Saturday, November 23, 2013

Capuccino (5-min. video)

This freaky flash fiction story is brought to you in the form of an entertaining little 5-min film with a kick at the end. Enjoy. 

 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Perfect Circle (a 250-word suspense flash fiction short story) by Oren Shafir

This old gorilla named Samson ruled the band for like I don’t know how many years. Then this horny little fucker called Tonto kicks the shit out of him till he nearly dies. Then the TV loses the signal again, goddamn it.
flash_fiction_aging_gorilla

I get up and look around. Whitey is sitting at a table doin something, and I sit next to him. He’s reading some magazine.

“Where did you get that pen?” I ask him. “We’re not allowed to have pens in here.”

“You afraid I’m gonna hurt ya?” he asks.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

This Is How It Feels (A 100-word freaky flash fiction story) by Oren Shafir


horror fiction woman with knifeI never intended this, but she just wouldn't acknowledge what she'd put me through. She picked up her phone and started scrolling. She ignored me. She looked at the clock, the door. Her eyes were darting everywhere.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mask (an 800-word Halloween flash fiction horror story) by Oren Shafir


halloween horror storyThere were no mirrors, but Frank could feel that the cut in his cheek was both wet and deep.

Lou’s words were running around his head: 'There is no right and wrong, just winners and losers.  When you understand that, you'll be free.'

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Pretender (a 100-word flash fiction horror story ) by Oren Shafir

Distraught woman flash fiction suspense
How could I prove that I wasn't crazy when I was the only one who could see it -- the only one who could see that it was something alien: a parasite, an imposter, a pretender. And I had to get rid of it.

I went through it all in my head again as I hiked to the remote spot where I would abandon it. They had tried to tell me that something was wrong with her, but I knew it wasn't her at all. Something had taken her place. Still, as I left it there underneath the cypress tree I had to look away because, after all, it did look exactly like my baby girl.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Love letter (a 500-word flash fiction suspense story) by Oren Shafir

Celia my love,

´Photo by Zahra Pedersen 
If you’re reading this now, then I am dead. Since you were blocking my calls and emails, I had to figure out a way to get through. You see whenever I put my mind to something, I can make it happen.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Learning to Count (a 700-word) flash fiction suspense story by Oren Shafir

suspense_flash_fiction_nurse_with_needleMiss Chandler hears herself counting and the numbers dance before her eyes.The bed begins to spin. She wants to steady herself, but The IV in her arm stops her from stretching. She is not in control. 

“Good honey. This is just something to help you relax before the anesthesiologist gets here,” the nurse says.

Miss Chandler must regain control. She closes her eyes and sees herself: young again, in charge, in her classroom, helping one of her young students learn to count.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Geek (a 700-word flash fiction story) by Oren Shafir

Flash-fiction-horror-suspense-story-the-geekThey knew I didn’t do it because I was in Phoenix with my Dad that week and didn’t get back till the day after vacation ended. In other words, the day after the locker bomb went off, and Schuler and Davis were killed. But they think I’m the next geek who might get inspired and decide to blow up some jocks, or even worse, some cheerleaders. They knew what the jocks almost did to me, and after what I said at the assembly, they were all over me.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Closed Door (a 400-word freaky flash fiction story) by Oren Shafir


A cloud covered the moon, and the room darkened. I’d been so busy trying to clean up before Mom got home that I hadn’t had time to reflect. But the adrenaline rush was completely gone now, and it seemed like it was someone else earlier and not me. Part of me wished Bob were still alive, and we could all be a family together. Part of me knew that was right, the way it was supposed to be. But I had an image of myself with my feet hanging over the edge of my bed listening to Mom and Bob behind her closed door. I sometimes thought I would explode – when that door was closed.  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Murder for Breakfast (a 300 word flash fiction story) by Oren Shafir

Originally published in Dead by Dawn Vol 3, Edited by Adele Hartley

Ed crashes into his chair – waves of body fat jiggling from the jowls of his neck and arms down to his belly, thighs and calves – and demands coffee; Janet thumps a mug of the scolding liquid next to his plate.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Nickie (a 500-word freaky flash fiction story)

”We have to eat the dog.”

Danny just stared at Hans like he wanted to kill him.

Finally he said, “I hate your fucking mustache.”

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Dina's Smile (a 450-word freaky flash fiction story) by Oren Shafir


Later, after she was raped by Shechem, I was the one Dina sought out for comfort.

