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Flash Fiction Friday 001: JD Mader’s ‘Green’

23 Sep

I’m delighted (I use that word a lot don’t I, but I am) to bring you the first piece of flash fiction in what I’m hoping will be a long-running (for as long as you provide me with your stories) weekly series.

So, without further ado (do I hear a cheer at the back?) tonight’s story is a 325-word piece entitled ‘Green’ brought to us by my regular guest San Francisco-based JD Mader…

She felt the warmth of the rising sun crawl up her legs, but beneath her the grass was cool with dew.  The contrast was pleasant, like jumping into a hot bath after playing in the snow.  Her mind was calm, and she could see each blade of grass distinctly, green towers reaching toward the reddening sky.  Each blade was the same height, the tops torn off by angry mower blades.  Every so often a stalk stood proudly, knowing that it had escaped the fate of its comrades.
   She could hear the distant call of birds.  Their songs were lost in the thick air and became blips and screeches as they clawed their way through the morning haze.  Her mind was simultaneously lost in the present and the past.  She was lying in the grass.  She was also standing on a stage.  Her dance had just finished.  The adults were clapping.  She did not want to be a dancer.  That did not seem to matter.
   There were many things that did not matter.  It hadn’t mattered when she told her mother that she wanted to be an astronaut.  It hadn’t mattered when she then decided to forego college and travel the world.  It hadn’t mattered when she was fifteen and she told Billy Abrams that she wanted him to stop.  Funny how it all worked.  Not funny funny, though.
   There was a line of ants marching through the grass.  She blew on them and they scattered, reforming their ranks like soldiers once the wind had passed.
   The reflection of the sun expanded as it rose.  It cast a pale green glow that seemed to coat her in peace and tranquility.  Behind her, she could hear the moaning of the other passengers.  An occasional scream.  It was all very far away.  She could smell the burning airplane, but somehow none of it was as important as the soft green grass and the tender warmth of the sun.


And the inspiration behind this piece: I teach writing workshops.  We do all kinds of writing prompts and write for five minutes or so.  I always write with the students, and then we share what we wrote.  Pretty standard stuff.  The prompt for this piece was, get ready for it, “Green”.  We all wrote about the color green.  A lot of times I use my portion of the writing time to try and show how you can subvert conventions and make any idea your own.  Green conjures peaceful images for me, so I tried to go as far away from that as possible.  Or to combine the tranquility of green with a backdrop of terror.  The piece came out pretty well.  I wish I could say that it happened like that every time. Green is a very short piece.  My stories are usually longer, but the impact of the stark contrast is so immediate that I think it works.  I never contemplated expanding this piece.  I think it would detract from the overall effect.

I think so too… thank you JD. ‘Green’ was the subject of my first ‘red pen’ session podcast episode and was released on Monday 8th August – you can read the summary and get the podcast links here. JD Mader is a teacher and writer / musician based in San Francisco.  He has been fortunate enough to encounter many giving and inspiring people in his life.  He hopes to repay the debt.  And to make enough money with his writing to buy a house. His website is http://www.jdmader.com where you can read more of JD’s writing and if you’d like more (and why wouldn’t you?) his novel Joe Café is available here.

If you’d like to submit your 1,000-word max. stories for consideration for Flash Fiction Friday take a look here.

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12 Comments

Posted by on September 23, 2011 in novels, podcast, short stories, Twitter, writing

 

12 responses to “Flash Fiction Friday 001: JD Mader’s ‘Green’

  1. JD Mader

    September 24, 2011 at 4:57 am

    There’s nothing I like about the UK more than Morgen Bailey. Not even the beer. Not even Manchester United. Not even figgy pudding. Not even cute robins (so much lovelier than the ones we have here).

     
  2. morgenbailey

    September 24, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I’m with you there other than the robins. Much cuter than me. :) Cider over beer any day, rugby over football and figs… euch.

     
  3. Rosanne Dingli

    September 25, 2011 at 9:46 am

    This is an excellent piece. A “life scrolling before her eyes” narrative in such a short story. Well done. Will look out for more of Dan’s. And watch this spot.

     
    • morgenbailey

      September 25, 2011 at 10:42 am

      Thank you Rosanne. Dan has various pieces on his blog and he’s promised me more so, as the saying goes, watch this space. :)

       
  4. JD Mader

    September 25, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks Rosanne! Much obliged. There are a bunch more stories at http://www.jdmader.com

    Cheers!

     
  5. Paul D. Dail

    October 1, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Meant to comment on this, but apparently I didn’t. Really liked this piece. I’m always impressed with the under 500 word Flash pieces (brevity isn’t my strong suit, and it’s usually a workout to get under 1000). There just feels like a more poetic/prosy sense in the shorter works and this didn’t disappoint. Last paragraph is great.

    Paul D. Dail
    http://www.pauldail.com- A horror writer’s not necessarily horrific blog

     
  6. morgenbailey

    October 2, 2011 at 2:32 am

    Thank you again Paul. Always lovely to have comments at any time, still getting some for earlier posts, it’s a real kaleidoscope in my Inbox… it’s great, and I look forward to reading all about you in your interview. :)

     
  7. JD Mader

    December 30, 2011 at 3:19 am

    Thank you much Paul!

     
  8. simongwhitmore

    February 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    What an excellent piece. So interesting and thought provoking, I kept thinking about your story for a long time after I read it and decided to come back and leave a comment.

     
  9. morgenbailey

    February 7, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Is it great, Simon. :)

     
  10. JD Mader

    February 7, 2012 at 2:03 am

    Thanks Simon, I really appreciate that. :)

     

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