Image courtesy of Pixabay

“No, no, you’ve got it all wrong. It’s the dragon’s in the details.”

The little girl in front of me crosses her arms and glares at me.

“Um, no dear, I’m quite sure it’s ‘the devil’s in the details,’” I say as she continues to throw the stink eye my direction. “Where did you say you were from again?”

“Mylandia, I’ve told you four times already.”

She uncrosses her arms long enough to throw them up in the air, like I’m the one repeating nonsense.

“Right,” I say as I scribble down notes in her file.

Her eyes peek over…

I’m no Stephen King, but I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way I wished I’d known sooner, and I wanted to share.

Photo courtesy of LibelSanRo via Pixabay

Write a million stories.

Write a hundred bad stories. Write short short stories and long rambling neverending tales that you’ll never finish and will eventually give up as a bad job. Write different genres, point of views, settings, voices — anything to mix it up in the early stages. When you ‘finish’ drafts, rest them, read them, revise them, then, if you can read them without cringing, submit it somewhere. Or, if you still hate it, take it out back and shoot it, and when I say shoot it, I mean put it in an archived folder and almost never, ever go in there.

Do not read bad fiction.

Previously published by Black Mirror Magazine, January 2015

Wiebrig Krakau via

The nurse hummed what might have been Beethoven or Mozart, Walter wasn’t sure. Her fixed smile didn’t change shape for even an instant as her cold fingers moved this and that out of the way and wiped him down with baby wipes. Baby wipes, for God’s sake. Her eyes were placid, like she wasn’t there at all. Walter watched her work because there was nothing else to look at. He had visually investigated every crack, corner, and dust pile in his room. She was one of the better-looking nurses, but he wouldn’t…

Photo credit: Miwok via Flickr

You walk to the edge of a ravine. You look down, but all you can see is sharp rocks for hundreds of feet and twisted vines crossing to the other side. You hear the sound of rushing water, but aren’t sure just how far down it’s sounding from. You knew the indigenous child ran this way and you saw it go down, but where? It didn’t shriek or scream or scramble like the way you would think a child falling to its death would have done. You must be missing something.

You stand as close to the edge as you…

Shannon Ferretti

Writer. Horse Rider. Dog Obsessor. Word Makereruperer. Novel in the works. Short stories found here: On Twitter @ShannonFerretti

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