cunobaros ~ Humor ~

Adepta Sororitas by Timothy P. Remp @Tim_Remp_writer ~ Science Fiction ~

Accidental Damage by Aislinn O’Connor @Aislinnye24 ~ Humor ~

A Real Hero by J. M. Strother @jmstro ~ Slice of Life ~

A Meeting in the Dark by Isaac Liljedahl @Heartigan86 ~ Unspecified ~

A Matter Of Convenience by Michael J. Solender @mjsolender ~ Slice of Life ~

A BOX FULL OF WATCHES by Anthony Venutolo @bukowskisbaseme ~ Historical ~

A Balance of Souls by Cecilia Dominic @RandomOenophile ~ Unspecified ~

“Grand Central Corner” by P.J. Kaiser @doublelattemama ~ Fantasy ~

“36-26-38″ ~ A PRETTY ZIEGFELD GIRL IS A MELODY by Absolutely*Kate @AbsolutelyKate ~ Magical Realism ~ Debut

THE SCRAPYARD DIARIES: Innocent When You Dream by Al Bruno III @albruno3 ~ Horror ~

The wrap

Thanks to all our readers. We love you. And please, if you enjoy a story leave comments when you visit. Writers love feedback almost as much as chocolate. Maybe more! Then go tell your friends to read it too. Help these writers grow.

You can subscribe to the #fridayflash hashtag (external link) on Twitter every week for more great flash fiction.

We’re on Facebook (external link) too.


There are seventy-four(75!) stories in the listing this week, and we may still get a few more. That makes for another great week of #FridayFlash.We have four new debut authors. Please give a warm #FF welcome to Mike Robertson, Sarah Ann Juckes, Julian Slater, and Michelle Frank. Drop by their blogs and leave them a comment, maybe even take ‘em a plate of warm brownies.

A short note on The Best of #FridayFlash 2009 Anthology. According to my records I have now sent back edits to all authors for final approval or changes. If you submitted a story for the BOFF, and you have not gotten an email containing your edits, please shoot me an email right away (jstro AT swbell DOT net). If you have gotten your edited story I’d appreciate it if you could review and return it at your earliest convenience. I’m now in the process of actually compiling them all together into one document, and hope to have it all wrapped up within a couple of weeks.

I’d also like to point out a new way some of you can promote your fiction. If you are posting a serial, there is now a new Twitter hashtag, #TuesdaySerial, that came about as a result of a Twitter discussion last week. Check out Landless, Tony Noland’s blog, for more details and to get in on the ground level of, erhem, hashing out the details. You can still use #fridayflash if you’d like, but a serial tag for serials may serve you better.

If I missed your story in this listing, please visit the Collector and add the details. I’ll then add it to the report. Rattling my cage on Twitter to let me know you’ve done so might get it listed faster, as I sometimes forget to double check.

Thanks to all for posting and reading. You’re all great. ~jon

The Stories

You Can’t Go Gnome Again by GP Ching @gpching ~ Humor ~

Yoshi and the Five-Headed Dragon by E. D. Johnson @geektreasure ~ Fantasy ~

Wrenge by Louise Dragon @WeezelWords ~ Horror ~

Who Breathes by Mike Robertson @miker_lazlo ~ Experimental ~ Debut

White Lie by Lyn Thorne-Alder @LynThorneAlder ~ Slice of Life ~

What We Talk About When We Talk About Broads by Al Bruno III @albruno3 ~ Horror ~

Unlucky on the Dune by Paula Ray @PaulaRayABC ~ Literary ~

UCF Stories #7: Black Crocus by Sam Adamson @FutureNostalgic ~ Fantasy ~

Trying to forget… (poem) by Estrella Azul @EstrellaAzul ~ Unspecified ~

Truth at a Bonsai Booth by Paula Ray @PaulaRayABC ~ Literary ~

The Way of It by Marisa Birns @marisabirns ~ Crime ~

The Voyeur by Tim VanSant @TimVanSant ~ Humor ~

The Voice Of Heroes by Aislinn O’Connor @Aislinnye24 ~ Historical ~

The Portrait by Mark Kerstetter @markerstetter ~ Slice of Life ~

The Pigs by Shannon Esposito @soesposito ~ Unspecified ~

The Perfect Night by Kathy Fenton White by Kathy Fenton White @kfentonwhite ~ Unspecified ~

