Saturday, August 12, 2023

“Freddy and the Stars” • by Marc A. Criley

As a master mechanic and danseur of the space walk, Freddy volunteered for every EVA assignment. He loved the diamond-strewn darkness and talking to the stars while he worked.

Asked if they talked back, Freddy would say, “Haven’t heard anything yet.”


There are myriad ways to die in space: asphyxiation, freezing, cosmic rays, solar flares, and so on. Freddy donned a vacuum suit to fix a flaky antenna relay and spend some time with the stars. A four-and-a-half-billion-year-old grain of star stuff, circling the sun since the dawn of the solar system, chanced upon him.

Freddy never heard it coming.


Marc A. Criley avidly read fantasy and science fiction for over forty years before deciding to try his hand at writing it. He has since been published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shoreline of Infinity, Abyss & Apex, and elsewhere; so rest assured it is never too late to start writing. Marc and his wife “manage” a household of cats in the hills of North Alabama, from whence he carries on about writing, space, Alabama, and other shiny things on Mastodon as Marc maintains a personal website and blog at


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Robert said...

Flash fiction has always fascinated me. I try and try but in my own writing I feel incomplete, in another’s it sounds like art.

~brb said...

Good flash fiction is more akin to free verse poetry, I think. I see a lot of failed flash fiction that does well at capturing an image or a moment but doesn't tell a story. More often they're just vignettes.

A really good flash piece crystallizes a moment, yes, but also includes enough information to coax the reader's imagination into providing the implied beginning and to at least suggest the coming end.

It's darned difficult to do in 150 words or less.

~brb said...

There's a theory for you. It's the difference between a picture and a story. A picture is static. Everything that it is, is confined within the frame. It is only what can be seen. A story has motion, which implicitly extends in time outside the frame.

There's the challenge of writing a flash fiction story. Your job is to show your readers a picture, but lead them to understand that it's just a single frame in a movie.

Karin Terebessy said...

This was a lovely piece, subtle and well executed. And as far as flash fiction goes, I think that more than any other style of writing, flash fiction demands/assumes a tremendous amount from/about a reader. The reader needs to fill in the gaps with their own knowledge, intellect, creativity and sense of wonder. There’s this idea that every reading of a piece is a rewriting of that piece because of what a reader brings to it. I don’t think that’s more true than when speaking of flash

Made in DNA said...

Ouch. Poetic.