This week's six are from another piece of flash fiction debuting today. Click on the link after the excerpt to read the whole thing in less than a minute!
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With Patty looking on in puzzlement, Leona looked into the lion's empty eyes, concentrating. She raised her hand to its mouth and inserted her fingers. Almost as quickly, she withdrew them, to show Patty the slip of paper wedged between her index and middle fingers.
“See there?” she said, reading the printing on the slip. “Oh, this is great! I can start tomorrow, and it's close to my house!”
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"Job Fair" came to me, the first story to do so since before I'd started my PhD, some time after I'd moved in with my wonderful husband to our beautiful, rickety house in Cambridge, Massachusetts (so we're talking early 2009). I've been trying to place it ever since. I thought, "In less than 500 words, this story compresses all the frustration I personally have felt about my already years-long unsuccessful job search in light of the now floundering economy." I knew I wasn't the only one experiencing that frustration, so how could any publisher pass it up? Many, many of them did, though, and so you see that my writing career got off to a slow start. I mentioned the story in an earlier post.
The title, which I've fiddled with to no avail, is trying to be a play on words. The lion head is sort of an automatic job fair, and also Patty feels that the way it assigns jobs isn't especially fair. She's the one who's worked hard and long to find something! So maybe, there's a little message tucked in there about finding what you're looking for only when you're completely relaxed and accepting, i.e., ready for it. That's how it's worked out for me, at least.
Now at last, when I thought it might never happen, "Job Fair" has found a lovely home in the Journal of Microliterature. Hooray! Enjoy!