Hello, I am Zin! I have another flash – “Yarn” – up at Prick of the Spindle!

I started this story in the Assignment Workshop office of Zoetrope, run by Brent Millirans. The prompt, supplied by Brent, was:

Story form: Flash Fiction
Story Exercise: Please write a story set in a library. Use only one character. The character may be anything or anyone you choose. Make your character unique. There should be no dialogue. All expression must be descriptive.
Genre: Drama
Plot: Describe the character and some quandary from which to escape.
Obstacle: Create an obstacle, which intends to endanger the character, either real or implied. The character must extricate himself from the situation at the last minute.
Twist: Utilize a tricky or unexpected interaction with an inanimate object, which helps the character deal with his conundrum.
Story length: 500-1000 words.

Sculpture by John Ventimiglia

Sculpture by John Ventimiglia

I went to the Portland Public Library around the corner from my apartment and once again admired the sculpture, “Three Apples Fell From Heaven” by John Ventimiglia, a teacher at the Maine College of Art (not the actor), “In memory of Agavny Johnson (Der Hovanessian).” I have not been able to find a picture of it, and I do not have a digital camera so I can not take one and put it on-line, but (Good news! I now have a digital camera – it is a really crappy one, but it takes pictures – and here is a picture of the sculpture! And the pages that are next to it to explain the letters!) I have always loved the sculpture, and the way the shadows play on the wall. I have tried to contact the artist but have not been able to reach him, I think he thinks I am a nut! Well, I am, but I am harmless! I wanted the sculpture to be the inanimate object required by the assignment, and then I just wandered around until I had an idea of how to include it.

I received some wonderful feedback on this story from the Workshop members that helped with rewrites and edits. I am very happy Prick of the Spindle liked it enough to include it in their Fall 2011 issue!



6 responses to ““Yarn”

  1. I remember this one, too, and really liked it then. I love the published version. I finally found time to read it. Stand-out lines for me include: “the lovely smell of lemon cake in A-B” (because I actually read and loved the book you’re referring to) and “like the tales his mother’s mother told of her mother and his father told of his father’s father” — just great rhythm and juxtaposition. Well done.

    • Hello, Stan! Thank you! I am so happy you liked the final version!

      Are you an Aimee Bender fan? WE will have to get you a copy of The Third Elevator! It is so much fun!

      Oh, and I have the Steve Almond book! We will have to talk! I have not read much yet!

      • Yes, I’m an Aimee Bender fan! I have a copy of The Third Elevator, too. I even took a really awfully composed photo of Aimee Bender, and Sumanth Prabhaker of Madras Press in Brookline when she stopped by to promote it.

        My wife and I read it together last year, as we did with Lemon Cake. Gorgeous. I have really old copies of Story magazine that features one or two of her stories. I also bought Flammable Skirt but that is till on my to-read pile.

        As for Steve Almond, you mean his new book? I haven’t bought it yet. What do you think of it? (I’m sure we’ll all know soon enough.) 🙂

      • I am so jealous that you got to meet both of them! I love that particular teeny tiny book (I carry it around in my rucksack and re-read parts of it whenever I am stuck somewhere waiting), and Madras Press in general – my dream is to have a story published there, though that is going to be very difficult if I do not start writing again!

        Yes, I have God Bless America, I got it when I got BASS 2011. It will be a while before I post anything since I will read all the stories first. The first one contains a lot of familiar scenes from Boston!

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