That first time I comforted her, though,  she was around four, and I was around 12. Simeon had accidently hit her with a rock above her left eye. The women stopped the bleeding with some shepherds-purse. Then they passed her around like a loaf of bread, each one trying her own trick to soothe her: something sweet, a rocking motion, a rattling noise, even a breast. But still she wailed her heartbreaking tones.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Joel Got Fat (a 300-word flash fiction story) by Oren Shafir

Fat Joel Horror StoryJoel knew that if he went to lie down, he wouldn't be waking up this time. Mom had put something in the enchiladas.

She had begun preparing them - with six green peppers, a kilo of diced chicken, chipotle chiles seeded and minced and finely chopped red onions, all wrapped in corn tortillas with strips of sour cream, 12 halved green olives and melted cheddar cheese on top – two day's ago.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

To Sleep (600-word freaky flash fiction) by Oren Shafir

I stepped on the teenage girl's narrow sandaled foot with my hard black heel. Crunch. She whimpered, and I registered her look of pain and surprise, but I just moved straight past her. I was too tired to speak.
Source - Photography Mojo

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A drop to drink (a 100 word freaky flash fiction horror story) by Oren Shafir

desert flash storyFor the first time, Jason thought that they might just actually die out there. That his naiveté might have cost him not just his own life, but that of Gina, and God help him, his unborn child. The jeep was far away now. The farm farther. And home farther still. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Golem (800-word freaky flash fiction) by Oren Shafir


Image from Der Golem film 1920
Heinrich only kept him alive because he amused the men. Eliyahu spoke four languages, and he could tell you the full name, birthday and birthplace of everyone in the camp, be they officer or soldier, Jew or gypsy, communist or dissenter, man, woman or child, alive or dead.

But Eliyahu was an idiot really. A giant idiot, with a coarse and abnormal face, less like man than dog really. He would ramble on incomprehensibly mixing information about errand lists his mother must have given him back in his little Jew village - about what to get at the butcher’s and what to say to the Rabbi - with random passages presumably from the Jewish holy books.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Straight-edged razor (a 600 word freaky flash fiction horror story) by Oren Shafir

Bob woke from his afternoon nap looking at the reproduction of Georgia O’Keefes' human skull -- with its shattered teeth and empty black eye sockets staring at him -- and for a second, he wondered where the hell he was.

Then he remembered; this was his new home. He peeled himself away from the sweaty sheets. The first thing he was going to do was to fix that damn air-conditioner.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Appointment at the top (180 word freaky flash fiction) by Oren Shafir)

Is this the longest escalator in the universe, or is it just because it is so late? So dark. Because the ceiling is so high? The place so still and empty?  I fight the urge to run back down, but I know they’d only find me – and my family.

I look at the ads rolling by on the side. I see coke, and I think car acid. I see green-pea soup, and I taste vomit. I see a baby in a shiny white diaper, and I picture shit oozing out of the elastic seams and running down its chubby thighs. For a second, I think I can smell it. My stomach burns, and I feel dizzy.

Finally the top comes into view. Maybe, I think, they do just want to talk. I feel lighter. Yes, of course. How absurd am I. We can still work this out. I can make them see. 
The tips of shiny hard shoes appear. Followed by uniform-blue pant-legs. A thick black belt with pouches, lots of pouches. Then, I see the holster.
It is empty.
 
END

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I love the Dutch, that's why I came to Denmark... (short excerpt from comedy play by Oren Shafir)


In this short excerpt from my play, Better Off Dead, Ulla and her friends,  Lars and Lone, are trying to teach Rex, your average Texan cowboy, how to be Danish.
ACT I, SCENE III, ULLA’S LIVING ROOM

(Lars and Lone are just entering)


ULLA

These are my dearest friends, Lars and Lone Lonelarsen. Lars and Lone, this is my new boyfriend, Rex from Texas.

LARS AND LONE

Oh, an American.

REX

What’s a matter, don’t you like Americans?

LARS

Yes, of course. We are Danish.

 LONE

We are very tolerant and extremely non-judgemental.

LARS

But we believe that all Americans are narcissistic, dogmatic hypocrites.

 REX

Why I might take offense with that if I knew what any of those words meant.

 ULLA

Now we shall have Danish hygge.

LARS

Yes, now we shall have Danish hygge.

LONE

Yes, we shall have Danish hygge now.


