October 18, 2011 by The Citron Review
by Andrew Killmeier
On the Carquinez Straits bridge, his motorcycle was sideswiped by a white Honda. He was thrown from the bike and swallowed by the large rear tires of a gasoline tanker in lane number one. Traffic was stopped for miles. When I passed by he was covered with a yellow nylon sheet and the cops stood around with nothing to do.
This is an incredible example of the power of micro-fiction. It gets in, gets dirty, and leaves you breathless. The power of the final line rings of an open resolution and promotes the feeling of helplessness. The imagery is compact and meaningful. Strong, specific verbs, such as “swallowed” further intensify the emotional impact. Lastly, the image of the cops “with nothing to do” surrounding “a yellow nylon sheet” tells us everything we need to know. It sits with us, long after we finish reading it, as great fiction always does. I like tension that persists beyond the final punctuation. This does exactly that.