Mark Sa Franko - Short Stories

Short Stories

SaFranko has over 50 short stories published in a range of publications, including the likes of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, (“Acts Of Revenge”), The MacGuffin (“The Ecstasy”) and The Savage Kick Literary Magazine (“Role of A Lifetime”). His story “Rescuing Ravel” (Descant, 2005) won the Frank O’Connor Award for Best Short Fiction. “The Man In Unit 24” (Hawai’i Review) was cited in Best American Mysteries 2000.

SaFranko’s short stories fluctuate between realism and crime, but often combine both. The emphasis is on interior thought. Despite the author shifting between first- and third-person narration, the emphasis in on the central character’s mental state. This occurs through dialogue: “You ever been lost?” he asked. “Like when you make a turn and you know you’re not on the right road, but you keep driving anyway? You keep driving because you’re thinking that it’s going to turn out to be the right road....That’s where I am. I’m on that road.” or narration: “It started snowing earlier in the day, lightly at first, and now it’s falling so heavily that I can’t see even six inches out the window. All our blizzards come off Lake Ontario, where I tried to drown myself not long ago....Now me and Chips, we’re safe inside, and I’ve got my bottle. This is what I usually do with my free time --- have a few drinks and ponder my destiny until I pass out.” According to Murder Slim Press, a collection of SaFranko’s story stories will appear in 2008.

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    Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.
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    Swift as a shadow, short as any dream,
    Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
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