Posted in Book Reviews

Review of Waning Metaphorically by Michael Poeltl

WAning meta

 

Genre: Short story collection, general fiction

 

About this Anthology:

Not every story is meant to be a novel, and with so many stories circling an author’s head at any given time, a short story is sometimes the best format in which to package it. Bang for your buck! Condensed story-telling.

This collection of shorts and flash fiction features fourteen multi-genre stories offering the reader a range of opportunities to slip away while on their commute, a day at the beach, or lunch break. Short stories offer real-time entertainment in a world that demands instant gratification.

Waning Metaphorically is intended to excite the reader’s emotions and asks them to question, always. The stories within should inspire introspection on a number of topics and leave the reader more curious about their own points of view while, at times, admitting the authors are spot-on.

It is recommended the stories are read in the order they are presented, but then, order is just another’s perception of how things ought to be.

Life is a Metaphor. A metaphor is a symbol. A symbol is a sign. Watch for the signs.

 

 

My Review:

Waning Metaphorically by Michael Poeltl contains an array of short stories that range from flash fiction to longer stories. Several of the stories are written from the point of view of an emotion, which I found to be thought provoking as well as entertaining. “Death Wish” was probably the story that I found the most memorable. The story examines guilt on an extreme level. The main character of the story cannot move forward from the past he created. When I learned what happened in his past, I couldn’t help but feel awful for him. It’s the kind of story that stuck with me for days. Given my love for the season of Halloween, I also really enjoyed the story, “A Halloween Special.” Two not-so-bright artists concoct a bizarre plan to dig up a body from a cemetery. This story had me laughing and shaking my head at the characters, and the end took me by surprise. There are many other enjoyable stories in this collection, and I loved that the stories were of varying lengths because it made it easy to read a quick story while taking a break. I definitely recommend giving this collection a read.

 

Follow the Author here:

Michael Poetl

 

http://www.mikepoeltl.com

https://www.facebook.com/Michael.Poeltl.author

https://twitter.com/mpoeltlauthor

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MichaelAuthor?rel=author

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mpoeltl

https://www.pinterest.com/moondog2012/

Posted in Writing

Stolen Dreams

This is my entry for Anna Meade’s (aka the Dark Fairy Queen) Midsummer Night’s Dream flash fiction contest. The competition calls for a 400 word story, which is officially difficult to do! My story comes in at 405 words. This story may have started a short story collection, but we’ll see how it goes. I hope you enjoy it 🙂

 

Stolen Dreams

By S.M. Lowry © 2015

A welcome breeze swept through Melaina’s hair. The sweltering heat of the city below rose to lick her skin. From her perch on the hill overlooking the city, she gazed at the dream energy of the city’s inhabitants.

The stars twinkled above her, and the full moon hung heavy. She knew now there was only one way to escape her otherworldly prison.

Melaina photobucket

Photo obtained from Photobucket

 

She rifled through the dreams of the city until she found the woman who dreamed of him.

A smile turned up her lips as she drank in his form through the woman’s dream. How she longed to caress him, to let her fingers dance over his body, through his luscious curls.

Soon.

#

The woman’s eyes widened as she stepped onto the shimmering beach in her silk pajamas. Melaina plastered a smile onto her face to welcome Rachel.

“What is this place?” Rachel asked in wonder.

“A world where dreams come true.” Holding out an apple, Melaina added, “Eat this. It will take you to a world of magic that surpasses your dreams. There, you can live forever.”

Rachel’s eyes narrowed. “I’ve seen Snow White. It’s probably poisoned. No one lives forever.”

“They do in Faery.”

“Faery,” Rachel breathed. “Is that where we are?”

Melaina shook her head. “This is the in-between. Faery is even more breathtaking than this world.”

Melaina bit the apple, letting the succulent juices flow over her tongue. She held it out to Rachel to do the same. Rachel eyed it suspiciously. Melaina held her breath. Her plan would fail if Rachel refused to eat the apple of her own free will.

The crunch of apple skin was music to Melaina’s ears. She let out a breath. The magic hit her with the force of a drum, ripping her soul to shreds. The pain brought her to her knees as her body tore itself apart. She heard a scream, but whether hers or Rachel’s, she didn’t know.

At last the pain ebbed, and Melaina stood. She looked down at her body, clothed in silk pajamas. A smile stole over face.