The Mummy Tree by Sarah Ann Juckes @sarahannjuckes ~ Unspecified ~ Debut

The Insurance Policy by Lily Mulholland @LilyMulholland ~ Literary ~

The High Before the Crash by Linda Simoni-Wastila @drwasy ~ Literary ~

The Hammer by Sike Ward Patient @sikewardpatient ~ Thriller ~

The Guardian of Aloons – 3 by Morbus Iff @morbusiff ~ Fantasy ~

The Girl at the Window by Tony Noland @TonyNoland ~ Literary ~

The Chosen by Karly Kirkpatrick @karlkirkpatrick ~ Horror ~

The Cave by Chris Chartrand @ChrisChartrand ~ Cross Genre ~

That Would Be Naive of Me by Alex Carrick @Alex_Carrick ~ Humor ~

Spy Games by Angie C. @techtigger ~ Fantasy ~

Space Blues by Isaac Liljedahl @Heartigan86 ~ Science Fiction ~

Silence by Michelle Sussman @michellesussman ~ Romance ~

S.O.B. by Cecilia Dominic @RandomOenophile ~ Suspense ~

Rescue Mission (Crowndon, Part 2) by Jessica Rosen @jessrosenbooks ~ Cross Genre ~

Red Sky: Part 1 by Deanna Schrayer @deannaschrayer ~ Romance ~

RD + VB by Cathy Olliffe @Matthiasville ~ Slice of Life ~

Rama’s Bridge by Christian Bell @christianbell37 ~ Unspecified ~

Quietus by Catherine Russell @ganymeder ~ Cross Genre ~

Palimpsest by David Masters @davidmasters ~ Slice of Life ~

Oldest Trick in the Book by Neil Shurley @thatneilguy ~ Unspecified ~

Ninjas Love Coffee by Joanie Rich @nightcrafter ~ Humor ~

Nighttime Interruption by Matthew Marko @litrock ~ Historical ~

Mumbles Finnegan by Thom Gabrukiewicz @tgabrukiewicz ~ Unspecified ~

Muggs And The Cake by John McDonnell @McDonnellWrite ~ Crime ~

Love Story by Jen Brubacher @jen_b ~ Romance ~

Lo Mein Dreams by Christina Vincent @stinavincent ~ Humor ~

Lilac by Lynda Sinclair @sudnleavalable ~ ~

Lightbulb moment..or..Simon says he’s sorry by Karen Schindler @karenfrommentor ~ Humor ~

Laying Plans by Valerie Valdes @lastsyllable ~ Science Fiction ~

Instant by Carrie Clevenger @carrieclevenger ~ Thriller ~

In the Nature of Scorpions and Tortoises by John Wiswell @Wiswell ~ Humor ~

Hurry-Up Hale by P.J. Kaiser @doublelattemama ~ Historical ~

Howling by Gracie Motley @gracecrone ~ Horror ~

Hiram Grange: the Devil’s Dancers by Timothy P. Remp @Tim_Remp_writer ~ Horror ~

Hidden Heroes by Jim Wisneski @wisneski ~ Horror ~

Has Stephanie been silenced? by Michelle Dennis Evans @michelledevans ~ Slice of Life ~

