Archive for the ‘FLASH FICTION Contest’ Category

Disarticulated Life: Past, Present, Future

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

by William R. Soldan

Past, Present, Future

You move in with a friend of hers, a peeling foursquare on a blind street overlooking the interstate. A man from her past. Before you. He has several large dogs and carries a gun under his left arm.

The city looks bombed out, cracked bricks and falling down buildings, mills ten years gone but still standing in the gash of low ground that cuts through the heart of it all.

You have to walk to the end of the block to catch the school bus. Sometimes your mom walks with you and bums cigarettes from the older kids hanging out behind the corner store with the grated windows and neon sign. She didn’t smoke. But now she does.

It will be many years before you find out that she tried to join the military shortly before you left to come here. They wouldn’t take her. Years before you wonder what exactly that would have meant, for you.

 

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Disarticulated Life: No Grand Departure

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

by William R. Soldan

No Grand Departure

Before you’ve had the chance to grow into anything it’s time to go.

Your mother has an apartment sale. We need the money, she says. To get where we’re goin’. And we just don’t have the room.

So you watch as strangers enter and leave and enter and leave, making low-ball offers and taking things, the twinkle of coins and the rasp of a few small bills telling you already what your life is worth.

The room you shared with your brother emptied, all but what can fit in the car. Not much. A small car. And your brother, gone. Your sister. And this home is not your home.

 

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Disarticulated Life: Like Yesterday

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

by William R. Soldan

Like Yesterday

A young girl blinds you with a handful of sand as you play in the park, and you will one day wonder why you remember this so clearly.

Another metric, perhaps. Another metaphor.

So many spend lives searching for just the right one.

And here it is. Sand in your face, your mouth, choking you as you grope in the dark.

 

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Disarticulated Life: the first sign, 1988

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

by William R. Soldan

The First Sign, 1988

Your kindergarten teacher starts sending you home with daily reports because you’ve been acting out. Disobeying. Being yourself.

You don’t know who else to be.

A scale from one to five: Fours and fives mean no discomfort but that which you feel inside; ones and twos mean the hand, the corner, the empty stomach; threes—threes are a gamble.

Your big sister—half sister—tries to help you prepare, holds the envelope up to the sun so that you might know your fate. But you never quite know, do you? And that much won’t change, even when so much does. This ritual will be the one by which you gauge so many things.

An envelope sealed tight, held against a blinding light.

 

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Disarticulated Life

Monday, December 19th, 2016

by William R. Soldan

Always that Child

It has become so important that you not forget that you quickly slip into the present tense. You were not that child. Always are and never were. As if remembering what can hardly be put into words, but trying, will somehow prove (to whom?) you existed at all. Exist at all.

 

Screams heard from the waiting room, not yours—you don’t hear yours—but hers as she pushes someone else into this world. You’ve not long known yourself and don’t know that you don’t know, and won’t. Even when you do.

 

The First Sign, 1988

Your kindergarten teacher starts sending you home with daily reports because you’ve been acting out. Disobeying. Being yourself.

You don’t know who else to be.

A scale from one to five: Fours and fives mean no discomfort but that which you feel inside; ones and twos mean the hand, the corner, the empty stomach; threes—threes are a gamble.

Your big sister—half sister—tries to help you prepare, holds the envelope up to the sun so that you might know your fate. But you never quite know, do you? And that much won’t change, even when so much does. This ritual will be the one by which you gauge so many things.

An envelope sealed tight, held against a blinding light.

 

Like Yesterday

A young girl blinds you with a handful of sand as you play in the park, and you will one day wonder why you remember this so clearly.

Another metric, perhaps. Another metaphor.

So many spend lives searching for just the right one.

And here it is. Sand in your face, your mouth, choking you as you grope in the dark.

 

No Grand Departure

Before you’ve had the chance to grow into anything it’s time to go.

Your mother has an apartment sale. We need the money, she says. To get where we’re goin’. And we just don’t have the room.

So you watch as strangers enter and leave and enter and leave, making low-ball offers and taking things, the twinkle of coins and the rasp of a few small bills telling you already what your life is worth.

The room you shared with your brother emptied, all but what can fit in the car. Not much. A small car. And your brother, gone. Your sister. And this home is not your home.

 

Past, Present, Future

You move in with a friend of hers, a peeling foursquare on a blind street overlooking the interstate. A man from her past. Before you. He has several large dogs and carries a gun under his left arm.

The city looks bombed out, cracked bricks and falling down buildings, mills ten years gone but still standing in the gash of low ground that cuts through the heart of it all.

You have to walk to the end of the block to catch the school bus. Sometimes your mom walks with you and bums cigarettes from the older kids hanging out behind the corner store with the grated windows and neon sign. She didn’t smoke. But now she does.

It will be many years before you find out that she tried to join the military shortly before you left to come here. They wouldn’t take her. Years before you wonder what exactly that would have meant, for you.

 

Water off a Broken Wing

Seven years old and you have your own house key. You know how to cook your own dinner. Most of the time she leaves you something to just heat up, but sometimes—

Nothing you can’t handle.

Just like you handle the unease daily. Of walking to school from another new place in a bad neighborhood, worse even than the last, kids on the news every night, shot dead over jackets and shoes.

Someday your wife will say, That wasn’t a thing that really happened, and you’ll resist the urge to point out her privilege. It was a thing. Happened every day. You’ll tell her to look it up. She’ll look it up and see and apologize. Why would I lie? I just thought— What? Just, you know how people exaggerate. Your love will understand, but your life lived will make it hard.

