Exquisite Duet: Paul Beckman and Johnathan Cardew

Nice to be paired with my talented friend Jonathan Cardew


Exthe-duetquisite Duet (formerly Exquisite Quartet) is not so much a composition between two writers, but rather something created within the murky midlands of each author’s mind, yet set off by the same first sentence. Meg Tuite chooses two writers each month and gives them a first sentence to start with and a 250-word limit to finish an exquisitely mesmerizing story or poem. These duet-dueling writers will craft two completely different cosmos that have rotated, pitched, and blasted from the depths of their cerebral cortex to the twitching nerve endings of their digits onto dueling keyboards and separate screens until their sublime duet is prepared to see the light of an audience.

Another Day at the Office

By Paul Beckman

A voice tells me it’s all been solved but I’m not willing to take Voice at face value. Pastimes Voice gave me a sure thing on a trifecta and it…

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Code Red


by Paul Beckman

When the bell rings and the color is announced everyone not wearing the color of the day must stop what they are doing and sit, lie or lean. Today the color is green so the greens can go about their business–and at times their business is monkey business with greens of either sex.

The school is thinking of changing the rule, but today at the meeting to discuss it, the bell and “Code Green” comes over the loudspeakers. The Assistant Dean and the English Lit teacher were in green so they exited via separate doors and met in their lover’s alcove in a rarely used section of the building.

Since the Assistant Dean is often privy to the color of the day he makes the best of it.

A week after the meeting the rules have been modified. Now when the bell rings no one can talk…

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Flash Stories Coming Out In . . .

  • Airgonaught
  • Connotation Press (3)
  • Exquisite Duet
  • *83
  • Beautiful Losers
  • Donut Factory (2)
  • Short-Story.ME
  • Ink in Thirds
  • Spelk
  • Ink, Sweat & Tears
  • Fewer Than 500
  • Thrice Fiction
  • Degenerate Lit
  • Yellow Mama
  • Flash Fiction Magazine
  • Sicklit
  • Story Shack (1)
  • Fictive Dream
  • Story Shack (2)
  • Stories@fewer than 500 (profile)
  • Pure Slush
Featured Image -- 175

PEEK by Paul Beckman

Thanks to Gay Degani & Heavy Feathedr for reviewing my book “PEEK”

Heavy Feather Review


Peek, by Paul Beckman. Boston, Massachusetts: Big Table Publishing, January 2015. 120 pages. $15.00, paper.

Picture a seven-year-old with a magnifying glass and a battalion of ants trooping along the sidewalk with contraband. The sun blazes down, a strong summer sun. Some of the ants burn up, some escape and immediately have regrets, while others stream off into lush grass, but all have exposed their essential tiny ant souls.

Paul Beckman wields such optical instruments as he sheds a short sharp light on character and story. The author’s curious and often careless characters quickly come into focus. Acts of spying, observing, snooping, inspecting, regarding, watching, and glancing find their way into most of the stories found in Peek, a perfect title for this humorous, touching, discomforting, and extremely intriguing collection.

It is necessary to begin with the author’s attention to the sense of sight, both the positive and…

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A Good Wife

I’m sharing this incredible story by Hillary Leftwich


by Hillary Leftwich 

A man respects a woman as much as she respects herself.

Evelyn sets her hair, allows her slip to fall over her body like a second skin. The silk is like warm flesh against her. She takes a moment to picture his hands on her, finishes getting dressed. She has dishes from her breakfast to wash. Barry, her fiancé, expects this to be done before she leaves. He is still sleeping, his body akimbo and half hidden by sheets, exposing certain parts. An arm here. A foot there. She considers kissing him briefly then dismisses the notion. She won’t wake him. By the time she leaves Barry’s house it is still early morning.

Always practice applying your lipstick in the mirror before you attempt this in public. No one wants to see a woman with sloppy makeup. A messy face is a messy wife.

Evelyn sits on…

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