Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Nicole E. Hirschi


A Writer’s lot—
full of drama and harrowing acts
caused if not by our own minds
to write about
then in our lives
so that instead of fiction
about life we can write.

We refuse to Journal
because we crave
approval from someone else—
someone from our time
who finds our lives
so unbecoming
that they know not
how to judge us.

Our unsavory rudeness
reflects our hearts—
lashing out at those
whose opinions matter
great and/or small
Because it is they who haven’t
the answers or cares
we seek.

If the world were in harmony
there’d be no writers,
no sorrow, no hatred,
jealousy or broken hearts to exist,
For nothing
would need to be written.

Eternal happiness
conflates within us
only after extreme grief.

Writers record
events of our time
kept for the future
to remind.

The loneliness of one
confiding in the voices
of the mind
is ours, and ours alone—
like Atlas,
the world is on our shoulders
and we’ll have it no other way.

Drugs, abuse
or suicide
often plague us—
we, who seek the truths
of ghosts and living dead
for answers and stories
we most often do not find.

We seek in other places
those answers to our
screaming questions—
our desires that burn
our fingers as we write.

When we have exhausted
every resource, we begin to cause
the drama and grief
of those unknown
to experience, the outcome
of which they never tell.

Delving head first, we then understand
that their lives of horror
are most assuredly killing our souls.

Redemption is only found
not in the light as some will say,
but in the quiet—
the darkness—
where voices
are forever silenced.

© Nicole E. Hirschi 2012

Nicole E. Hirschi, MuDJoB's first guest writer two years ago, writes when Muse and Time agree with her. Also known as CJT (and variations thereof), her short flashes can be found splashed acoss the 'Net and in a number of books as well.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lucinda Kempe

East Blue Portrait German River

East gazes at the words jostling one another on the page. “How in God’s name are we going to get together?”

Blue looks at her brown shoes. “Need polish,” she says.

“We could all line up and rotate who’s on top,” says Portrait.

“Vee cud get Sturmgewehrs and Mausers and shoot each udder,” says German.

River brushes her hair, ignoring the other silly words. Another Flashtown compression week, she thinks, I can’t bear it.

Every week, Richard Grimm, the resident fabulist, posts a list of five new words to be compressed into a story under three hundred words. Every week we argue, bicker, spit, and, sometimes, bite one another over who’s best or who’ll go first or who did what last time. OMG. It all gets so tiresome, but what’s a word to do when it can’t escape Flashtown?

I mean really.

You can run, hide, tack on suffixes and prefixes, or even pretend to be things you’re normally not like modifiers or verbs or nouns. But in the end, you are what you are. You’re just letters on a page of a curious, inventive, besotted, bed bugged, bedraggled, beaten-down and bemused group of writers trying desperately to be clever enough not to get vetted from the bigger, brighter, erudite, literary mags.

“Das vas veddy good, Ms. River, if I say so.”

“Danke, G.”

“I still favor rotation.”

“Shut up, Portrait,” says East. “River has done the thing for us. Don’t muck it up.”

“Oh, East. Positivity. Love it,” says River. “Where’s Blue? Never mind. I see her wafting on the sands sans her shoes.”

© Lucinda Kempe 2012

Lucinda Kempe loves flashing. She hopes to do more of it in public. Flash Fiction Chronicles, The Short Humour Site and Fictionaut have published her flash. Upcoming work will be at Metazen, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and Referential Magazine.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Townsend Walker

Dog Shot

I tied the dog to the fence, set my 16mm camera on a tripod and loaded the .22 I borrowed from Matt. I aimed the pistol at the dog and pulled the trigger. The bullet went through the dog’s head.
My film showed this. It was exhibited at a gallery in Chelsea.
I believe art is a creative journey. It is a process of gathering, sorting, collating, associating and patterning actions. Art is the doing and how actions are defined as an actual work, seeing it as pure human expression. A deliverable or end product is not important or even desirable.
I adopted Daisy from the East 92nd Street shelter. She was a taffy colored cocker spaniel with white paws. She had been in the shelter for over six months. No one wanted her. They would have probably put her to sleep in a month or so.
I want people to understand Daisy did not suffer for my art. I fed her well and gave her a good meal of ground steak before I started filming. Her death was instantaneous. I am sure. I’ve looked at the film hundreds of times.

© Townsend Walker 2012

Townsend Walker is a writer living in San Francisco. His stories have been published in over forty literary journals and included in five anthologies. Two of his stories were nominated for the PEN/O.Henry Award. His book "A Little Love, A Little Shove" is forthcoming from Shelfstealers Press in Autumn 2012. The website is

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Jim Harrington

He Hoped She'd Come Around

I met Charlie at the first gator wrastlin' contest I promoted. Most of the female competitors looked like they ate airboats for lunch. Charlie was different. She had curves and all her teeth.

I watched her muscles strain against the tail-snappin' beast, saw the determination in her eyes, and fell in love. I chased her around Florida for a year before she agreed to be my wife. That was twenty years ago. We made quite a career together but age was catchin' up, and it was time for us to think about retirin' from the sport, especially Charlie. In the past two years, she lost a pinkie, suffered a dislocated hip, and ended up in the hospital for a week after comin' back too soon from a concussion.

I told her I was tired of the travelin', asked if she'd like to have a baby. Said I thought it would give us somethin' new to wrastle. Her eyes lit up like a volcano, and she stomped around the Winnebago and yelled so loud I thought she'd blow a wall down. I sneaked into the bathroom and waited for the floor to stop shakin'.

A few nights later, while we did the dinner dishes, I suggested we start a gator farm and sell admission. I told her she could still wrastle a gator now and then, as long as it was a small one. I was doin' okay until I got to the small part. She glared at me, picked up a fork with both hands, and bent it into a right angle. That's when I headed back to the bathroom.

Not knowin' what else to do, I spoke to Preacher Frank this mornin'. He's not a real preacher. He dresses like one, shouts preacher-like words, and then swallows fire and spits out the flames. That always gets lots of oohs and aahs and amens--and a few chuckles. He told me to be patient, that it took some people a long time to settle into the idea of retirin'. He also told me it might be a good idea if I didn't use the word baby again.

I can't say he helped much. Well, maybe the baby part. I love Charlie and want her to be happy. Hey, maybe I should take her to Disney World. She's never been there, and she might find a job that doesn't require wrastlin'.

© Jim Harrington 2012

Jim Harrington discovered flash fiction in 2007, and he’s read, written, studied, and agonized over the form since. His recent stories have appeared in Microstory a Week, Flashes in the Dark, UnCut, Powder Burn Flash, Thrillers, Killers N Chillers, and others. Jim's Six Questions For . . . blog ( provides editors and publishers a place to “tell it like it is.” You can read more of his stories at

Amazon Listings

MDJB at Amazon