The Drum

flash_fiction

IOANNA MAVROU Lucky Cat

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The narrator of Ioanna Mavrou's "Lucky Cat" invests the eponymous figurine with hope, bravado, and fear in this flash fiction piece about a relationship challenged by illness. (4:03)

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MARY O'DONOGHUE Honest, Or Nine Precious Insights

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It's only one sentence, but "Honest, Or Nine Precious Insights" offers a vivid portrait of a man looking for companionship. As he weighs the merits and disadvantages of a blind date at "a tea place," Mary O'Donoghue's narrator expresses both vulnerability and confidence, confusion and insight. (7:52)

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ELIZABETH O'BRIEN Over Easy

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A plate of eggs, a map, and a greasy table top inspire a new journey for the young narrator of Elizabeth O'Brien's "Over Easy". O'Brien's vivid and concise writing, and her evocative reading performance, give the listener a strong sense of the narrator's need to just go. (3:47)

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ANDREW SULLIVAN The Lesser Half of Sir John A. Macdonald

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Andrew Sullivan's narrator names the lesions on his body after the cities where he has endured the loneliness and pain of homelessness. "The Lesser Half of Sir John A. Macdonald" paints a world in which people can be torn in two, like the eponymous Canadian banknote, by the longing to stay put and the need to keep moving. Sullivan's story follows a young man struggling through the consequences of one bad turn, as he makes his way across Canada. (13:43)

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JOAN KANE NICHOLS Treasures

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At this time of year in 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and much of the surrounding area. Joan Kane Nichols's flash fiction "Treasures" sets us down in one woman's home as she and her husband Darryl prepare to evacuate, one of them more readily than the other. The story is a vivid dramatization of the pull of belongings--treasures--as both burden and rescue. (5:06)

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LISTEN! THEN SEND US YOUR AUDIO STORY

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Get some audio inspiration from our regularly changing audio prompts and record a three-minute story for The Drum. Send us the audio on our Soundcloud Dropbox--over there on the left-hand side of our home page--and share with Drum listeners and writers. (:7)

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PRAIRIE MARKUSSEN Nothing Special

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Prairie Markussen's "Nothing Special" tells the short, moving story of an old Korean woman fighting for permanence in her changing city. Am-yeong Im, given the name for babies not expected to survive, patiently and insistently works for the survival of her home. In Markussen's story, a woman's small act of erasure turns into an attempt to make something last. (4:01)

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CHARLES RAFFERTY Dump

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In Charles Rafferty's "Dump," a simple garbage trip becomes a test of a newly single father's need for his children's safety. While he worries, they are carefree. He is left to ponder his daughters' responses to a world in which people leave--sometimes without returning. (3:14)

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2012 MuseFlash Contest: Flash Fiction and Non-Fiction

Announcing the winners of our Third MuseFlash Contest, recorded during Grub Street's Muse and the Marketplace conference May 5-6.Paula ChuPatrcia SollnerR.J. TaylorCollin TobinBetty YeeMuseFlash invites writers to read their 500-word pieces aloud in The Drum's recording room at the Muse conference. The Drum staff selected the best from a very strong group of submissions. Thank you to all the writers who participated in this year's event.

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LISA KORZENIOWSKI While You Were Gone

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In Lisa Korzeniowski's "While You Were Gone", a mother's night out leaves her children to do whatever they want, thrilled to be free from a parent whose weaknesses and failures are all too apparent.  But their experience of exhilaration quickly slides into yearning for their mother's love and for the return of her questionable authority. (3:00)

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LAUREN NORTON CARSON The Ironing

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Lauren Carson's "The Ironing" takes a domestic scene as the setting for a domestic undoing. Carson paints a detailed portrait of a woman's experience as a pair of pants becomes a wry battleground. (3:30)

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KIMBERLY ELKINS Laura Bridgman, The First Famous Blind Deaf-Mute

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Kimberly Elkins' "Laura Bridgman" offers a fascinating fictionalized account of an actual historical moment. As she meets the young girl who is being groomed to take her place as a celebrity, Bridgman muses on the vagaries of fame and reputation. Elkins' piece raises interesting questions about the rivalry among the senses (or their loss), and the strange power that can be wielded by disability. (3:33)

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theme: comedy

theme: crisis

theme: relationships

theme: family

genre: essay

novel excerpt

short fiction

poetry

under 10 min

under 20 min

under 30 min

under 40 min
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