Green Eyed Friend by Deirdre M. Murphy @wyld_dandelyon ~ Fantasy ~

Get Gone (Crowndon, Part 1) by Jessica Rosen @jessrosenbooks ~ Cross Genre ~

First Encounter by Lauren Cude @NA ~ Fantasy ~

Everyone’s A Critic by Gary Harmon @Gary_Harmon ~ Humor ~

Designated Driver by Marc Nash @ExisleMoll ~ Literary ~

Death by Computer by Eric J. Krause @ericjkrause ~ Horror ~

Cruisin’ by Laura Eno @LauraEno ~ Horror ~

Conversation Killer by Virginia Moffatt @VirginiaMoffatt ~ Unspecified ~

Consolation by Paul Servini @none ~ Slice of Life ~

Clark as in Bar by Susan Cross @SusanJCross ~ Suspense ~

Chemistry by Michelle Frank @wickedmoxie ~ Unspecified ~ Debut

Burrito Muy Grande by J. M. Strother @jmstro ~ Slice of Life ~

Bedlam by Kat Del Rio @katdelrio ~ Unspecified ~

Baby Blues by Icy Sedgwick @icypop ~ Horror ~

Apartment Block, part 1 by Julian Slater @magicradio ~ Slice of Life ~ Debut

Anywhere by Tomara Armstrong @2maraA ~ Cross Genre ~

An Offer You Can’t Refuse by Katherine Nabity @katen ~ Fantasy ~

Alpha List by Mike Robertson @miker_lazlo ~ Experimental ~

A Slice of Life by Diandra Linnemann @LaCaffeinata ~ Slice of Life ~

A PUMA IN SEARCH OF HER CUB by Anthony Venutolo @bukowskisbaseme ~ Literary ~

A Prayer To Garlic by A. M. Harte @am_harte ~ Fantasy ~

25 Cents a Day by Michael J. Solender @mjsolender ~ Literary ~

24th Century Jockstrap by Barry J. Northern @BarryNorthern ~ Humor ~

The wrap

Thanks to all our readers. We love you. And please, if you enjoy a story leave comments when you visit. Writers love feedback almost as much as chocolate. Maybe more! Then go tell your friends to read it too. Help these writers grow.

You can subscribe to the #fridayflash hashtag (external link) on Twitter every week for more great flash fiction.

We’re on Facebook (external link) too.


We had a terrific week for #fridayflash. The report this week contains a list of 75 stories, 71 from this week and four that I missed from last week. If you do the math (I know, math — shudder) that means we had 75 stories last week. We’ve been breaking 70 with fair regularity lately. Out of the 75 listed here stories we had six debuts. Please give a warm #ff welcome to Holly West, Aaron Weed, d8uv, Kathy Fenton White, Jay Nakamura, and Isaac Liljedahl.

If your story is not in the listing please visit the Collector and add it. Then I will (hopefully) add it to the listing. If it still doesn’t show up within a day or so, then nudge me with a DM on Twitter. The gray cells aren’t what they used to be. Nudging helps. ~jon

The Stories

The four from last week:

A Piece of Cake by Holly West @hollywest ~ Slice of Life ~ Debut

Pets: A Story of Breakfast by Aaron Weed @SevenDeluxe ~ Adventure ~

Two Plus Two by Aislinn O’Connor @Aislinnye24 ~ Crime ~

You’ll Never Do So Good by Aaron Weed @SevenDeluxe ~ Slice of Life ~ Debut

This week’s offerings:

A Night Of Splendor by Laura Eno @LauraEno ~ Fantasy ~

A Peak of Something by Benjamin Solah @benjaminsolah ~ Unspecified ~

A Place On The Wall by Gary Harmon @Gary_Harmon ~ Humor ~

Albuquerque-Roubaix by M. Patrick Mitchell @M_P_Mitchell ~ Adventure ~

Always a Bridesmaid XI: Revelations by Cecilia Dominic @RandomOenophile ~ Fantasy ~

Apple Juice by Michelle Sussman @michellesussman ~ Unspecified ~

Bed/Awaken by d8uv @d8uv ~ Unspecified ~ Debut

Bernie’s Radio by Mark Champion @jmarkchampion ~ Slice of Life ~

Bones of Light by Dan Powell @danpowfiction ~ Slice of Life ~

Broommates: The End Is the Beginning by Valerie Valdes @lastsyllable ~ Cross Genre ~

