Flash Fiction: Very Short Stories Characters

James Thomas (professor)
This Study Guide consists of approximately 43 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Flash Fiction.
This section contains 906 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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Flash Fiction: Very Short Stories Summary & Study Guide Description

Flash Fiction: Very Short Stories Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Flash Fiction: Very Short Stories by James Thomas (professor).

Franky Gorkyappears in The Nicest Kid in the Universe

Franky Gorky, is the nicest kid in the universe. Franky is so nice that the forest animals eat out of his hands. The birds wait on the window ledge outside the boy's bedroom and will only sing when the boy wakes up. He always listens to his parents and always shares his toys and candy with the other kids in the neighborhood. Every kid who ever lived on 24th Street has heard the tale of Franky Gorky, the nicest kid in the universe.

Unfortunately, Franky Gorky is not the smartest kid in the universe. In fact, he is far from being the smartest kid. He has never noticed or heard of the moon. His parents want to remedy his lack of lunar knowledge. One night in December, they take him outside late at night and show him the moon. He thinks it is a strange street light at first. When he realizes it is an object far out in space, he decides to observe it. One thing he does not like is its irregular shape. He wishes that it was rounder. Several nights later, he looks at the moon again and is astounded to see that his wish has been granted. He is rather afraid of the big, round moon and then wishes it was smaller. Sure enough, as the days wear on, the moon grows smaller.

Franky knows that wishes come in threes. He uses his third wish to ask that his grandmother come for a visit. That wish is granted as well when Franky learns she will be coming for Christmas. Early on Christmas morning, Franky looks out the window and sees his grandmother parking her car across the street from his house. He bolts out of the door and runs to greet her. Tragically, he does not look both ways before crossing and is killed by a drunk driver.

Teddy and Louiseappears in Teddy's Canary

Friends of Teddy and Louise, a middle-aged married couple, are reminiscing about the time Teddy almost dies, or appears to be near death. Louise is in the kitchen washing dishes, when a pipe bursts under the sink and water is shooting everywhere. She panics and screams for Teddy. The friends laugh, thinking of Teddy trying to rush to the kitchen with his major-league beer belly leading the way. When Teddy arrives in the kitchen, he shouts at Louise to go downstairs and shut off the water.

Louise rushes down to the basement and shuts off the water. When she returns, she finds a naked Teddy lying in a prone position. He is motionless and Louise becomes hysterical thinking he is dead. The friends figure that Teddy must have taken his clothes off because they were wet from the leak. The friends all laugh thinking about Teddy dripping wet and leaving a trail of water behind him. Louise kneels down on her knees and prays to God to bring Teddy back to life. If God answers her prayer, she vows to make Teddy start going to church.

Chaos ensues as Louise's canary flies around and around in the room. Their dog is barking and starts licking Teddy's face. Teddy comes to and Louise is jubilant. She immediately thanks God for answering her prayer. Teddy yells at Louise to get the G-D dog off of him. Teddy survives, which makes all his friends very happy.

Jimmyappears in Ponderosa

Jimmy has been cheating on his wife and lying to his minister father about it. His father confronts him with a shot gun, which goes off "accidentally" and takes off half of Jimmy's jaw. He cannot tell lies any more because he cannot talk.

Mr. Mumsfordappears in Mr. Mumsford

Everyone calls the school janitor Bibs because he wears bib overalls. His real name is Mr. Mumsford. After 27 years, Bibs is upset that no one knows his real name and threatens to kill the principal unless he orders everyone to start calling him Mr. Mumsford.

Yolandaappears in Snow

Yolanda is a young Hispanic school girl who moves to New York City. That winter is the first time she has ever seen snow in her life.

Ronaldappears in Fingers

When Ronald comes home from the war, he begins displaying strange behavior. He is distressed because he has either shot or killed someone in the course of his duties.

Bethappears in How to Touch a Bleeding Dog

Beth passes away and leaves behind her bereaved husband and her favorite dog. Her husband hates the dog and resents that it outlives his beloved wife.

Christine appears in The Burlington Northern/Southbound

A man writes a poem to his girlfriend, Christine. As a young boy, the man finds trains exciting and exhilarating. He makes the mistake of comparing Christine to a train in his poem. He never hears from her again.

Henry Dobbinsappears in Stockings

As a soldier in Vietnam, Henry Dobbins always wears a pair of his girlfriend's stockings over his face during a night raid. He continues to wear them even after he gets a dear john letter from her because he still loves the girl.

Rachelappears in Jane

Rachel is the beautiful sister of Jane. Rachel is raped and brutalized and will have to undergo an abortion. Jane is envious of the lovely Rachel and decides to engage in some risky behavior in an effort to emulate her sister's life, even the sordid parts.

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