The Hole Where Andy Used To Be by Sean Vivier, Flash Fiction Online, 2018

This piece uses clever repetition and simple sentences to articulate complex issues. The hole is metaphorical as well as literal. It is a manephestation of the lonelyness and emptiness the narrator feels since he husband has left her–and their son.

The piece excels in the places of loss and sadness. Near the end the piece gets more hopreful and I think it’s a bit rushed. This piece is at its best when it is giving specific examples of how the Hole Where Andy Used To Be is impacting the narrator and her son. While the end is uplifting and definately shows changed within the character, the abruptness of the shift left me a little on edge. I felt as though I needed a progression rather than a pure switch.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Lillian Ward-Packard, Flash Fiction Online, 2018

Not to fawn too much over this piece, but holy shit! This piece just ticks every box I could ever want in terms of flash fiction. It literally gave me goosebumps; the ending was that good, the writing was so clean and perfect.

It’s about two high school girls (I think they’re in high school) in the early 60s’. Sputnik 1 has been launched the previous day and they are sitting around in the attic of one of their houses talking and eating candy. The prospect of nuclear war suddenly hangs over them just like the satellite, but so much more is at stake as well. The friend of the narrator has grown up. She likes to talk about fashion and movie stars and, most of all, boys. The narrator, on the other hand, doesn’t connect–or perhaps she is too shy to admit the attraction. It does feel like this a bit. What the narrator really wants is for everything to stay how it is at that moment. She doesn’t want to grow up and she certainly doesn’t want anything to change.

I can remember feeling this way in 7th grade. I went to Italy with my parents for three weeks and when I came back my best friend had started putting gel in his hair and dressing hip (or what seemed hip) and I couldn’t understand why he was doing this. It just didn’t seem like him. Of course, he was the same person–just older. And he’s still the same person–just older. We worry about different things now than we did then. And that’s what this piece is about. How people’s concerns change with the passing of years. How we look back and think of the ‘good ol’ days’ and how we grew up and how things felt at that moment of change.

Jan 28th, 2018, The Solid Years of My Life by Holly Collingwood, Flash Fiction Online

This flash piece is pretty cool for how short it is. It gets a lot done. It’s about a person, woman, I think–but the narrator’s gender isn’t specified–who is the first to be put in cryogenic storage. The whole story takes place as this narrator is being thawed out.

At first, the character is pretty self-righteous. Self-important. The first human to ever live through cryo. 300 days of frozen sleep. Now long distance space travel–outside our own solar system–is plausible. But then the computer begins to tell the narrator things that don’t add up. It starts adjusting the atmosphere for humans. It mentions the cryo duration of over 180 years. Then the door opens.

The one complaint I have with this piece, I suppose, is that I think it could have been longer. I was curious what kind of world the narrator was going to find themselves on. I was curious what had happened to the rest of humanity. This is a good flash piece because it leaves you wanting more. (B+)