Imagine a world where shadows of enchantment instantly render ordinary experiences eerie, terrifying or sublime, and where the unexpected becomes the norm. The twelve short-short stories in Laura McHale Holland’s Just in Case comprise a universe where a wife betrayed relishes a savage revenge; a much maligned character finally has his say; a cozy family scene chills the blood; a couple chugging toward retirement takes a bold U-turn; a curious relative cannot leave a half-human, half-Big Foot baby alone; and more.
The dark, often revealing themes in this collection marry exquisitely with the precise flash fiction form, offering a full reading experience in few words. If you enjoy engaging, short reads with deliciously poetic prose, plenty of imagery, and context left to the imagination, you’ll love the concise gems found in Just in Case.
I believe stories can spark our deepest, truest selves—sometimes momentarily, sometimes indelibly—and I strive to do this every day. I'm now at work on a novel inspired by magical realism and folklore. It introduces a quirky, sometimes contentious cast of characters in a fictional river town where forces beyond everyday reality both help and hinder, and secrets surface, testing the community's mettle. The book is with beta readers now. Previously, I've published two memoirs, a collection of flash fiction, and an anthology on sisterhood that contains the work of 76 writers from across the globe. I also enjoy writing short plays and have had several produced locally. In addition, I edit full time for a financial services trade publication, serve as a judge for short fiction contests run by a global arts organization and occasionally copyedit novels written by local authors. I feel it's worth pursuing our dreams through all of life's ups and downs, even when they seem lost to us, and if my persistence in pursuing a creative path can help you on your journey, that will fill my heart with gladness.
At only forty-five words, "Before" is one of the shortest stories I've written. All of this story is included in this "book bubble"—except for the last four words. And when it comes to flash fiction, four words can completely alter the story's impact. It could be funny, poignant, thrilling or terrifying. You'll be able to see how I chose to end this story when it's published in August.
And you'll be able to grab a free ebook version by signing up for my newsletter at http://lauramchaleholland.com. In the meantime, if you had to end this story by adding four words, what would they be?
Just in Case
The scene glowed cozy. Fire in pot-bellied stove. Calico kittens romping on braided rug. Chocolate chip cookies cooling on plate. Hot cocoa in ruby-red mugs. A mother reading The Runaway Bunny to three sleepy tots. I took it all in before