The surreal is usually an element in most everything I write or make, but of course there are different degrees of this. This flash fiction is a recent sally into the pure surreal. It has some uncomfortable themes, but is one of the least harsh of my stories.
The surreal is not a lack of basic rules, it isn’t chaos (that would just be static, if anything), rather, it creates rules for its own use. For a certain purpose, the right rules must be used (imagine playing chess by the rules of basketball). Fiction can achieve purposes which history cannot achieve, because it creates its own rules for events. Fantasy can achieve what non-fantasy cannot, because it creates its own rules for possibilities. The surreal can achieve what the non-surreal cannot, because it creates its own rules for the basic fabric of experience.
Of course, something that would be purely surreal probably could not be conceived by the human mind, so this story isn’t technically pure surreal, but I call it so because, for example, it is more surreal than a dream usually is. Usually dreams have characters and events: this story simply has structure: sequence, themes, moods. If you would like to try and find hidden meanings in it, that may be enjoyable and interesting. But, recalling C. S. Lewis’s metaphor of the beam of light in the shed, do not neglect to experience the story by examining it instead.
My name is Kelly F. Barr and I am one of the romance writers here on Hope, Hearts, & Heroes. The novel I am working on is an historical romance story. However, I also write Flash Fiction and short stories, and in my Flash Fiction, not all of the stories include a romance … but, they do include love of some kind.
I have found that I cannot write a story without some kind of love theme woven into it. I suspect that is because I know God’s love and know that all love comes from God. Also, in His word he tells us that we are to “love our neighbors as ourselves” and “love one another”. We love because He first loved us.
It was a zonnestrider, a diurnal spirit that exhaled a deathly aura of fury and violence. No weapons were permitted on or around the pasture, not even the fairy blade. The fathers of Otto, Else, and Kitty were livid that they were not allowed either. Dr. Kikkert, as the least physically dangerous of the older men, was placed outside the gate with a radio transceiver to contact Prof. Morhier, who waited up the road in a car. Morhier taught Otto a ward to repel the enemy for a time; after at least a day he would be able to prepare a more permanent solution.
By the time morning came the fairy tree was not only withered but rotten. The fallen leaves that had dried and then been wetted by the dew filled the whole place with the bay leaf smell. Otto thought it was rather inconsiderate of the fairy’s signal to make such a mess after only one brief conversation, but Kitty pointed out that it was it easier for them to get at the roots, where the signal had said the weapon was buried.
Dr. Tom Kikkert was friendly about the number of people he let in the room when they were those who needed to be there. He kept the true proverb, that “companionship is the purest medicine”. Otto’s room had warm brown walls: the doctor tried to avoid sterile white. Otto’s barrel-chested father sat by the bed and held his hand. Nearby sat his mother, who seemed undisturbed (“He is a boy, after all”). She was holding Otto’s baby brother, who also seemed undisturbed, and was pointing with interest at the various medical and magical things in the room: he had never been in this interesting place before. Kitty was sitting on a love-seat, and leaning, exhausted, on Else Verboom, Otto’s sweetheart; Else was a nice person to lean against.