pátek 10. května 2013
My two submissions for the Museo de la Palabra flash fiction contest. Neither one entered the finals, so I am allowed to e-print them, and, more importantly, four months after the submission deadline, I can conclude that flash fiction is not rushed fiction (which was exactly the case here; messed up flash fiction and speed writing I was taught at Oxford and which actually does help to overcome writer's block and kick off larger pieces of writing). There are some marvellous flash fiction collections (such as this one which was on our reading list during the first term at my writing course) and I applaud every writer, who has mastered fitting a story into one hundred words or less. Flash fiction, more than any other genre, seems easy, almost trivial in the reader's eyes. It is the exact opposite, though: a true art, worthy of those who have struggled their way through thousands of pages.
This was his fourth prison sentence for words about freedom: “A Few Sentences”, the manifesto he added to myriads of words on paper, dreaded by a regime backed by the Soviet army. Today, he was to receive a Peace Prize at the Frankfurter Book Fair. He sent a note “A Word about Words” they’d read in his absence while Gorbachev and Honnecker celebrated the 40th anniversary of East Germany next door. He pitied them. Didn’t an inmate enjoy more freedom than a president? Two months later he’d learn. Reading his presidential oath, he knew this was forsaking his writer’s liberty.
„So you won’t baptize him?”
“Depriving him of faith.”
“He is three weeks old. All I can deprive him of is love, milk and freedom.”
“Oh, please! You can sustain fifteen minutes of cleric babbling.”
“What if he wants to be a Moslem? Or a Jew?”
“A Moslem! A Jew!”
“Or an objectivist agnostic Darwinist.”
“But you are his mother, for god’s sake! You choose his mother-tongue, his stroller and his church.”
“You chose the stroller.”
“I’ll soon choose my heir, too. No babbling. Just names and figures.”
“You think hell exists?”
“See you there.”