Yesterday, I was notified by the editor of Black Poppy Review that my most recent fiction piece, "The Ride," was accepted and published (read here). This was my first attempt at flash fiction (short stories under 1000 words). The goal of flash fiction is to present a big idea as simply, concisely, and truthfully as one can and this with the color of good prose. Flash fiction situates itself carefully upon the border of short fiction and poetry. I enjoyed the constraint of a limited word count as such forces the writer to focus on terse prose without losing the color and I, perhaps, paid even more attention to turns of phrase than I might have otherwise in longer form (though I can't be certain of this).
As I shared the draft prepublication, and others having since read the piece, readers have asked, "It is about death, isn't it?" or "Suicide?" To wit my reply is always that my job as a writer is done, the rest is up to the reader. All writers know that some meanings and themes emerge after piece's completion and were not necessarily in the mind of the writer during the process of creation. That would be way too convenient. Yet such reader-derived meanings and themes are equally valid. That is one of the joys of literature, is it not?
It is interesting to hear what others experience and see in the mind's eye upon reading one's work. Truly, "The Ride" should be read as a dark piece and that was my intent, after all, but who's to say that it might not also be interpreted (validly) by another reader in a more positive and optimistic light--say, as a treatise on how we tend to focus on the past and future so much that we miss out on the present moment? Something to remind us to LIVE NOW as now is all we've got...to motivate...not depress.
I won't say much more about the piece but I will part with this--There really isn't a middle story for our passenger and narrator and that much, dear reader, I can say was intentional. It is for you to write in your own mind, feel it as truth, and to live it out.
- S. Huey