Three Stories – David Olsen
Here are three Flash Fiction snippets from writer David Olsen (www.theamericanspeaks.com)
“Here are three short tales from writer David Olsen. The first two are ‘flash fiction’ stories coming in at around 700 words. The third is a little longer. It is clear from the off that Olsen loves a story, an idea and a twist: Each story offers the reader a pleasing tease and reveal.
I won’t spoil anything – I like a twist too. Neighbourhood Watch and Static are particularly successful exponents and use the brevity of the flash medium impressively. There is mystery in both: We don’t know why our protagonist in Watch can’t join the outside world, or why in Static the character of an astronaut is talking as he is. The first uses the art of last line reveal to great effect and the second unravels at a pace that keeps us questioning throughout. Static is only slightly undermined by the discrepancy over whether the world beneath him has been destroyed or not: “but now he didn’t know if they were still there to miss him.” Followed not longer after by: “just in time for the world to suffer nuclear annihilation. Eddie had taken the end of the world pretty well.” And a conclusion that could only be motivated by an absolute certainty that there was nothing left on the planet below.
Samaritan opens with a premise that holds much promise. Sitting at home our narrator gets a wrong-number call from a woman calling the Samaritans. What a brilliant idea for a story. Unfortunately the following reveal doesn’t live up to that early expectation. Mental health and an individual’s responses under its influence is a complex subject. How the caller, Gina, talks and acts just doesn’t feel believable and we are offered very little opportunity to empathise with her situation. She is aggressive and defensive, yet has gone to great lengths in the story to ask for help. Again, I won’t ruin the reveal, but something about it doesn’t sit comfortably. This doesn’t feel like a flash fiction idea, but something with the potential to be much bigger and much more involved.
Check out David Olsen’s website for more stories.””
The SHORT TALE Review 2016