The Royal Variety Performance is a show put on for the entertainment of the British Royal Family. It consists of a varied selection of performances from comics, musicians, actors, and dancers.
This is a bit like that. In flash fiction form. And without any kind of class whatsoever. The only royalty you’ll find here is the prince of darkness. Welcome to Flash Me!: The Devil’s Variety Performance.
Flash Me! is about word economy. Bang for your buck. These five authors all manage to capture the theme of the feature within the constraints of a tiny word count. Each had a maximum of just one thousand words to work with. For the joy in good flash fiction is in the glance through a small window, the peek out to a world that is larger you might first have realised. You might remember that here at Solarcide we have experimented with flash before, blending it with themes of decadence and sin, the results of which can be found in our collection Flash Me!: The Sinthology. This time round the authors are all user of the LitDemon community forum, a place worth checking out for anyone interested in connecting with fellow writers.
But enough dally! The wicked one is waiting so without further ado, let’s have at the show! Are you seated comfortable upon our obsidian pews? Got your bottle of blood and your big tub of knucklebones to chew on? Good, because the lights just went down.
This is The Devil’s Variety Performance.
First up in the running order tonight, please put hoof and claw together for a writer we have known of for quite some time now, but not managed to snag as a guest until today. Eyes forward for Bob Pastorella, and his piece inspired by a source that is close to the Devil’s heart: a heavy metal song.
Click the chaos rune to read Black Tongue by Bob Pastorella
Next on the bill, hailing from London UK, is another first-time Solarcidian we are delighted to welcome into the family. Please welcome Ali Abbas and his flash fiction piece that shrouds its undertones of a classic yarn with a veil of sinister smoke tendrils.
Click the chaos rune to read Sing by Ali Abbas
Taking us beyond the halfway point in tonight’s proceedings is a familiar name to anyone who peruses our site with any kind of regularity. She’s one of our absolute favorites. Give it up for the femme fatale of Canadian fiction, the queen of contorted characters and dirty short stories, and the author of the forthcoming collection Vile Men. Here’s Rebecca Jones-Howe with a story of sinister reflections.
Click the chaos rune to read Dead Stars by Rebecca Jones-Howe
The next madman in this macabre procession of language is another returning guest, having already appeared in The Sinthology. Bill Tucker is a great guy, though right now you might want to watch out, for this work of his possesses subtle powers with which it ensnares, changing its form to match the lusts of the reader.
Click the chaos rune to read Chameleon by Bill Tucker
We’re almost done with this wicked orgy of words. Almost. But don’t go anywhere yet, the dark prince is not yet quite satisfied. He calls for one final offering to satiate his morbid hungers. And who are we to deny him?
Rounding off the bill for this flash fiction feature, another author we have known of and spoken with for a few years now, a writer we are very happy to publish at last. Before the curtain falls, one more time, lets see those pitchforks in the air. He’s a commander-in-chief over at the successful Pantheon Magazine and a great champion of short fiction. Here’s Matt Garcia.
Click the chaos rune to read She Sings of Darkness, She Sings of Light by Matt Garcia
And that, as they say, is that. The Devil has been given his due, he returns to the underworld once more, his belly and brain both full of the cryptic and heathen gifts we have bestowed upon him. Go now yourself, and rejoice in your memories of the black mass we held here tonight.
Until next time.
PLEASE NOTE – This feature was a lot of fun to put together but what it was not was entirely sincere in its wanton praise of evil deities. It probably goes without saying but for the sake of completeness – we here at Solarcide are not really devil worshippers and we do not condone the sacrificing of virgins, the summoning of ancient gods, or any weird bothering of goats. We think goats are quite cute. Leave em’ be!