Flash Fiction Online #84, September 2020

Flash Fiction Online #84, September 2020

“The Last Day of the Faith” by T. R. Siebert

“Psalms” by Aimee Ogden (reprint, not reviewed)

“Small Magics” by Juliet Kemp

“The Liar’s Sun” by Filip Wiltgren

Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf

A trio of original tales of fantasy appear in the latest issue of this magazine of very short stories.

“The Last Day of the Faith” by T. R. Siebert is narrated by a god. The only surviving worshipper comes to the deity’s temple bearing gifts, as the invading army of a rival god approaches. The human offers the ultimate sacrifice, but the god has another plan.

The author’s choice of narrator, and decision to address the reader directly as the worshipper, must have made writing it a challenge. Fortunately, this difficult task is completed with elegance and grace. This deceptively quiet story has a powerful effect on the reader, without becoming overly sentimental.

In “Small Magics” by Juliet Kemp, two siblings, who seem to be gods, help humanity throughout the ages in different ways. The female makes many small improvements, while the male works for large changes. Each comes to appreciate the other’s method of making the world a better place.

Consisting of many brief scenes, progressing from the distant past to the present, this work seems more like a philosophical discussion than a story. The topic is an interesting and important one, but the distant narrative style lessens the impact on the reader.

“The Liar’s Sun” by Filip Wiltgren takes place in a fantasy world where, on a certain day, the sun causes those not protected from its rays to go mad. These people tell lies, and commit acts of violence. A young girl, kept inside by her mother, hears a voice outside, claiming to be her long-lost father. The result of this encounter comes as a surprise to both mother and child.

After an opening section that leads one to expect a tale of deception and mayhem, the conclusion comes as an anticlimax. The point may be that there is no clear distinction between truth and lies. In order to present this theme, however, the resolution seems to violate the author’s own premise.

Victoria Silverwolf is laboring on Labor Day.