 

After the Hands

You have no history, none that you know of. One day you will wish to explore the absence, but want for a road through it. Part of you will feel robbed. Part of you will be too busy getting by to care.

You look for signs of connection. Between yourself and yourself. Yourself and this disarticulated life. Severed. You know them when you see them. But sometimes you don’t.

You find one in a line in a book. Others in broken things.

Your mother works herself into a new hip and is still on her feet. Emptying trash and vacuuming floors. Cleaning people’s shit from bathroom stalls. Invisible. She eats her lunch on the move because there’s just never enough time. She chases it with pain pills she can’t afford because she can’t afford to stop.

The metal in her leg makes her ache. Her back aches. Her hands. So stiff and inflamed she can hardly make a fist to shake at the sky. And when the hands go, what then? You’re sure she wonders as much as you, but she doesn’t complain.

Just keeps moving.

 

 

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Meet the 2017 FLASH SUITE Contest finalists

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Welcome to defenestrationism reality.

Our FLASH SUITE Contest begins daily posting on Monday, Dec. 19th.

 

Until then, Meet the finalists:

 

 

William R. Soldan received his BA in English Literature from Youngstown State University. He currently studies fiction and poetry in the Northeast Ohio MFA program and teaches English Composition at YSU. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared or is forthcoming in a number of publications such as New World Writing, Thuglit, The Vignette Review, Kentucky Review, and Elm Leaves Journal, among others. He lives in Youngstown, Ohio, with his wife and son and some cat named Ringo.

 

Chad Ehler is a 20th century military historian and the son of a World War II US Marine. Chad studied national security and political science at UC Berkeley and constitutional law and jurisprudence at Santa Clara University. His latest novel, Battle for Glory, is set in England and France during the Battle of Britain, 1940, and was published in October 2016 by London-based Endeavour Press, Ltd.  His other published fiction and non-fiction works appear ondefenestrationism.net and Historynet.com. You can find him on Twitter @ghqhomeforces, atwww.ghqhomeforces.com or on Fidalgo Island, Washington, where he lives with his wife and daughter.

Ingrid Jendrzejewski grew up in Vincennes, Indiana, studied creative writing at the University of Evansville, then physics at the University of Cambridge. Her work has found homes in places like Passages North, The Los Angeles Review, The Conium Review, The Mainichi, and The Liars’ League (London & NYC) and. Links to Ingrid’s work can be found atwww.ingridj.com and she occasionally tweets @LunchOnTuesday. When not writing, Ingrid enjoys cryptic crosswords, the python programming language and the game of Go.

 

 

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2017 FLASH SUITE Contest Now Live

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

FAN VOTING for

our 8th fiction contest in the last 4 years is now live,

the finalists all are posted, and the judge votes are in.

 

Daily posting begins Dec. 19th,

Fan Voting, Jan. 2nd- Jan. 14th,

and winners will be announced MLK day (US),

which is Jan 16th.

 

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Announcing the Winners of the 2016 FLASH SUITE Contest

Monday, January 18th, 2016

 

A joyous Martin Luther King Day to one and all.

 

We’ve reached the end of another wonderful contest at defenestrationism.net — with some of the strongest writing of all the six contests we’ve sponsored.

Our SlimStats show

2,318 page views from

377 unique IP addresses.

!That’s a lot of traffic!

 

And now, the winners…

We begin with the Fan Vote:

with 62.2% of the Grand Prize votes: In the Realms of Light and Darkness

and with 40.4% of the Runner-up votes: In the Realms of Light and Darkness

and with 29.7% of the Runner-up votes: three bodies

(we allow fans to vote for two Runner-ups for exactly this reason, the fan vote Grand Prize winner often wins the Runner-up fan vote, as well)

 

And, drum-roll please…

by four-Judge panel plus fan voting,

the 2016 FLASH SUITE Contest

Runner-up is,

Before the Shooting: five portraits

by Paul Lewellan

and the defenestrationism.net 2016 FLASH SUITE Contest

Grand Prize winner is,

In the Realms of Light and Darkness: eight letters from war

by Evan Guilford-Blake

 

We are almost, if not equally pleased to have nominated three of our FLASH SUITE pieces for the

Best Small Fictions Compilation from Queens Ferry Press.

The compilation reviews pieces under 1,000 words, published in 2015, so even further congratulations to

Before the Shooting: five portraits: #1 Bob Bader by Paul Lewellan

The Belvedere: Iquitos by Geoffrey Miller

and

In the Realms of Light and Darkness: Eight Letters from War: 2. YASMINA by Evan Guilford-Blake

–Authors, look for results from those nominations in the Spring.

 

Congratulations to all our finalists, and

be sure to keep surfing through for our weekly posts, including

Complex Fairy Tales

such as

Brucie the Tiniest Shark

 

 

view How the Judges Voted

read all our finalists’ FLASH SUITES

meet the finalists

Winter Posting Schedule

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Stay tuned for winners of the 2016 FLASH SUITE Contest

Monday, January 18th, 2016

Well, all the judge votes are in, and

fan voting is now closed.

 

Keep surfing through, as we announce winners for the

2016 FLASH SUITE Contest

only on

defenesteationism.net 

later today!

 

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Last hours for FAN VOTING in the 2016 FLASH SUTIE Contest

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

HURRY!

HURRY!

!Fan voting ends today!

 

The second Runner-up vote is now a matter of less than thirty votes,

so vote here

for the 2016 FLASH SUITE Contest, only at

defenestrationism.net

 

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