Six Fictions

by Scott Garson

HOW MAY I HELP YOU?

He froze when the cockroach jumped from the crease of his wallet. Smoothly she put the insect to death, using a slip of deposit.

 

HOMECOMING QUEEN

Eveyone’s voting for Missy. I get it. Be honest, though. Whether or not it’s me, wouldn’t you like to have someone who didn’t tragically die?

 

VISITATION

He came to their classroom. The twins sat in back. Their teacher was going to just give them to him, Kate realized. Jen whispered, Shh.

 

RAY ANNE

She gave herself a different name and didn’t tell anyone. She liked when her mother screamed, “Katherine!” She liked that her mother was wrong.

 

STOPLIGHT

Oh shades and cell-phone girl in the mirror. Please kiss me. Please cover my rent.

 

HOURLY

They gave me a job at Halloween Town. Strip mall with vacancies. Sad. I was a wizard, vaguely swinging my wand. “Everything change,” I commanded.

Scott Garson is the author of American Gymnopédies. He edits Wigleaf. “Visitation” appeared in different form in a 2009 posting of Everyday Genius.

How do you approach differently the creation of individual compressed fictions when they are part of a series, such as “Six Fictions”? And what are some ways to make pieces feel inter-connected when creating such a series? Probably you carry more of an awareness of form when writing pieces for a set. Even if the form you’re working within isn’t a known or established one, you try to stay conscious of what the form feels like to you. That’s to say, in addition to the needs of each piece on its own, there’s a need for likeness between them.

Interconnections: tough subject! I feel like to generalize here, even modestly, would be to stretch the truth. In the case of this set, the “Six Fictions,” I put them together pretty quickly, within a two-day period. Two were scavenged from earlier material (“Stoplight” had been a haiku, first written while doing a reverse commute from DC to Rockville, Maryland). I did four of them during my office hour, and one at the sink while rinsing some plates, and one on a place mat at a restaurant with my kids asking what I was doing, and the last—a replacement for one that didn’t work—late the following night. I liked the number six. Six seemed like a good call for these things. When it came time to order them, I was hoping that their having arisen at the same time would mean that there’d be interesting links and counterpoints, and there were; I sensed that. But I didn’t think about it too much (Ever since I realized that the iTunes randomizer could often school me in the mix-making department, I’ve tried to be more brainless in doing my segues).

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