Aphelion Issue 235, Volume 22
December 2018
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
Contact Us
Flash Writing Challenge
Dan's Promo Page

Next Story

by Denny E. Marshall

Paul, a beginner writer, is working on his eight flash fiction piece. After he jots down a couple of paragraphs he is pleased. Not bad so far, better than his first seven amateurish attempts at writing.

Paul is interrupted as an angel-like form appears in the room. She speaks to Paul using her mind and temporarilly gives the gift to Paul. She says to Paul, “My name is not allowed, therefore unspeakable, but for this conversation with you, my name will be Mira.”

“Who, what are you, why are you here, what do you want of me?” asks Paul.

“It is forbidden to name titles or forms. Forget who I am. I am here for your eighth story. You can’t finish it. The story isn’t very good, although it is good enough to be accepted and published by one small press magazine. The story will have an enormous negative effect on the world,” Mira states.

“Well there’s nothing in the story that is negative about anyone, anything, or anyplace. I don’t understand. It's just one little story, even if it does get published like you say. I’m sure the audience for it is not that large compared to the general population,” answers Paul.

“Don’t underestimate the power of one story. It’s not the story, it’s only one person out of those who read it. The one person will affect others, who in turn cause the world to shift, a shift of such magnitude that I was sent,” said Mira.

“If I can’t write my next story how about the one after?" Paul asks.

“Sure, that is allowed.” Said Mira. The form disappears as quickly as it appeared, with the eighth story in hand, and Paul’s mind is cleared of the story idea, but not the visit.

Paul never wrote a next story. There’s only one kind of story Paul works on now, the story after the next story.

Paul wishes Mira, or temporary Mira, had stayed longer. Paul could’ve used her tips on writing.


2017 Denny E. Marshall

Denny E. Marshall has had art, poetry, and fiction published, some of it recently. See more at www.dennymarshall.com.

Find more by Denny E. Marshall in the Author Index.

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