This Alien Land
A two-pronged commentary for this one.
The first prong concerns editing and possessiveness. Sometimes it can be difficult to let go. The hardest part of editing is not the tweaking (although that can be difficult in its own way), but the cutting. Just before posting I cut three paragraphs straight off the end. Just before I wrote this commentary (4 days after posting) I've just cut another couple of sentences again. (Naughty maybe, but the beauty of digital copy is that you can edit a piece after publication.)
I'll put the missing paragraphs at the end of this post, but it's up to you whether you read them or not. They reveal a bit more background. They flesh out the world a bit. But I felt they were not really essential to the core image.
Speaking of tweaking, I like the last paragraph, but I'm not sure it's quite right just yet...
Onto prong two... flash fiction vs. micro-fiction. This is the first piece I've added the flash fiction tag to. The two terms are fairly interchangeable, amongst a whole host of similar terms (wikipedia entry). Wiki redirects all to the flash fiction page so maybe that's the most commonly used term, maybe. I prefer micro-fiction, but since I want people to find me, and read me, I shall include the flash fiction tag too.
Until next Sunday... the missing paragraphs:
And saying that, she knows now that she can move on, finally. She can mourn her husband properly, as she should have been able to two months ago, when he died. Now she begins to tremble, tears welling in her eyes.
He leans on one forearm to raise the other and touch her shoulder gently, with a lightness belying his great strength.
“I am and I am not. This planet, its ecology is so different, its biology so difficult to reconcile with our own. On Earth, the creatures of this world would be subject to the Earth’s way, if they died, they would just be gone; but here, the creatures of Earth are subject to Barl’s way, they remain.
“Because of our world’s ecology our view of such things is so narrow, so stunted. I must prepare, and help this planet prepare. As more humans die here they will become a part of Barl too. They will change as I have, though in different ways, and Barl will change with them.”