Nominated for The Pushcart Prize 2017 | Nominated for Best Small Fictions 2017 | First publication of “Puppah Fish” at The Airgonaut | 29 August 2016. To jump to the story, click here.
This story took a long time to write. It began as an idea, to use multiple choice question constructs in a short story. Then I did a Fast Flash© Workshop reunion with Kathy Fish, and she had this prompt called “Turn and Face the Strange,” which gave the option of defamiliarizing things; so I thought about the varied and unexpected forms of multiple choice constructs as the “strange” part of the tale: a structural strangeness.
Oh, and there are also singing fish with charming accents.
It began as a recasting of an old Celtic tale, “Ivan,” then veered for a bit into a modern day fracking and oil story, and then a love story, but still mostly a fairy tale. I shopped with Randall Brown, too, and with his help decided that the Multiple Choice questions would be anything goes, all answers likely correct, so the reader might learn something about the fairy tale form as this one unfolds in a meta sense, in a friendly way.
I do hope you like it. I wish I could have come up with better names for these tall tale characters, like Sally Anne Thunder Anne Whirlwind, but you know that’s 5 words and Chai is 4 letters. A little Flash inside joke there.
Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope that you enjoy “Puppah Fish.” Read it here.