By g emil reutter
In this collection of short stories and flash fiction, Flick, displays her unique ability for seamless transition from urban to rural to suburban, often in the same story. Her use of metaphor and stunning imagery draws the reader into each story and unlike many collections of short fiction and flash fiction. This collection is like a fine quilt layered in a complex weave of unpredictable outcomes and character development.
She brings us Lenny the Suit Man who sells to millennials out of van, yet they are fine suits and his customers seek advice from the suit man. Flick tells us of the nickname, Sweetie Pie, in a flash fiction piece about infidelity that a woman bestows on her man when he finds an unknown sock in the his bed.
Flick writes in Birds in Relation to Other Things:
I remain in this small room. Her, it’s always dusty twilight. Our window pane is loose and cracked. It rattles with the breeze.
I talk softly into a coal-black phone after it has run twice. I listen to my voice. Reassuring. Reassuring. I put down the receiver.
You’ve gotten into an old car, a car in which you’re comfortable. You glance in the rearview mirror and drink juice from a bottle.
The birds have come to know me well. They trust me. They perch on my lamp, chair and ashtray. They are small and move quietly around my soiled clothes and hair, my dirty fingernails.
She writes of the polyester and plastic women of Las Vegas. And this from Pittsburgh Women:
When it’s dark, the women walk outside. They hear the clank of machines, the rattle of trains, the breeze tapping its way through every single tree. The women inhale with their hands on hips: they strike wooden matches to hold the flame to the fuses of fireworks, which pop and sizzle as they dart up into the night sky.
The story, Open and Shut, is about a young woman who moves from San Francisco to Nebraska. Flick in this defining story of the collection transitions from the urban to rural, from man to man, hipster to cowboy in such a seamless manner that the story flows like an uninterrupted breeze just above the stormy, gritty realism.
In this relationship driven collection she writes in the story, Snowed In:
So when he calls, leaving a message about forgotten coffee, he is already a thing of the past. The coffee is in the past—our morning, our voices, our life, it is back there in a different time. This time, on the other side, has little room for details.
In the story, Ashes, Flick displays her attention to detail and avoidance of cliché as in this passage from the story:
Up ahead, she sees red-black-and-flannel, someone in jeans walking along. Uncommon this early. Jocelyn has been studying the mosses and has strayed from the trail to climb a large rock with frilly, lacy green lining its top and side. Like carpet. She daydream about moving into the forest. Building a house that has trees soaring up through it and real moss carpet to dig her toes into.
These images as in all of Flick’s stories are fresh and relatable to the reader.
You can find the book here: https://www.autumnhouse.org/books/thank-your-lucky-stars/
g emil reutter is a writer of poems and stories. He can be found at: https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/