ULLA
We shall explain.
LARS, LONE AND ULLA
(Lars, Lone and Ulla light
candles frantically as they
sing this song)

THE DANISH HYGGE SONG

DANISH HYGGE IS SO DANISH
IT’S AS DANISH AS CAN BE
DANISH HYGGE IS SO SPECIAL
BECAUSE IT IS SO HYGGELIG
DANISH HYGGE IS SO SIMPLE
AND YET IT IS COMPLEX
ALL YOU NEED ARE 500 CANDLES
AND SOME PEOPLE AT LEAST THREE
THEN YOU NEED SOME DANISH HUMOR
WE ARE VERY FUNNY
WE GAVE THE WORLD BLACK HUMOR
WE INVENTED IRONY
DANISH HYGGE IS SO DANISH
IT IS AS DANISH AS CAN BE
DANISH HYGGE IS SO CHARMING
BECAUSE IT IS SO HYGGELIG
ALL YOU NEED ARE 500 BEERS
AND SOME PEOPLE, AT LEAST THREE
REX

Oh, that’s Danish hygge. It’s kinda like...

Friday, June 21, 2013

All for one (350 word freaky flash fiction) by Oren Shafir

What kind of person could beat a man until his bare knuckles bleed? I know you think I’m horrible, but there’s some things you need to understand.

First of all, it was Frank’s idea. He’s the leader, the thinker, the planner. And he has a way of explaining things with that fancy English accent of his so that it all makes sense. Now that doesn’t mean I will do anything Frank says. No sir, especially not something like that. You need to be motivated for something like that.

You see, that poor kid Jamie is so sweet and innocent, and has been hurt so bad, you just want to protect him. Jamie is the best of us. And it’s like Frank says, if someone hurts one of us, he hurts all of us. So you see, I had to do it. I'm the one who get things done that the others can’t, even terrible things sometimes. I am the doer.
Still when I walked up to that man I did not know what I intended to do. But then he smiled at me like he knew me. Almost like he had been, I don’t know, intimate with me. I could see how he must have hurt Jamie. I thought, Jamie is such an innocent kid, he wouldn’t have seen that; he probably just took it as a friendly smile.

“You don’t know me,” I said, and I swung my whole body connecting a hook to his temple so clean it sent him straight down.
How was I to know that Jamie had been hurt so bad before, that he could get so confused, he might blame this guy for something else someone else did to him a long time ago?

I can’t talk to Jamie (or Frank for that matter) all the time, you know. Usually, one of us just takes over and uses the body, and the others disappear for a while. This time it was me, and I used it to beat that man to death with my bare hands.
 
END
 
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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Alone (200-word freaky flash fiction) by Oren Shafir


I’d been trying to remove a painful piece of nut lodged between my upper right molar and the one next to it when I began to suspect the tooth was moving as well. I tested it, and it was loose alright.
I tore off a piece of my rag shirt, the clean one, and dabbed at the area. That’s when I saw the pus and blood. Without thinking, I pushed it as hard as I could ignoring the pain. Back and forth, again and again ,until there was a crack.
I stuffed a piece of the shirt rag in the hole and looked at the tooth.  Tooth? Whatever it now was, I could only admire it. I began laughing. Softly at first, the kind of polite chuckle you would have heard at a dinner party or the library. But my laughter gradually grew - like it was being pumped up inside me.
Soon, it was like the unchecked giggles of a child. Gradually, it became  hysterical. Tears rolled down my beard mixing with gooey blood. Had someone heard me, they wouldn’t have known whether it was laughter or the bellowing of a beast.  Had someone seen me, they would have thought me mad. Would have, if anyone were left, that is.
 
END

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

When I Was Brand New by Oren Shafir

On the night I was born
My Dad used one of the two tickets he'd bought
To hear Frank Sinatra sing
Why Frankie decided to perform in Beer Sheva, Israel of all places
I do not know

How a nice Jewish boy like me ended up in a goyish place like this by Oren Shafir

(Originally published in Rambam, Danish-Jewish history journal, 15/2006)
 
I’ve lived in Denmark for 15 years now, and I still feel like an outsider. But, hey, that’s not so strange. After all I am Jewish; we Jews are perennial outsiders. We’re contributors to the mainstream, yet never quite considered an integral part of the mainstream. We’re familiar with all forms of persecution, and we’re always on the move. Oh yes, Jews get around, and I’m no different.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Dan's Just Fine 200-word flash fiction by Oren Shafir


I have to tell you about something with Mom that freaked me out. Remember I went with her to the North mall last weekend. Well anyway, she met her old friend, Esther Rose. And Esther asked how Dan was. Well Mom just smiled and said, “He’s fine.”
  So, I kept glancing over at her on the way home, trying to see if she looked okay or what was going on. I couldn’t see anything. She looked like Mom. So finally, when we got to a red light, I just asked her.

  “Are you okay, Mom?”

“Yes. Why what’s the matter, don’t I look okay?” she said, and she pulled down the mirror and started checking her makeup.
   “It’s just that, your friend, Esther, asked you how Dan was, and you said he was fine.”

