I love Little Fiction. Free short fiction of high calibre quality with phenom production? Hook me up. If you’ve never paid a visit to Little Fiction, now would be a good time, as the most recent short fiction release, Looking for Bigfoot, is up and available. Did I mention it’s also free? Go. Read. I’ll wait right here.
All done? Good.
Y’all know I love Jeffrey Ricker – he’s like my “writing-older-brother-who-still-has-his-hair-but-I’m-not-bitter.” Our short first fiction pieces appeared together in Fool for Love and it seems like we’ve been on similar paths ever since. He’s talented and humble, works his butt off on his craft, and manages to be so nice you don’t hate him for it. It’s probably a good thing he occasionally has his Dark Willow moments, just so he doesn’t ride off on a unicorn or other mythical beast.
Speaking of which…
On the surface, “Looking for Bigfoot” has a deceptively simple plot. Gay guy hanging out with his straight best bud get a wee bit drunk and stoned. Gay guy has spotted Bigfoot before, and it occurs to them to go off in search of Bigfoot together. Since this is short fiction, that’s about all the room you’ve got – and yet, like in so much awesome short fiction, that narrative is not the whole.
“Looking for Bigfoot” is a perfect example of Ricker’s ability to spin character out of voice. In short fiction, I think it can be easy to forget how much room there is for growth and journey – in this case literal and figurative – and every character here has a moment. I say “every” not “both” on purpose, as Stacey and Jamie aren’t one-notes, either.
First kisses are mythical beasts themselves, and I love how Ricker turns the trope a bit sideways but still throws in a dash of love and hope (and hormones). I had my “Awww” face on by the last few lines, and a sappy smile.
Do I want more from these folks? Yes, but I’m also satisfied with what I had. And to me, that’s short fiction succeeding.
If you enjoyed “Looking for Bigfoot,” spend some time on Little Fiction looking at more of their awesome offerings, and then have some joy over Jeffrey Ricker’s many other short stories, listed here. If you want something longer, you can find his novels here.