KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 6: Fall 2016
Haibun Story: 169 words


by Bob Lucky

In the morning you turned the crack in the ceiling into a metaphor and we both watched in disbelief as it spread wider and wound its way down the wall. Well, I thought, to hell with going to work. I went outside and sat beneath a tree. If I were rich, I might have flown to Paris for lunch, but I didn’t have much of an appetite anyway. I rubbed pine needles into prayer beads. I could smell the grass because a neighbor unaware of the end of the world was out mowing his lawn. I could hear birds singing as if nothing mattered but the next note. Clouds gathered and dispersed, the promise of rain and the threat of drought indistinguishable. Later, I watched the sun slip out of the sky and wondered if that was it. When I went back inside the house, you were gone. I could barely see the crack, but thanks for leaving the lights on.

evening chill
a dead star burning


Publisher’s Note, February 2018:

Late last year, we nominated this haibun story for the VERA, Vestal Review’s annual Readers Choice award for the two best short fictions (500 words or fewer), and we were delighted when the VR editors selected it as one of five finalists. We were thrilled on Valentine’s Day when the results were announced: “Gratitude” placed second, earning Runner-Up status, and will appear in an upcoming issue of Vestal Review. Congratulations to Bob Lucky! And if you’re among the readers and fans who voted for “Gratitude,” thank you so much.

A total of 165 folks placed votes, and of those who chose “Gratitude” no doubt a significant number are primarily fiction fans. We hope this level of appreciation reflects a growing and enduring trend toward a wider audience within “mainstream” literature for the haibun-story form.

Bob Lucky
Issue 6, Fall 2016

is a regular contributor to haiku and tanka journals in the US, Europe, and Australia, whose work has been widely anthologized. His works in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous international journals, including Flash, Rattle, Modern Haiku, KYSO Flash, The Prose-Poem Project, The Boston Literary Magazine, Haibun Today, and Contemporary Haibun Online (where he edits content).

Lucky’s chapbook of haibun, tanka prose, and prose poems, entitled Ethiopian Time (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), was an honorable mention in the Touchstone Book Awards. He now lives and works in Saudi Arabia.

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