“Tiny House” in New Flash Fiction Review

Read Original Here

Tiny House

by Nancy Stohlman

After the rapture I decided to buy a tiny house. The realtor met me in the driveway.

That’s not a tiny house, I said. That’s a Barbie house.

You say Barbie house, I say tiny house the realtor said. Wait until you see the inside.

The realtor opened the flimsy door. The walls were made of pink vinyl with drawings of bookshelves and framed family photos and a two-dimensional television. That’s for easy collapsing the realtor said. The whole house can fold up into this suitcase—he held up a pink suitcase—which most people find extremely convenient.

The fridge door can open the realtor said, opening and closing the door several times. And your oven comes with a roast chicken already cooked.

It looks delicious I lied.

Yes, it does he agreed. The house comes with wine glasses but no actual wine, of course.

Of course.

Into the bedroom there was a walk-in closet with tiny hangers and a vinyl bed that folded down from the wall. A cat sat unmoving on the bed.

I’m allergic to cats I said.

Oh, you won’t be allergic to this one he said.

As we stood there one of the vinyl walls started to buckle and he pushed it back into place.

The best part about this house are the amenities he says, taking me outside to the carport and a pink Cadillac. The car comes with the house.

Wow, that is a perk, I say.

Yes it is. You may be asked to sell some Mary Kay skin care products, but I think you’ll find that the moisturizer is great.

Yes, I’m sure it is.

Hold on he says, checking his phone. I need to take this.

While he steps to the corner where the two vinyl walls meet, I look in the closet. A nurse’s uniform, a tennis outfit. A pink ball gown.

Good news he says, I’ve been authorized to throw in the Barbie ice cream maker—it makes real ice cream and other frozen treats.

Hmmm.

And the Barbie helicopter and landing pad.

Well I have to be honest—it wasn’t quite what I had in mind, I said. I was thinking of a tiny house made of wood or something. You know, like a tiny real house. Like they have on tv.

Oh you won’t see a house like this on tv, he agrees. And actually, you won’t find another house like this in the entire state—most of them have been recalled.

Okay, let me think about it.

Don’t take too long he says. A deal like this won’t last forever.

tiny house

“The Awakening” in Digging Through the Fat

The Awakening by Nancy Stohlman

Read original at Digging Through the Fat

the-awakening.jpg

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

AWP Panel on Flash Fiction this Friday

Friday, February 10, 1:30-2:45

WASHINGTON D.C.
homun
F202. From Flash Fiction to Microfiction: How Many Words Are Enough?. (,  ,  ,  ,  ) The introduction to Flash Fiction asks: How short can a story be and still be a short story? The answer was 750 words, but recently we have seen microfiction of 300 and 200 words, and the emergence of the 100-word story. How can such compression address character development, narrative arc, and tension? Does prose poetry show us indirectly how to accommodate narrative size? These panelists discuss the limitations and rewards of writing short with urgency and artistic integrity.
Come say hi!

“My Father is Trying to Set the World Record for Days Spent Petting a Shark” is a FINALIST for The Vera Flash Fiction award: I need your vote!

I just found out that Blink Ink nominated me for the Vera Flash Fiction prize and I’m a FINALIST! (And in good company, I might add). Right now the crowd is voting and it would be the BEST holiday gift ever if you would take literally 30 seconds and vote for my story, “My Father is Trying to Set the World Record for Days Spent Petting a Shark.” Pretty please and thank you!!
Please vote and thank you so much!
Read original:
Pushcart Shark

2015 Pushcart Prize Nomination!

A huge thanks to Doug Mathewson and Sally Reno for including me in this year’s Blink Ink 2015 Pushcart Prize Nominations!

This is my first nomination–woohoo!

Blink Ink Print

Pushcart 2015 Nominated piece by Nancy Stohlman:

Pushcart Shark

My Father is Trying to Set the World Record for Days Spent Petting a Shark.

The trick, he says, is to just lightly move the fingers. The shark has the frozen, unimpressed expression of all sharks. Are you coming home for dinner? I can’t stop now, he said. It’s only been 9 hours. It’s about goals, he added.
Your mother never taught you the importance of having a real goal.

Nancy Stohlman

“The Fortune Teller”

Originally published in Flash Frontier. Read original here

by Nancy Stohlman

The Fortune Teller

The fortune teller looked at my hands, smoothed them onto the table. You lost something, she said.

Yes, I said. I want to get it back.

But you can’t get it back, you know that.

That’s not true. Don’t say that, I said. That’s why I’m here.

Look, she said, pointing to the fleshy part on the outside of my palm. It’s gone. I don’t decide these things but I’m telling you what I see.
So what do I do now?

She patted my hand. It’s just part of your story, now, she said.

fortune teller