Bus Crash by Michelle Dennis Evans @michelledevans ~ Slice of Life ~

Chaos and The Creative Process by Aaron Polson @aaronpolson ~ Experimental ~

Cinderella’s Crystal Tips by Marc Nash @ExisleMoll ~ Literary ~

Comment Gobbler by Karen Schindler @karenfrommentor ~ Humor ~

Cursed by Johanna Harness @johannaharness ~ Magical Realism ~

Cy by Tim VanSant @TimVanSant ~ Literary ~

Dancing in the Dark by Angie C. @techtigger ~ Fantasy ~

Dave by Dan Faust @danfaust ~ Unspecified ~

Death – A Love Story by Catherine Russell @ganymeder ~ Cross Genre ~

EARTH by Linda Simoni-Wastila @drwasy ~ Unspecified ~

El Malo: The Wicked One by Donald Conrad @NoddlaNocdar ~ Cross Genre ~

Eulogist by Thom Gabrukiewicz @tgabrukiewicz ~ Unspecified ~

Falling Stars by Katherine Nabity @katen ~ Fantasy ~

Fear and Loathing by Tony Noland @TonyNoland ~ Science Fiction ~

Finley by Christian Bell @christianbell37 ~ Unspecified ~

Golden Girl by Virginia Moffatt @VirginiaMoffatt ~ Unspecified ~

Grounded by GP Ching @gpching ~ Thriller ~

Hell Is Other People by Kat Del Rio @katdelrio ~ Humor ~

History Doesn’t Repeat by Kathy Fenton White @kfentonwhite ~ Suspense ~ Debut

IN THE SHADOW OF HIS NEMESIS: A Gentleman Caller by Al Bruno III @albruno3 ~ Horror ~

Initiation by Louise Dragon @WeezelWords ~ Horror ~

iSociety by Heather Lloyd @heatherlloyd83 ~ Science Fiction ~

Jay Nakamura by Jay Nakamura @jaynakamura ~ Science Fiction ~ Debut

Lone Survivor by V.R. Leavitt @vrleavitt ~ Cross Genre ~

Maternal Instinct by David Masters @davidmasters ~ Slice of Life ~

Maxine by Cathy Olliffe @Matthiasville ~ Slice of Life ~

Moonlight and Sand by Jeremy Warach @jwarach ~ Literary ~

Mortgage Stress by Amanda Scotney @rasplemjelly ~ Slice of Life ~

Mother’s Bath by Eric J. Krause @ericjkrause ~ Unspecified ~

Naughty Cthulhu by Barry J. Northern @BarryNorthern ~ Humor ~

Never Say Die by Karly Kirkpatrick @karlkirkpatrick ~ Action ~

Nothing by Timothy P. Remp @TIm_Remp_writer ~ Science Fiction ~

On a Road Trip by E. D. Johnson @geektreasure ~ Humor ~

On the River by Pia Veleno @PiaVeleno ~ Horror ~

Paradise by John McDonnell @McDonnellWrite ~ Science Fiction ~

Round the Kitchen Table by Matthew Marko @litrock ~ Crime ~

Sacrifices by Jessica Rosen @jessrosenbooks ~ Cross Genre ~

Shadows by Lauren Cude @NA ~ Fantasy ~

Shop of Horrors by Lily Mulholland @LilyMulholland ~ Slice of Life ~

Snapshot by Diandra Linnemann @LaCaffeinata ~ Horror ~

Something Practical by Tomara Armstrong @2maraA ~ Humor ~

Stolen Want by Michael J. Solender @mjsolender ~ Literary ~

THAT SMUG SMILE by Anthony Venutolo @bukowskisbaseme ~ Literary ~

The .lit Revolution by John Wiswell @Wiswell ~ Science Fiction ~

The Betrothed by Emma Newman @EmApocalyptic ~ Magical Realism ~

The Cat Who Came To Stay by Aislinn O’Connor @Aislinnye24 ~ Slice of Life ~

The Dead Do Listen by Icy Sedgwick @icypop ~ Horror ~

The Guardian of Aloons – 2 by Morbus Iff @morbusiff ~ Fantasy ~

The Newscast by Isaac Liljedahl @Heartigan86 ~ Horror ~ Debut

The Old One by Gracie Motley @gracecrone ~ Fantasy ~

The Secret of Dinosaurs by Melissa D. Johnston @melissa_djohnst ~ Unspecified ~

The Village and the Dragon by Aaron Weed @SevenDeluxe ~ Fantasy ~

The Week After by Carrie Clevenger @carrieclevenger ~ Slice of Life ~

To realize a Dream by Lynda Sinclair @sudnleavalable ~ Unspecified ~

Transient by Marisa Birns @marisabirns ~ Slice of Life ~

Twelve Bucks by J. M. Strother @jmstro ~ Crime ~

Unchained Feeling by Peggy McFarland @peggywriter ~ Suspense ~

Unlucky On the Dune by Paula Ray @PaulaRayABC ~ Literary ~

Vegas by Lyn Thorne-Alder @LynThorneAlder ~ Fantasy ~

Why I Write by Susan Cross @SusanJCross ~ Slice of Life ~

Writing London’s Savior by Aidan Fritz @AidanFritz ~ Fantasy ~

The wrap

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