David Swann’s Stronger Faster Shorter: Flash Fictions is the inaugural chapbook of Flash: The International Short-Short Story Press.
Imagine you have returned from a war to find the soldiers you killed wandering the streets of your home town and sleeping with all the girls you fancy.
The poor old pigeons are not having it much easier. They have flown back from overseas to discover their coop bolted shut. Word is, the champion fancier has gone down with an allergy to his flock. Word is, the birds’ homing has brought them somewhere strange.
In this collection of twenty-five short-short stories, the characters are searching for the things we all crave: a place to be, a use for their time, and that special creature who will share the hours with them…
But love is hard to find when there is so much fighting. Ask the Iranian with the Frank Sinatra fixation who you have just dug up from a flowerbed. Or the fundraisers knocking each other’s lights out at the Annual Party for the Association of Parents of Children with Hand and Arm Deficiencies.
They are in the wars, for sure. But these people go on dreaming of peace. Take the lonely fruit-picker, living in a caravan far from home. If she opens her hand now, a man will drop a flower from the sky and it will fall into her grasp… Then he will fire hot air into his balloon and rise again. And he will look down and agree that it is strange to see your home town like this, that distance makes him fond of its wrecked old streets.
But whenever he lands, he looks at the sky again. And he loves the fruit-picker most when he cannot quite reach her.