Olivia Folmar Ard

Short Stories & Poetry

January 13, 2016 was important for me. On that day, I, for the first time in my life, began taking a creative writing workshop class. Several of my friends, family members, and readers were surprised to learn this. Many of them said, “But you’ve already written two books! Don’t you already know how to write creatively?” 

Well, yes and no. Yes, I am now quite comfortable with my abilities as a full-length fiction writer, but I would not (and probably will never) call myself an expert. There is always something new to learn, and I am an eager lifelong student.  

The course I took focused mostly on short fiction and poetry, two forms that legitimately terrified me. While I’ve always enjoyed reading short stories and poems, I have not been inspired to write either in several years. I was skeptical about what I would be able to produce for the class, but nevertheless I soldiered on.  

The results of our various writing exercises, discussions, and assignments comprise most of what you will find in this short, sweet read. Despite my initial misgivings, I was pleasantly surprised with the work I produced over those four short months, and after a few more rounds of editing, I have decided to share them with you.  

I must warn you, these are nothing like the work I’ve shared before. If you’re looking for a companion piece to my novels, you will not find it here. But if you’re interested in traveling with me as we take short, compelling glimpses into the lives of those on the margins, you will enjoy reading this quick foray as much as I did writing it.

 

Posts in flash fiction
Pretty Lies

The vapor from the new boy’s electronic cigarette flies toward me, moves through me, like a cotton candy ghost.  

But it isn’t really cotton candy. It isn’t really a ghost. That was just a simile. Similes are just pretty lies.

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Paper Bags

Raindrops burst on my windshield like berries breaking, streaking the glass with their cold, clear blood. Within seconds of my hand stilling the wipers, everything in front of me becomes streaked and blurry and I am living in a Dalí painting. 

Why did I tell the cashier that paper bags would be fine? They aren't fine. I hate them. I hate the way they look, like unlabeled moving boxes. I hate how hard it is to carry them up two flights of stairs, alone. I hate the musty, soggy cardboard smell they create the second water hits them. 

But I didn't want her to judge me. I'm so sick of people judging me. Paper bags are the right choice to make, everyone says so, and this is not the hill I want to die on. 

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