Stories for Sunday is back!
First off, if you haven't checked out Sandra Seamans' latest story over at A Twist of Noir, that should be your first stop. The story is called "In God's Own Time," and it is one of her best, as well as one of her darkest. The first paragraph hits you fast and hard and sends your head spinning and your gut turning. Things only get more harrowing from there, as it follows a woman just released from jail as she hitches a ride to her old home and the tragic memories she left behind so many years ago. The final twist is as brutal as it is remarkable. Don't expect any happy endings from this one.
"You know, I was seventeen and pregnant the afternoon my daddy died. Somebody put a shotgun to his head and blew his brains all over the Lazy Boy. Hell of a mess that was. I was told they had to toss that old chair out in the trash cause there just wasn’t no cleaning the blood and brains out of the fabric. Pity, it was a nice chair. Daddy’s favorite."
Also at A Twist of Noir is Paul D. Brazill, another master of the short form. "The Final Cut" originally came out of one of Patti Abbott's Flash Fiction Challenges and later was included at Radgepacket Online. It is a darkly funny tale of revenge about a man who finally gets even with his ex-wife who left him and became a movie star. Even if you've read it before, Bazill's deft control of the short story is worth revisiting. Lines like this are priceless: "Beside me, a fading French film star with a sandblasted face slurped his espresso with all the enthusiasm of an ex-con in a bordello."
And finally, the weekly punch over at Beat To a Pulp is Katherine A. Russell's "Icarus of the Cliffs," an intriguing and original story about a hang-gliding death that goes in pleasantly unexpected directions. The variety of voices and stories at Beat To a Pulp is one of their greatest assets, and I enjoy the risks they take.
That's it for now, but expect more Stories For Sunday in the future.