Flashes of Fantasy

The grass was white with frost this morning, but the sun’s still warm enough to dry it up fast. The temp today is supposed to reach 12 C. Nice!

Re: Techno-troubles I mentioned yesterday

Same story, sad to say. This morning Fandango’s blog came up squashed left, but a click on the title brought it back into normal focus. Word of the Day prompt came up just as it always does. Clicking on the Ragtag Community e-mail got me nothing. The link appeared in my browser strip, but a blank screen. I tried three different ways to access it and got a blank screen each time. Just now when I clicked on the e-mail notice again, the blog came up fine.

So I never know whether Word Press and my computer will cooperate or not. I’m thankful I can still post, but this situation may well require a trip to some t-expert for an internal exam.

Of Flash Fiction and Fantasy

As I mentioned before, I’ve been working at compiling a book of flash fiction stories. But perhaps I’m laboring under a false ILLUSION that my JOVIAL, “happy-ending” stories will sell in today’s market? To study the competition out there, I’ve downloaded several e-books of short stories and read a number of flash fiction tales online. Judging from what I’ve read so far, I’ve concluded:

— Flash fiction stories today are, for the most part, NOT upbeat.
Yesterday I read one tale about a ragged, grizzled fellow sitting in a bar mumbling to an imaginary friend. (Himself in the mirror, I guess.) He rehashes his guilt because he’d ignored his father’s middle-of-the-night moans — the dad was often moaning — and the father died. He sits there until the bartender tells him to go home, so he goes back to his empty apartment. The end.

—Endings are often tragic. Sweethearts walk away. A loved one dies.
Like the one about the guy sitting in a café half-listening to the general BURBLE around him, when he sees a woman walk past the window. There’s something about her… It’s love at first sight! He follows and catches up to her just as she’s standing in front of a store window. She turns and smiles. He smiles back. A terrorist bomb explodes. He comes out of it with minor injuries; she’s killed. It ends with his wondering “Why do things happen this way?”

—There are often fantasy or supernatural elements.
This is getting to be quite common all across the board. Like someone in a coma after an accident, sent off in body (and perfect health) to accomplish some goal. Strangers/angels appear and disappear. That kind of thing.

—There’s often a reverse twist to the tale.
A technology wizard is feeling bored one morning, so he finds an ingenious way to hack into the city’s traffic signals system. He turns all the lights green and is entertained by the resulting chaos. After awhile he finds the repetition of car crashes and sirens so boring.

A fellow driving home from work sees a beautiful rainbow and thinks of the old story of “a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.” He pulls out his phone to send his wife a quick picture, loses control, his car crashes and he dies just a few feet from a shining pot of gold. Talk about heartbreaking!

My Well Dressed Hamburger’s Adventure

This morning my mind’s been spinning out a story that will incorporate a lot of these elements. Because I’d rather see upbeat endings for people, I’ve been working on a tragic ending for the “well dressed hamburger” I mentioned in my last post. A lachrymose tale indeed! (For those who like obscure words.)

Yes, total fantasy — but it’s given my imagination a good workout. Plus, no people have been injured or depressed in the weaving of this tale. Mind you, some younger folks may find my sense of humor deplorable or laughable. (Pardon the pun.) 🙂

Have I made you curious? Another element of flash fiction can be an unsatisfying ending, one that leaves you hanging, not knowing how the situation turns out.

Fandango’s Prompt: ILLUSION
Ragtag Daily Prompt: BURBLE
Word of the Day Challenge: JOVIAL

5 thoughts on “Flashes of Fantasy

  1. The things you’ve said about flash fiction? Yes, I’ve noticed the same. Sometimes I like to go back to the classics. You can be fairly certain that there won’t be any blood and gore, supernatural or sci-fi stuff in, say, Jane Austen. Just good stories, with heroes and heroines, and villains who get their comeuppance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It looks to me like about 80% of the stories on Critique Circle are Fantasy, Sci-Fi, or Horror genres, and I find some “paranormal” elements in most of the general, children’s, and chick-lit stories as well.
      This would include time travel in various forms — which is nothing new at all. Think Rip Van Winkel. But yes, the heroes being nice, kind people and the baddies facing bad consequences are what have really changed.


    1. Thanks for your comment. I know how you feel. We need reading that inspires us to try again, to be more patient with our nears and dears, to be kinder, etc.
      I don’t want to sound too down on all modern flash fiction, though. Partly, I’ve been hanging out with the crowd at Critique Circle and they’re not, for the most part, my target audience. But yesterday I was reading an autobio written by a girl with spina bifida and she wants critiques that will help her tell her story clearly. So there are always some who make it really worthwhile. Plus I’ve gotten some very good critiques and all writers have appreciated the ones I’ve given.
      Plus, last night I started reading.another book borrowed from Amazon and found the stories very inspiring. You have to wade through a lot of crime and blood to find them, but there are some. I’ll write about it shortly.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t mind reading some interspersed with other stuff.
        It’s like those who write short stories and they are all rehashes of each other. Can you try something else? I understand we have a genre we prefer but when it comes to short stories, I expect more variety.
        And good for you on landing on this group – especially if it gives you a chance to critique and be critiqued in a manner that is helpful!

        Liked by 1 person

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