Day #14 of my Flash Clash Challenge and only one outstanding question to answer really – why such a delay in bringing this latest edition of the challenge? Well, I can only apologise profusely. Occasionally, and for no obvious reason we can lose our focus on things, and lately my focus on blogging in general – let alone flash fiction reading – has been completely absent. Does that mean I’ve gone off blogging altogether? Absolutely not. I just needed to take a time out. Now that I have I’m raring to go again, and hopefully that’s the last time you’ll see me take a break in proceedings.
So onwards to today’s flash reading session and the story of the day is undoubtedly Alex Burrett with his highly imaginative tale, Fat Tom. The story is about a fat kid called Tom who eventually grows up to commit an act so heinous it turns the stomach just to think about it. It’s a remarkable story, partly because of Burrett’s superlative prose, but mainly because it’s just so imaginative and so wonderfully put together. If I adore Anton Chekhov for his creativity in creating characters, then I absolutely admire Burrett on the same level for the strength of his imagination.
And coming close to Burrett today was Etgar Keret and his story Siren. The story is about Eli, a young lad who ‘snitches’ on two seniors for stealing the janitor’s bicycle. But the story has a deeper, more sublime element to it to, and it makes for wonderful reading.
When it comes to Keret I’m consistently blown away by the incredible wholeness of his stories. I don’t think I’ve read a single tale from Keret so far, which hasn’t felt perfectly well-rounded and complete. And that to me shows the mark of a real genius!
Of course don’t let my fawning of Burrett and Keret today take anything away from the other writers involved in this flash fiction challenge. I’ve praised each and every one of them at various points during this challenge, but today it was Burrett and Keret who emerged as the glorious victors.
*Keeping in the spirit of flash I’m limiting myself to only giving single-word comments for each story.
**As they are incredibly short in length, David Gaffney’s stories are being ‘ticked off’ two at a time.
*** Dan Rhode’s stories are even shorter than Gaffney’s and to ensure that I finish his collection in time, I have to cover three per day.
Inspired by the publication of Nik Perring’s debut flash fiction collection, the Flash Clash Challenge is a fun contest in which
threefour other experts in the field are compared alongside Nik. You can find out more about it HERE.