Wednesday, October 21, 2020

An Ominous Undertone

by 2020 Short-Short First Prize Winner Sarina Bosco 

Short-short fiction, or flash fiction, has been around roughly since the time of works like Aesop's Fables. But throughout my college and writing career I somehow never came across the genre. I took classes on rhetoric, on electronic literature, on the classics - but never once was flash fiction discussed. 

The concept confused me at first (and still does a lot of the time). Most literary journals seem to want a story beginning to end crammed into less than 1,000 words, which is quite a feat even when done poorly. But I like a challenge. As a writer you can choose to put yourself in a box - this is sometimes an incredibly helpful exercise - or you can choose to find new ways to approach a project. With "An interval of time just before the onset" in Bacopa Literary Review 2020, I opted for the latter. 

"An interval" isn't a story in the traditional sense but the elements are all there. The piece was inspired by thunderstorms, which I've always loved, and that feeling just before them - the feeling comprised of all of your senses warning you that something is coming. 

Everything on the cusp. The blades of grass turning in twilight, leaves showing their pale undersides, the wind picking up. The fine hair of the body lifting, listening. 

The tone of "An interval" is completely up for interpretation. While I tend to anticipate storms with excitement, others dread them. And 2020 has definitely brought an ominous undertone into our daily lives. But what I love most about thunderstorms is the after-effects; the cleansing feeling, everything damp and dripping a bit, that fresh smell that comes from plants releasing oils they've been building up. 

We're at a point in our lives, society, government, where we are on the cusp of something. I'd like readers to consider going about their lives the way "An interval" approaches the storm - with all senses open, ready to take on what's coming. 


Instagram: @sarina_writesalot

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