Archive for flash fiction

Now Available: Too Obscene

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , on April 27, 2013 by Scott Emerson


Now available from Nostrovia! Poetry, TOO OBSCENE is a one-shot zine featuring inappropriate but powerful flash fiction and poetry. Among the offerings you’ll find three of my poems–“Crucified for Cthulhu,” “Blowjob Queen” (ever wonder what oral sex with ALIEN’s Xenomorph is like?), and “Gang-Raped by Clowns–The Aftermath.” (You can even read “Crucified” for free on Nostrovia!’s preview page.)

Get yours here.


Arnzstigation Days: “Longing”

Posted in Books, Writing with tags , , , , , on January 24, 2013 by Scott Emerson


In honor of Arnzstigation Days, I’d like to share a flash fiction story, as well as a little bit about the book and its author, Michael Arnzen, who inspired it.

(Speaking of Arnzen, have you contributed to the Fridge of the Damned Kickstarter? It’s a wicked sweet magnetic poetry set coming from Raw Dog Screaming Press. For more info and to donate go here: And may I mention that pledges at the “Audiovillain” level gets you, among other cool items, a CD recording of Arnzen reading at the Morgantown Poets/Raw Dog Screaming party from May 2012. It’s an awesome event; I know, I was there.)

What I wanted to share was a poem inspired by a piece of Arnzen’s digital art, but it appears the piece has been taken down from Arnzen’s site (and Twitter has since eaten the poem as well). So instead I’ll be offering my short-short “Longing.”

“Longing” wasn’t inspired by any one specific Instigation or Twisted Prompt; it’s part of the flash fiction flood unleashed in my brain after reading Arnzen’s excellent flash collection 100 JOLTS. I scribbled a TON of microfiction, much of it bad, after devouring the book. Yet the way Arnzen utilized clever wordplay, vivid and bizarre imagery, and pop culture deconstruction prodded my muse like few books have, and I continued to hone the shorts. Finally I got something I was happy with.

“Longing” was origially published in August 2004 in FLASHSHOT.

by Scott Emerson

I long to sever your vocal chords.
That way, I couldn’t hear you say, Stop. Don’t. I don’t like when we play this game. I hate seeing you bleed.
But I wouldn’t. Like you’ve said, it’s not my style.
The awl slid effortlessly into my eardrums.

In closing, let me add that Michael Arnzen has been more than an inspiration or favorite author. He’s been a valuable mentor and friend, one whose advice and wisdom has greatly benefitted my work in the near-decade I’ve been fortunate to know him. I would not be the writer I am today without his influence.

Whether or not that’s a good thing remains to be seen.

Mad Rush #1 Now Available

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , on January 27, 2012 by Scott Emerson

MAD RUSH, the new literary journal from editor Craig Scott, is now available, featuring poetry and flash fiction by Michael Hemmingson, John Grey, Kurt Newton, John Edward Lawson, and many more. (It also contains my poem “Writing Prompts to Ensure Your Alienation.”)

Copies available here. Or visit the website.

Review: 100 Jolts: Shockingly Short Stories by Michael A. Arnzen

Posted in Bizarro Brigade, Writing with tags , , , , , on July 23, 2011 by Scott Emerson

(Review for Bizarro Brigade.)

Simply put, the best single-author collection of flash fiction I’ve ever read. (Gee, qualify much?) Michael Arnzen remains one of my favorite genre practitioners and 100 JOLTS is a prime representative of his strengths, a cross-section of surrealism, experimentalism, pitch-black humor, pop culture deconstruction, and wickedly clever wordplay.

More impressive than the volume of stories is the fact that just about every one is a winner; highlights include “Obictionary,” a deceptively playful tribute to Edward Gorey, “Domestic Fowl,” which witnesses a man’s self-induced transformation into a chicken, “The Cow Cafe,” about a most unusual coffeehouse, and the instructional one-two punch of “How to Grow a Man-Eating Plant” and “Stabbing for Dummies” (the latter co-written by Vincent K. Sakowski).

Good flash fiction, especially of the dark variety, can be likened to a snakebite: the encounter may be quick, but the results are lingering. Arnzen displays this repeatedly throughout the collection with a number of brief, resonant stories, some only a few sentences long.

An absolute must for fans of microfiction. Connoisseurs of the strange will find much to enjoy as well.

(Here’s an animated video for one of the stories, the zombie opus “Brain Candy”):