Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Smooth Landing

Sampsell: 'The Parachute'

What do we say to someone who knows not what we are saying? Why do we even try? Is our message that urgent, that dire, that we must tell even someone totally illiterate in our language?

I think so. I talked some poor bastard's ear off in Prague. I can't remember what I told him, or why, but only a few seconds of intelligible communication passed between us there in the lobby of that hostel. It was late. I was drunk.

Sampsell presents us with a scene, a simple scene, which is often the best place for a flash to occur. Single setting. Two characters. Simple, compressed.

We feel the narrator's bafflement in the face of a non-English speaker. He searches for "handles" in the language, words or phrases to hang onto. "Parachute" is what he finds. The man lands in his brain. A story is told, contact made.

A story within a story. Metafiction? Perhaps. But, the story-within is told in one word, "Parachute." That's compression!

Lots of fun. I recommend reading this Flash for yourself. Report back, tell me what you think. Really.

No comments: