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Short Stories 365:181

Today I wrote a piece of flash fiction for this call because the mood had struck, and because last night when we were walking around, my husband and I had chatted about something that sparked an idea. It's another piece revolving around memory and second-chances (I seem to be in love with both of those, huh?) and a slight twist of the paranormal (ditto) and the jolly fun and good times that dementia brings to the table.

I'll say this for flash fiction - it's a very different challenge than short fiction. Saying something with thousands of words is one thing, saying it with less than seven hundred and fifty words? Egad. It's a major challenge. So maybe I went with my strengths simply because it relieved one of the pressures of fitting that small word count.

So, it was semi-ghosts, and our world turned sideways, and dementia as a second chance. Hopefully they like it.

"Shadow Mapping," by J.D. Barton

Speaking of ghosts and the world turned sideways, the next story in Riding the Rails is a creepy little story about a young man who enjoys trains, and the strange and otherworldy train that pulls into the station. Having heard the ghost stories about the train already, at first he's hesitant, but soon the pull is too strong. What first seems to be a chance at an erotic encounter goes somewhere much darker.

In fact, "Shadow Mapping" highlights one of the things I love about this collection. It's wonderful how varied the tales are that were pulled together by Jerry L. Wheeler. Ghostly tales, darker tales, romantic tales - even a couple of spec fic tales - these are all wrapped up in one anthology, and all of them, Barton's included, are sweaty and erotic in all the right ways.

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