Rachel jumped up. “What have you done?” she screamed.

Melaina ignored her and waltzed out of the dream world.

A hand gripped her shoulder. “Baby, wake up. It’s just a dream.”

Melaina smiled to herself as she gazed up at the concerned face of the man—her man—hovering over her.

The dreams of others now belonged to her.

 

 

You can read the other entries here:

Posted in Writing

Short Story Time

Here’s a little flash fiction story I wrote in one of my creative writing classes in college a few years ago. It was one of my earlier attempts at writing, but I still like this story and thought I’d share it 🙂

Sunrise

 

Sitting on a checkered blanket, covering the dew-filled grass, Libby watches as the first light fills the sky. It’s late August, but the breeze that blows over her has the distinct chill of impending autumn. She shivers and wraps her sweater tighter around her, enjoying the peace of the early morning. She feels that something isn’t right, though she can’t put her finger on what it is. Since she couldn’t sleep, she came outside to distract her mind from such troubling thoughts.

The front door opens, and she hears his soft footsteps as he comes out to join her.

“The sunrise is beautiful, isn’t it,” he says.

“Yes, it is,” she says.

Looking over her shoulder at him, she marvels at how beautiful he is, even having just climbed out of bed. His dark hair tousled by the gently blowing breeze, his eyes blue and infinite like the open sky, and his smile that touches her very soul. He kisses her cheek and combs her brown curls with his fingers. She closes her eyes, loving the feel of him touching her. She wishes moments like this could last forever.

His hand drops from her hair, as though the universe hears her desire for him and insists on thwarting it. He sits next to her and pulls his knees close to his body, wrapping his arms around them, and joins her in staring at the sunrise.

He clears his throat. “I need to talk to you about something,” he says.

She doesn’t respond, continuing instead to stare at the sunrise, heart pounding in her chest. She takes a deep breath, willing herself to remain calm. Her mind desperately working to figure out what could have gone wrong in their relationship?

“I love you, but…” he begins.

She squeezes her eyes shut, blocking the tears threatening to fall.

“But,” she says.

He breathes deeply, exhaling as his words come out in a rush. “Libby, I have a wife.”

She stops breathing. Her heart freezes. Her stomach drops. Frantically, she tries to make sense of the sounds and form them into something tangible in her mind.

“A wife,” she repeats.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for this to happen, it just did. When you and I hit it off, I was afraid to tell you about her. I really love you, but I can’t leave my wife.”

She cringes when he says “my wife.” Clutching her stomach she attempts to process the unbelievable. She searches her memories of the past year for clues she hadn’t seen, as her mind races with questions.

“D-do you have kids?”

“Yes, but they are from her previous marriage. I’m the only father either of them knows because they were so young when their real father died. I love them. They’re my world,” he says, looking out into the distance.

Unable to hold the tears back now, she lays her head in her hands as sobs rack her body. They had fantasized about how their children might look and who they might take after. Together they had joked that little James would have his dark hair and strong chin, and how little Kelly would have her curls and bright eyes.

“I see,” she says, drying her eyes on her sleeve. But she didn’t see. Couldn’t see or comprehend the motives of the man sitting next to her. Couldn’t fathom the truth he had revealed. She sits there in silence for a moment, letting the numbness take over. There are too many questions, and no answers she can bring herself to hear. But there is one question she must know the answer to.

“Why,” she asks. She closes her eyes, heart pounding, waiting for his answer.

“I’m not in love with her. We barely speak, and then only about the kids. But with you I connect. I can talk to you and you get it. I love the laughing we do and the sweet warmth of your body next to mine. I want that to be all there is in the world.”

“But it’s not,” she says, tears running down her cheeks despite her attempts to hold them back.

He hangs his head in response and stares silently at his fidgeting thumbs.

As her tears ebb, she becomes aware of the trees above them; she can hear the chirping of the birds. She sees neighbors walking outside to grab the morning paper. The air is warming up as the sun continues to rise.

“So, what about us,” he asks.

She looks over at him, at the man she had treasured so dearly only moments ago. But now she sees only a broken man, with a broken marriage, and a host of broken dreams.

As the sun continues to brighten the sky, she realizes that now she does see. She sees that it’s time for him to return to his family. She sees that her future lies down a different path now. Gathering herself together, she walks inside and shuts the door.

 

 

© S.M. Lowry 2015