In his previous collection, Not Quite so Stories, David S. Atkinson twisted reality with small absurdities. Roses are Red, Violets are Stealing Loose Change from my Pockets While I Sleep leaves sanity completely behind, pondering modern life through surreal humorous flash fiction involving Margaret Thatcher, jam appearing in boxers overnight, Gene Roddenberry, and more.
Short stories are always tricky beasts, with how tough they are to write in direct proportion to their length. That is why it can be so great to read a collection of very short stories that offers up laughter, great prose, and wild absurdities that bring into focus the very real ones we live with every day.
There are lots of laugh-out-loud moments. There are some sentences that you will not expect to see, such as “The elephants threatened to post pictures of the shoes naked online for everyone to see.” (“Missy Wore a White Skirt with Pantyhose and I can’t Handle Shoes Right Now”). I mean…how can you not laugh? The long titles, too, help cement this collection right into the tongue-firmly-in-cheek genre.
There is a good sense of pacing in these pieces of flash-fiction. The author does a good job of dropping us into the world of the narrator in each story, using just a few words to do it, before launching us into bizarre scenarios where searching for stamps that Publisher’s Clearing House pasted in your organs or cutting out wooden shapes from your old elementary school floors seems logical and doable. Each story makes you shake your head and frown and laugh and keep turning the pages.