  “Oh,” she said laughing. “That’s right,” and for a minute I started laughing too. But then then the light changed, and as I started driving again, she said, “Yes, yes, he is.”

“Mom…” I said trying to control the alarm in my voice and figure out a tactful way to put it. But finally, I couldn’t think of any subtleties, so I just came out with it.
   “You know Dan is dead right?”

“Of course, I know,” she said. “But he’s fine. Dan is just fine.”

More of Oren's flash fiction

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Veteran (153 word flash fiction by Oren Shafir)

"Hey bud, spare a dime for a vet?"

"One dime, that's it?" I said digging into my pockets and glancing at Bobby with a mischievous grin. This dude was an original. Looked like he crawled out of some black and white World War II flick.

He held out a grimy black hand. I hesitated, then placed the coin in it, feeling his gritty, blistered skin, but surprised at its cool touch.

"Thanks Mister," the bum said.

"Ha, he called you Mister," Bobby chortled.

"Trying to get back home to Chicago," the bum continued. "Haven't seen my folks since I got out."

"Chicago? How many dimes do you have?" I laughed and started to turn to Bobby, but something in the veteran’s eyes held my gaze.

Then, he reached into his pockets and slowly pulled them inside out. The dimes fell, raining over the sidewalk, and flowing into the street like a silver deluge.


(originally published in the, unfortunately, now defunct phonebook.com)

Read "Last Train, a 250-word freaky flash fiction story about deja vú

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Half a dozen poems in 20 odd years

Poetry is a tough genre for me. I've only produced a handful of what I consider to be decent work over the last 20 or so years. Here's a few of them.

Here are links to some of my other poetry:
http://www.connotationpress.com/poetry/1257-oren-shafir-poetry
http://www.eclectica.org/v2n1/shafir_poems.html


Postmodern Proof
Let's not pretend we're going
Anywhere.
Every place looks the same.
Empty streets lead us
To empty boxes
Where we park cars
Next to neon-colored numbers
That remind us where we are:
On shiny floors amid electronic goods
Gone is the touch and smell of wood.


The Ingrate (100-word freaky flash fiction by Oren Shafir)

fiction with a twist
Do you even realize how much thought I put into picking out just the right length candles to bring out the beauty of the bone china,
or the perfect heavy red Bordeaux to complement the lightness and delicacy of my beautiful Gruyère and Parmesan Cheese soufflé?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Shafir's Life of Shakespeare

Birth and early childhood (the fish years)
Bio spoof: humorous look at ShakespeareIn April 1564, William is born at Stratford on Avon to Sheldon and Gladys Shakespeare. It is a long and grueling birth lasting three weeks, and he is born weighing 58 kilos and sporting a full beard. The birth of a bearded infant is a rare phenomenon; there are only three known cases in medical history (the other two being Fidel Castro and Rosie ODonnell). It is perceived as supernatural, and today some scholars believe that his mother was burned at the stake as a witch as a direct result. Others believe it was because she used to fly around town on her broomstick...

Short story collection: Small Truths and Other Lies by Oren Shafir

A sample short story


Dead Man's Boots
Jinji wore Avi’s boots after Avi died. It doesn’t matter how he died. Maybe he got caught by a friendly bullet. Maybe he caught shrapnel in the head. Maybe... Read more



First lines of some of my other tales

The Almost Man
My short-term memory is fucked. I forget things. My long-term memory is also fucked. I remember things...


Backsliders
Thinking about Sherry's naked body and his mother at the same time made Tiny Teddy nervous...


Photographs and Memories
I am told that my great-grandfather, Moishe, used to get sick every year during the fast of Yom-kippur... 


Read these stories and more. Download the Kindle ebook now

 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Alice (a 300-word freaky flash fiction horror story) by Oren Shafir

 The room seemed to be bending, the shadows alive. How far away
flash fiction horror story lizard
was the window? How far away was the door? Everything appeared out of proportion, and Alice felt dizzy.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Setting Momma Free (a 500-word freaky flash fiction horror story) by Oren Shafir

(Originally published in issue 7 of the Heavy Glow print anthology in 2006)

Momma was bleeding from her head around the left eyebrow. But as usual, Derek made her sit in her chair at the kitchen table. He'd go out and come back with the key that he kept in the bottom drawer of the desk in his study. Same place he kept his whiskey. I knew cause I snuck in and drank some once. Just enough to see what it was like, but not enough that he'd notice. Then, he'd come back with the key and open the glass case on the wall by the window and stand over her, behind her, with his Colt .45. And he'd talk about what she'd done wrong. Explain to her like a disappointed father.


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