A former poet laureate reads her most controversial poem yet at a protest for the removal of a colonial statue deemed racist, but the demonstration takes a turn for the worse when the Proud Boys arrive. The Weight of Skin is the gripping and (tragically) urgent story of home-grown Canadian xenophobia as told from three different perspectives. The Blasted Tree has published a limited edition of 50 hand-bound chapbooks featuring The Weight of Skin, each produced using three types of paper (one for each narrator: granite-grey stationary, red card stock, and white onionskin) bound in black fabric. Teigland’s story can be read by following the link below, and copies of the chapbook can be purchased from our online store.
*** CW: verbal harassment, racially-motivated violence ***
by Ivan Fischer
Living in the country has its perks: fresh air, freedom, and lots of terrain to explore. But when the economy begins to struggle, working class people take the first hit. The country then becomes a place of suffocating boredom, desperation, and racial tension. Township is Ivan Fischer's anxiety-filled portrait of small town living starring Cole and Boyd, two out-of-work young men chasing fortune and adventure down the back roads of rural Canada.
Findlay promises two things with his aptly titled short story, Wood: puppets and sex. Wood is the darkly funny story of a songbook, a twisted fixation, and the ... complicated ... relationship that follows. Meet three musical puppets from a beloved children's show who are sure to make a lasting impact on your life. Findlay's hardboiled style never fails to impress, especially when animating such playful subject matter. Though chapbooks of Wood are sold out from The Blasted Tree Store, you can still read the short story online!
A brilliantly executed piece experimenting with multiple narrators, Bridgeman's Swimming Lessons captures the chaotic crescendo and diminuendo of a raucous house party from the perspective of several different people. As blurry memories intersect and unfold, the truth behind these party-goer's carefree interactions becomes achingly obvious. Get tossed in the deep end of social tension in Swimming Lessons.
by Kyle Flemmer
Possessed by the voice of a supposed God, Alberto Salazar undertakes a pilgrimage to the financial center of Western civilization: Wall Street, New York City. Once his soapbox ravings begin to gather a crowd, Salazar triggers an apocalyptic event spread by the contagious mantra taken up by his enraptured audience. In Grist, our society's pop-culture pandering to revolutionary nihilism reaches it's logical conclusion: self-immolation on a global scale.
Fused to his bed by a supernatural root, Marcus, the subject of To the Spot, can't quite remember the last time he left his room. Olivia Alexander's blending of magic realism and symbolic storytelling explores the nature of friendship and interdependence, depression, the state of nature, and our all-too convincing perceptions of the world.
by Kyle Flemmer
Part autobiography, part paranoid delusion, Lift-Off recounts the turbulent journey of a man in shock flying home for his father's funeral. This is Flemmer's homage to the strength of family dynamics and the intuitive care of strangers, where the time between death and burial seems less relevant than the time between boarding and lift-off. 25 limited edition chapbooks of Lift-Off were produced for The Blasted Tree Store.
by Kyle Flemmer
The road to extinction is paved with good intentions in Flemmer's The Panda Complex, a satirical take on humanity's obsession with the survival of the panda bear in spite of its quantifiable mediocrity. This is the story of Norman Spitzer, expert panda caregiver and witness to the end of the species. The Panda Complex asks: where is the line between natural selection and human-involved extinction?
by Bea Keeler
Keeler's hilarious and haunting short story Mud documents the final day in the life of the repulsive yet engrossing Ian, a somewhat valued employee of Teleprompt Plus and an all-around scumbag. Keeler's dark and raunchy humor will have you laughing in spite of yourself, and her earnest treatment of an unlikable misanthrope may even get you on Ian's side. Sharp, punchy, and more than a little sinister, Mud is a tale of ultimate comeuppance.
The Blasted Tree is now accepting the submission of short stories 2,500 words and up. We are looking for fiction which possesses a unique voice or perspective, aims to innovate and expand the boundaries, or challenges the expectations of the craft. Our beautiful fiction chapbooks contain stories from the fringe, tales than fly in the face of conventional storytelling, or experimental works shied away from by the mainstream. Is your fiction subversive, socially-critical, or confrontingly honest? Does your fictional vision reveal a hidden truth about the way we live? Do you dare to be different through the medium of narrative? Send your manuscripts to The Blasted Tree for consideration - we need stories around 4000 words (20 small pages) long to make into beautiful chapbooks!
The Blasted Tree also accepts stories less than 2,500 for publication online or in our Short(er) Fiction chapbook series. We collect weird and wonderful microfiction of any genre. Send us your original stories of any length, and we'll find a home for it!
Original, unpublished stories can be sent to: email@example.com
Thought-provoking and socially conscious short stories by emerging and established Canadian authors. More than just a good read, these tales test the boundaries of expression. Fiction >2,500 can be accessed to the right. Stories <2,500 words can be found with our Short(er) Fiction. Many of these works are available for purchase in limited print editions from The Blasted Tree Store.