Pseudopod 293: Flash On The Borderlands XII – (Black) Arts & (Dead) Letters

Three flash fictions about the creative impulse that drives and maddens…






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DANCING by Donna Glee Williams.

This will be the world debut of this story, which was written at Odyssey 2011, inspired by Ben Bova’s “Leviathan” and owes a lot to the feedback it got from Evil Overlord Jeanne Cavelos and her Minions.

Donna Glee Williams is a writer, seminar leader, and creative coach. A sort of Swiss Army knife of the page, Donna Glee has seen her work published in anthologies, newsstand glossies, literary magazines, academic journals, reference books, big-city dailies, online venues, and spoken-word podcasts, as well as on stage and CD recordings. These days, her focus is on speculative fiction, aka fantasy and science fiction. Check out her blog at the link under her name above.



Read by Heather Welliver continues singing and doing various voicework. Check out her website (link under her name, natch) and download some of her recent work.



““I do not pay you to tell me what cannot be done.” They used to call her Freedom on the Wing. And now… This fool said it could not be fixed.

“But this… This isn’t an illness, Diva,” he creaked. “This is natural. You’re maturing.”

The dancer hated being soothed. “I’m hardening,” she snapped. “I’m losing my range of motion. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, but suddenly my turn-out is shrinking. My forefoot extension is down. Do something. Why do I keep you if you can’t do something?”



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LOST FOR WORDS by Kenneth Yu.

“Lost For Words” was won first place in FANTASY MAGAZINES 2009 Halloween Flash Fiction contest, which was overseen by writer Rae Bryant and under the ezine’s publisher, Sean Wallace. It can be read here.

Kenneth Yu is a writer from the Philippines. His work has seen print in his country’s various publications, including the Philippine ezines Usok and Best Of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2009. One of his stories also placed 3rd in the Neil Gaiman-sponsored 3rd Philippine Graphic Fiction Awards in early 2010. Elsewhere, his stories have been accepted by Innsmouth Free Press, The Town Drunk and AlienSkin.



Read by Marguerite Croft. Marguerite is a professional writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s a recovering anthropologist and a graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop; her most recent publication was in the Boys of Summer anthology. She has also read fiction for Podcastle and Escape Pod, and can be found on Twitter as @albionidaho.



“When she was young, the words flowed freely, fearlessly, seemingly forming on their own into sentences and paragraphs, pages upon pages, blending together until they became stories.

She drew scenes with almost no effort, conjuring them with a vividness that took control of her readers’ imaginations. She could make her readers cry or laugh, fill them with anger or melancholy, leave them sighing in bittersweet pleasure, or stir them with high inspiration, all as she so directed with the words she chose.”



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MUSIC ON THE MICHIGAN AVENUE BRIDGE by Mort Castle.

This story was originally published in Mort Castle’s 2002 anthology NATIONS OF THE LIVING, NATIONS OF THE DEAD. Originally was a story in the comic book NIGHT CITY (with art by Mark Nelson).

Mort Castle has three times been Guest of Honor at the World Horror Convention, has had multiple nominations for the Bram Stoker Award and the Pushcart Prize, and was cited as one of “21 Leaders in the Arts for the 21st Century in Chicago” by the Star/Sun-Times Newspaper Group. He won the Readers’ Choice Black Quill Award for Best Non-Fiction Work for editing ON WRITING HORROR (2007) and the collection, Ksi??yc na Wodzie (MOON ON THE WATER) was considered one of the “Best Books Published in Poland” in 2008. The hardbound edition of J. N. Williamson’s MASQUES, Mort Castle Editorial Director, presenting horror stories in comics format, is available from Checker Book Publishing Group.



Read by Patrick “The Voice” Bazile. Patrick was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and, many years ago, wrote, produced, and performed Hip Hop music. Patrick works as a professional voice artist (HIRE HIM…..HE HAS SEVEN CHILDREN!!!!!) and you can check out his “amateur looking voice talent page” at Patrick “The Voice”.



“It’s dark, the special dark of the city as it is punctuated by street lights. We see the shoes of the saxophone player on the sidewalk as he is moving right along.

The saxophone player is a man with somewhere to go.

He has somewhere to go tonight because –

–It is Springtime. We have Spring and we have the night.

We have Two A.M. and the city is angles and rhythms. The city is moves and slides and whisperings. You can hear the city breathe.”