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Speaking of My Father


By Paul Beckman

editors pickI said I didn’t know him and that he abandoned my mother and us three boys: ages five, four, and one.

“He’s obviously a man without character,” I told a stranger who was drinking CC with a beer chaser. I was drinking Bud long necks.

“Think he’s got any redeeming qualities?”

“Maybe in appearance, but not at heart.”

“Do any of your brothers resemble him?”

“Who knows,” I said. We turned and looked at each other and saw ourselves, one older, one younger. I swiveled and ordered a double CC.

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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