FBomb NY flash fiction reading series: KGB

May 11th 7-9 pm

Jerome’s Take: Flash fiction by Paul Beckman

Jerome’s Take

How much more can I take? Jerome wondered. This has been going on since high school and now I’m about to turn forty.

“Jerome, stop daydreaming and get back to work,” Mr. Wicks ordered. “Those pencils aren’t going to count themselves.”

Mr. Wicks used to work for my father and now I have to work for him. It doesn’t seem fair. I got the house and a healthy monthly stipend but he left the business to Mr. Wicks.

Jerome punched out and left and drove off the factory grounds without telling anyone. After all, he only had to sign in to work in order to get his monthly check and Wicks knew it and never hassled him about leaving early—just about sitting around doing nothing.

Jerome drove to the mall and wandered around, bought an Orange Julius, looked at the high school girls and left with more than…

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Playtime with Paul Beckman

interviewed by Nancy Stohlman

Flash Fiction Retreats


Paul Beckman and I have been working together for many years on many projects. So Kathy Fish and I are jazzed that Paul is joining us this summer in Colorado–I’m always excited to get to see Paul in person!

Nancy Stohlman: Anyone who follows your work knows you are highly prolific. What is your secret?

Paul Beckman: I like to write and I like to read. I’ve always been a first thing in the morning writer and now that I’m retired I write for longer stretches of time.

How do you “retreat” from your day-to-day life in order to honor your creativity?

I grab my camera and go to one of our state parks and walk and take pictures of the bald eagles, herons and whatever else is around. I also do a lot of street shooting.

What piece of your own writing are you most proud of?  Where can…

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Sometimes Fortune Cookies are Right


by Paul Beckman

8 a.m.

Hung-over, I walked to the end of the pier with my snorkel equipment and the pier was one step shorter than my stride. I fell, slipped my snorkel and mask on and when I finally hit the water I slide into my fins and kept falling another fifteen feet and see the sand sloping away from me. I noticed a one inch pure black sea horse with its tail wrapped around a sea fan. I looked over to the right and saw another sea horse, yellow this time and twice the size. One after another they appeared in different colors and different sizes up to about five inches. I went up for air came back down and swam from one to another staring at them in all their beauty. They looked back at me through my mask and I reached into my bathing suit pocket…

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I Have a Problem


by Paul Beckman

I have a problem, well I have more than one but this one is Yuge. I can’t work in a mess and I can’t not make a mess where I work. My office looks like the shredder truck should back in and take care of things but I called them and they won’t drive to the second floor. My wife who has the neatness thing down opens my office door, sticks her hand in and sprays something every once in a while. She told me that curing my problem was easy. “There are only three things you do with a piece of paper, a — file it, b — toss it or c — hand it off to someone else.” She won’t let me hand papers off to her. Easy for her to say but I don’t have that gene and I would like to talk to…

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Gay Degani wrote a beauty!


by Gay Degani

Jennifer, “Jen,” as she preferred to be called, used to meet her neighbor, Howard, in Rocketship Park. They made a game of it. She would be in her jogging clothes, her face glossy with sweat, and he’d be in a three-piece suit, his car parked in the Von’s parking lot down the street. Each would circle the grassy areas, Jen in her cool-down stage, and Howard in his wind-down from a day of selling premium real estate to Chinese students with millionaire parents.

In the deepest, darkest section of the park, set away from the red, white, and blue aluminum spaceship, they would pass each other, eyes locking, private parts galvanizing, and at openings in the high Indian Hawthorne that looped the park, each would duck inside. They came together in a rush, not shedding clothing, but shoving them aside as if cotton, latex, and polyester were…

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