“The Awakening” in Digging Through the Fat

The Awakening by Nancy Stohlman

Read original at Digging Through the Fat


After the Rapture, the people were waking up, but I’m not sure what that meant, and I’m not even sure they knew what it meant, and I never trusted anyone who claimed to have woken up. My friend claimed to have woken up a few months ago, but she still seemed like a bitch to me. And, even at Starbucks, they would stare at you, and if you weren’t awake they wouldn’t draw a heart in your latte foam.

I started to see someone about it privately because I was getting worried that I should have woken up by now—if my neighbor, who loves NASCAR, was now awake as he had claimed when we were both at the mailbox on Thursday—hey, guess what, I woke up! he said—then surely I should be awake.

But then a new movement started to discredit those who were awake, claiming there was no science behind it, after all, and “awake” was subjective, and by the way what is wrong with sleep?—sleep is scientifically proven to be good for you—and pretty soon everyone claimed that lucid dreaming was more evolved, and people started sleeping 18 hours a day and taking classes where they would try to meet each other inside of dreams and a new café called Asleep opened next to the Awake café and they served chamomile and valerian drinks and everything was cushioned and comfy and if you fell asleep anywhere, in class, on the train, people would assume that you were on some spiritual path.

And of course, I talked to my guy again because I didn’t know if I should be awake or asleep now, and he said to become asleep while waking was the true goal.

Pretty soon a rock shattered the front glass of Asleep café, and everyone assumed it was the awake folks, and some people thought it was a provocateur, an asleep person who wanted to frame the awakes and turn public opinion against them. Splinter groups further divided–those who claimed to be both asleep and awake as well as radical groups that never slept or never woke. And people had no idea who was awake and who was asleep and so people were afraid to interact at all.

The government, or what was left of it, called a state of emergency. Pretty soon all the awake people decided they should leave. So they all got on boats and trains and buses and left. And the asleep people felt sad they had no one to fight with and some of them wondered if maybe the awakes had been right all along and they tried it and woke up. While the people on the boats and trains, free from the pressure of always having to be awake, finally fell asleep.

Art by C. Alvarez


Sculpting Flash Fiction May 7-28

May 7-28, 2018

*Earlybird discount through April 25.


Editing is the most important part of the writing process. As serious writers, you know it’s through the editing process that we begin to refine and sculpt our messages.But just as writing flash fiction requires a different set of skills, so does editing flash fiction.

article-2337449-1a32cffb000005dc-882_634x439In this 3-week intensive we will use the tools of ambiguity and implication; we will learn the different between chipping and chopping; we will learn how to shrink-wrap and swap text. You will learn how to achieve the specific needs of flash fiction as I guide you and other participants to edit your real works in progress.

Participants should have a basic understanding of flash fiction and come to the class with flash pieces already in progress. Each participant will have the opportunity to submit 1-2 stories per week.

This is an online workshop format class with limited availability.

Cost: $125

*Early-bird discount $115

(ends April 25)


Contact me with questions at nancystohlman@gmail.com

April 14: 30th Annual Poetry Rodeo in Denver

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Team Fbomb includes: Nancy Stohlman, Trent Hudley, Brian Dickson,
Carol Covington and Matt Clifford.
The Mercury Cafe
2199 California
11:30 am–midnight! (Fbomb on approximately 5:30 pm)

“Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities” forthcoming from Big Table Publishing!

I’m thrilled to be pulling up a chair at the Big Table!

My newest book of flash fiction, Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities, is forthcoming this October from Big Table Publishing.

More details to come!



“Hire-A-Muse” in Blink Ink #30

Here is a gift you can give yourself this holiday season:

Issue #30 of Blink Ink microfictions out now, including my shortie “Hire-A-Muse”

Subscriptions to Blink Ink are cheap and fun!

Subscribe here


Writing Flash Fiction Self-Paced Course

Find out more here


Congratulations FlashNano participants!


You did it!




Join us next year!!
See all 2017 prompts:
FlashNano 2017 webpage

Want more flash fiction in December and beyond?
Registration for my 5-week self-paced 

Writing Flash Fiction 
course is now open!
More info here


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