Tag Archives: flash fiction

Ann Beattie’s Winter Love Affair, “Snow.”

Snow by Ann Beattie   (Vanity Fair, 1983)

Monday’s Flash Fiction,   September 13, 2021



Short, cozy, and deep, this short story holds a bright candle to spending winter in a country house with your lover. The intensity between reality and imagination is Beattie’s signature style. This is written in second person narrative (not one of my favorites), but well done in imagery and metaphor.


“I know that stories don’t really have conclusions. It’s only an appropriate moment for stopping.”

This is not a surprising quote by Beattie. Her stories often dangle you at the end. In Snow, the dangling leaves the reader with a sense of drama and loss. But even that is open to interpretation. Reading this 5-paragraph story a couple of times is well worth it!

Ann Beattie  is an American short story writer and novelist. She has received an award for excellence from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a PEN/Bernard Malamud Award for excellence in the short story form. Her work has been compared to that of Alice Adams, J.D. Salinger, John Cheever, and John Updike. She is the author of twenty-one books, including the collections What Was Mine, Follies, The State We’re In, and The Accomplished Guest, as well as the novels Chilly Scenes of Winter, Another You, Mrs. Nixon: A Novelist Imagines a Life, and A Wonderful Stroke of Luck (Viking, 2019). Beattie was the Edgar Allan Poe Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Virginia.  She lives in Maine and Key West.


Read the short story here at Wattsenglishclass.weebly.com:


Listen to the audio  (5 minutes)



Don’t forget to view the INDEX OF AUTHORS’ TALES above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, crime, sci-fi, romance, ‘quiet horror,’ and mainstream fiction.

 Follow or sign up to join me in reading one short story every month. 

Comments are welcome!

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 Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

      Monster Librarian     

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory   

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

Discover Author of the Week posted on Mondays!



Filed under fiction, fiction bloggers, flash fiction, free short stories, free short stories online, literary short stories, literature, Reading Fiction, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, romantic fiction, short stories, short stories online, short story blogs

Lunaphobia or Dead Lotus-Faces?

What the Moon Brings by H.P. Lovecraft  (1923)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror  April 10, 2018


Do you enjoy stories about dreaming, hints of dreaming, or imagination vs. reality? Sometimes, stories that blur these lines can be entertaining but also highly stimulating.  Misleading sensations, false beliefs, uncertain perceptions are all part of dreaming. When I wrote Night Sea Journey, I researched the dreaming mind and the imagination because the character Kip Livingston struggled with supernatural night terrors. Dreams and the imagination both require mental imagery from the conscious and subconscious mind. The processes are certainly different. Carl Jung has lots to say on this subject; I find his ‘active imagination’ practice of searching the unconscious realm for truth to be astonishing. Jung’s belief was that dreaming is sourced not from the physical brain or Feud’s wish-fulfillment theory but from and within the powers of the psychic world—the larger Self speaking the truth to the ego. Fascinating!

Here is a story, What the Moon Brings, told by a mysterious narrator with a deep fear of the unknown. At night, while walking in a garden that has no boundaries, he sees dead faces among the trees and flowers, “dead lotus-faces.” The moon has power here and we are drawn into a bizarre eclipse of horror.

“I hate the moon—I am afraid of it—for when it shines on certain scenes familiar and loved, it sometimes makes them unfamiliar and hideous.”


” … As I ran along the shore, crushing sleeping flowers with heedless feet and maddened ever by the fear of unknown things and the lure of the dead faces …”

Our narrator follows a stream to an unknown sea  with “unvocal waves” and there he finds his destiny.  In full Lovecraft style, this story is full of imaginative descriptions and vivid scenes. This is a enhanced dreamscape that possesses our narrator who may or may not have lunaphobia. A quick intriguing 8-minute read that is surreal and yet real.






Read the short story (8-minute read) here  at HPLovecraft.com:


Listen to the audio on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6nNuIRqxF4






“In my dreams I found a little of the beauty I had vainly sought in life,

and wandered through old gardens and enchanted woods.”   H. P. Lovecraft


H.P. Lovecraft is one of America’s finest horror novelists. The statuette for the World Fantasy Award is a bust of Lovecraft, in honor of his writing. The award is informally referred to as a Howard. Lovecraft suffered from parasomnia or  ‘night terrors’ from the time he was six years old. He dreamed of what he called “nightgaunts.” Some readers speculate that these nightgaunts appeared in his books as black and faceless, thin humanoids.


Don’t forget to view the INDEX above (lots more Lovecraft stories) for more free reading. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, supernatural, ghost stories,  suspense, crime, sci-fi, and ‘quiet horror.’ Follow this blog or sign up to join me in reading two short stories every month. Comments are welcome.


Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

 Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

HorrorNews.net   Fangoria.com   

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine   Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian      HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed


Filed under classic horror stories, dark fantasy, Dreams, fiction, fiction bloggers, flash fiction, free short stories, ghost story blogs, Gothic Horror, haunted mind, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, Night Sea Journey, occult, quiet horror, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, short stories, short story blogs, soft horror, supernatural fiction, tales of terror

Flash Fiction Horror Shorts: Ten 100-word stories

Are you a FLASH FICTION FAN? I love flash stories because you can read a whole story on a coffee break or as a lunch time read. And I can tell you, flash fiction is technically and structurally very challenging to write.

Try these little fictions at Horror Novel Reviews to spook your day: ten short stories at 100 words each. Settle back with a cup o’ joe.

Read my 100-word shortie Varlok by Paula Cappa. Leave a comment, please.







Filed under horror, horror blogs, short stories, tales of terror

WiHM at Sirens Call Publications

This is the second week of Women in Horror Month (WiHM). This movement has really taken off and Sirens Call Publications is getting lots of applause for their Issue 13. Lots of FREE short stories, flash fiction, poetry, editorials, and some amazing photography all by women artists.  From Australia to Oregon to California to Massachusetts to Holland to Singapore to England, if you want to discover some new and rising authors (over 50 to choose from, including a reprint of my own flash fiction Abasteron House), Sirens Call is the place to start looking.

Download the FREE PDF at the link below and enjoy this month’s exciting explosion of horror.

Sirens Call EZine: http://www.sirenscallpublications.com/

On FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/SCPSirens



Filed under fiction, horror, literary horror, Night Sea Journey, short stories, tales of terror, Women in Horror Month