Posts Tagged ‘flash fiction’

Rite of Passage

October 30, 2009

The adolescent lay on his back, doing his best to remain still and calm.

At a call from the shaman, the room went silent and everyone gathered around the youth. They knelt and crouched and stood around him, craning for a good view. The shaman held a small metal file in one hand and a thumb-sized rock in the other. He raised the objects high above his head and turned in a full circle, then crouched beside the subject of his ritual.

He rested the stone on the youth’s chest and began to file it. The work caused the rock to dig into the boy’s white skin, and he winced, but he did not move. The shaman worked steadily for some time, scraping away. Flecks of stone littered the youth’s torso, dotting his neck. Finally the shaman stood holding up the large fang he had carved, like that of a wolf. He turned in a full circle and then looked down at the boy from his feet.

“Have you eaten of fish and crushed their bones that you might strengthen your bite?” he asked, in the tongue of their people.

The boy nodded.

“Have you sucked the marrow of your prey that you might take their strength and harden your teeth?”

The boy nodded.

The shaman turned to the crowded circle. He looked at each member in turn, and each nodded. He straddled the boy’s chest and took the file to his lower canines. Already some what sharp, these two teeth were quickly filed to a point.

The shaman moved above the youth’s head and filed at his upper canines. Without the weight of the shaman on his chest, it was harder for the boy to stay still, but he did his best, and managed to keep still enough that the shaman took no notice and remained undistracted.

When the upper canines were fully filed the shaman moved on to the final test. As he drew the file across the boy’s incisor, the youth’s chest began to heave irregularly. He took in wheezing gasps of breath, held them for a few moments, and then exhaled. His fingers dug at the hard floor, bloodying his fingertips, but he did not cry out. The scraping sound of the file on his lateral incisor filled the room. This tooth completed, the shaman paused before moving on to the other side of the boy’s mouth. He repeated his actions on the incisor next to the boy’s other canine, and still the boy did not cry out. When, finally, the scraping was done and the youth’s throat raw from particles of enamel, the shaman stood.

The young man’s father stepped from the crowd and took his left hand, and his mother took his right. Together they lifted him to his feet. They acknowledged him in turn, mother, then father, by clasping the back of his neck and touching foreheads, and, for the first time, the man raised his hand during this greeting and clasped their necks as an equal.




July 24, 2009

I woke, hearing something. I opened my eyes but did not move. A silhouetted figure was crawling through my second story window. I let my hand slide off the edge of my bed, and felt the hilt of my naked sword.

I slid off my bed, away from the window and toward the door, putting the bed between myself and the intruder. Its eyes locked with mine. He looked like a man, but the creature opened his mouth to allow a sinister hiss to escape, and I caught a glimpse of reddened teeth in the moonlight. My home was not the first to be visited tonight.

The thing advanced on me slowly, but stopped when I threatened him with my sword. He reached behind his back and pulled a wicked looking knife, and again began to move around the bed, toward me.

I saw this as an impasse, but certainly one I could not win. I sidled toward the door, and I saw him glance at my potential escape route. Nothing he could do, without getting stabbed. I reached with my empty hand toward the door and pulled it open. The thing wasn’t moving closer any longer – I could probab — ah! I was tackled from behind. The sword fell from my grip when I hit the ground, but I scrabbled to regain it. There was a pain, then tearing at my neck. Oh God! I tried…. I wanted… I…

Community Crossover

July 16, 2009

A guy who I know through our sword stuff via the intarwebs does short fiction. He calls it Attention Deficit Fiction.

55s Guestposted on the Webnovel “Street”

October 1, 2008

It’s mostly old ones of mine, but one new one also.  Check ’em out here.  Street seems like a fun cyberpunk story, too.

Also, we’ve got a bunch of stories on the forum now, including a new author.  If any of you have time to help out with them a bit, it would be like w0.

Add Your Input to the 55 A Day Book!

September 22, 2008

Click here to add your input to which of the 300-odd stories on 55 A Day should be put in our book. I’m looking for a list of 50-100 favorites of yours.  You can also peruse the list of my personal favorites there.

Let’s get this thing done, baby.

“Last Man On Earth” – New 55

September 22, 2008

Please give me constructive criticism by going to our peer review forum.

Last Man On Earth

by Ari Collins

Now that everyone’s gone, I go joyriding in their cars. Fast Porsches, Infinitis with whining orphaned GPSs, Hummers for hills of car skeletons. I buckle up and crash into telephone poles, houses, war monuments. I’m addicted to airbag adrenaline.

I’m speeding in a station wagon when a tiny blonde steps in front of the car.

The Last Man On Earth – 55-Word Story Draft

September 15, 2008

Click here to read (and give feedback on?): “The Last Man On Earth“.

Some 55 Drafts, A Few Words Over Each

September 13, 2008

If you get the inkling to be a’tinkling…  wait that’s not what I meant to say.

If you get the inkling to give feedback on these stories, visit the 55 A Day Peer Review Forum.  Other half-formed stories await your perusal also.



by Ari Collins

You burn my eyes, my flesh, the soles of my feet. You breathe so much hot air, the heat makes me see things. You’re on fire yourself, but you won’t burst. You’re burning down, burning out. No spectacle, only sparks left, nostalgic embers.

Every morning, I hope you’ll wake too. After your cremation, we’ll all watch the ashes. And hope.

Sexual Geometry

The sex is just… she doesn’t fit me, man. No, I don’t mean down there. Jackass. It’s like… her shoulder’s too small for my hand. Her back arches too much for me to put my arms around her right. Her right knee always bangs against my left. It’s all wrong.

Anyway, I guess I’ll keep looking for my golden mean.

Early Draft of Short Short – The Jersey Phoenix

September 12, 2008

Probably melodramatic.  Needs a lot of work.  Could be a 55 someday or something larger.  Eschews sentence subjects.


The Jersey Phoenix

by Ari Collins


You’re a phoenix.  You burn my eyes, my flesh, the soles of my feet.  You breathe nothing but hot air, breathe steam that creates a lakeside mirage and obscures the forest.  Now you’re burning yourself at the cross of your own witchery.  But without the spectacle, alone in your apartment.  Burning out.

I wake every morning hoping you’ll rise from your ashes.

55: The Book – Update

September 12, 2008

Send in your 55-word stories to to have a chance to get in the boo!

So now I’m thinking probably 55 55s would be included. That would bring the price down to about $5.30. Also, I’d have to decide how to choose them. Probably a group of people? I’d be afraid to choose too many by the Air Theremin group, especially my own, for fear of appearing biased. We’ll see.