Michael’s had a big sale on yarn this week, and I got enough to get me through the rest of the year, I suspect, especially if I get back to work on Novel #2. The most writing I’ve been doing is for my creative writing class. We have done little that is up my alley, if you know what I mean. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of room for fantasy in the class room, since we are spending a lot of time on poetry and, recently, flash fiction. As I told the professor the first week of class, my problem is prolixity, and short might be well out of my comfort zone. I suspect I proved as much with my two pieces of flash fiction. Here is the shorter of the two pieces:
Jersey was the best dog I ever owned. He was playful, generous, even tempered and gentle, a medium sized dog with some hound in him. He was about a year old when I brought him home from the shelter. We got into the habit of walking to the park every morning at about 8. There was an area set aside for dogs with a short fence to mark it.
One morning, after I had loosed Jersey into the dog run, as he was playing with a chihuahua, a boy climbed over the fence. I didn’t see him at first but he came into my field of vision as he ran toward the dogs. Laughing, he picked up the chihuahua by one back leg and started swinging him in a circle. Jersey barked at the boy, without result. Jersey then jumped and grabbed the hand holding the smaller dog. The boy dropped the chihuahua, and screamed. The boy’s mother and the chihuahua’s owner raced to the scene. The mother screamed at me about my vicious dog. The chihuahua’s owner screamed that my dog saved her dog from an abuser.
When a hearing was held on the vicious dog complaint, the chihuahua’s owner testified that Jersey barked at the boy before biting him and only bit him enough to get him to drop the chihuahua, who suffered a dislocated leg in the incident. It made no difference. Jersey was sentenced to death. There was no possibility of appeal.
I chose to give my short version of the story as well: Dog bites boy, Dog dies. I offered this in homage to Ernest Hemingway who wrote the best short fiction ever: For sale: baby shoes. Never used.
And if you must know, I wrote the shorter form before I assayed the larger form. It helped in the conceptualization, at least.