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Daily Short Story Diary - Week 50

Day 343 Dec 8, 2019

AVERAGE JOE by Judy Budnitz

Flying Leap – 1998

General – 16 Pages

Meep moop, first middle of the road story in this otherwise incredible collection. It’s an absurdist tale about everybody needing this guy’s opinions because he’s so perfectly average. No great punchline, mostly it’s just one-upping who’s coming to dinner to ask questions. Funny at times and well written, but just didn’t have the big kick.


Day 344 Dec 9, 2019

MANTAGE by Richard Matheson

The Incredible Shrinking Man (story originally published in Science Fiction Showcase, 1959)

General – 20 Pages

This is a fun little experimental style tale. It’s a man’s life told like a movie montage. Every line becomes important as years pass between. It takes a bit to get into, but it’s a pretty fun idea and has a good finale blow.


Day 345 Dec 10, 2019

WHO ARE YOU? by Ryan C. Thomas

In Darkness Delight, Masters of Midnight – 2019

Horror – 18 Pages

The voice in this one was all over the place, like it was written with construction laborer’s lunch pail in one and a thesaurus in the other. Also, it was a bit overwritten, like adding the one unnecessary phrase onto the sentence…he sat getting wet as the rain overhead poured bucket loads from the sky (I made that up, but there was one overcooked sentence involving rain). As for the story, I liked the teeth people, but the ending where someone’s crazy is a bit like it was just a dream. It’s been done to hell.


Day 346 Dec 11, 2019


States of Grace – 2014

General – 3 Pages

Some fun imagery, great writing, but a little too much of nothing going on in this one to bump it to where SGJ’s stories usually sit for me.


Day 347 Dec 12, 2019


Mad Hatters and March Hares – 2017

Crime – 20 Pages

This one’s a story about grief that sends a woman into a moment of insanity. The story really picked up there, but the pounding home that she was sad was excessive; felt as if it could’ve been trimmed five or so pages and still had the same impact. That said the characters were good, the dialogue was good, and the double bits of shock worked.


Day 348 Dec 13, 2019

FLIGHT by Judy Budnitz

Flying Leap – 1998 (story originally appeared in Story, 199?)

General – 3 Pages

This one whipped by, but packed a pretty good punch. I’m not exactly certain the complete underlying message, I am certain, however, that there was one. It had to do with the state of women in the world, today versus yesterday. It’s fun and strange and wonderfully quick.


Day 349 Dec 14, 2019


Tricks and Treats – 1976, 2019

Crime – 10 Pages

They called this one a howdunnit and that’s perfect. I’ve read a few howdunnits in my life, but this was the best one. Totally clever and fun, with a dash of irritating human repetition. The facts of the case were great. The follow through was fantastic. The finale was *chef’s kiss*


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