Friends of the unreal —
Imagine my delighted surprise to have a piece included in this lovely speculative anthology as — once again — the rule breaker story. This time, time though, my hybrid prose poem/flash fiction is the most “realist” of the group (which is pretty hilarious). Here is the beginning of “12 Attempts at Telling about the Flower Shop Man.”
There was a flower shop man who owned a business on Third Avenue in New York City. At first he had been a flower shop boy, although I didn’t know him then. His father was the flower shop man before him. There were always flowers in buckets outside the front of the shop until it got too cold for them. These are generally the lesser flowers: the cheaper ones already bundled into bouquets in a bucket, but don’t they welcome you as their colours burst out from the grey pavement of the street? The carnations are always among the bargains—red, pink, yellow, white.
And, just to be clear, it’s the younger flower shop man I want to talk about. The young man in training was very tall and he was the one who was kind to me whenever I visited the shop. He always gave me a flower when my father and I came in to buy a bouquet for my mother. Now that I think about it, I wonder why we came so often. Was my father just generous (although he was not a rich person), or was he feeling guilty (because he had a years-long affair with another woman), or did he just like flowers?
To read the rest of my story, as well as other charming speculative pieces, purchase your copy of A QUIET AFTERNOON, here.