March 21st – March 24th – four more stories from David Gaffney’s ‘Aromabingo’.

Of the last four stories I read from this collection (Who Reads This Will Not Sin, Special Pudding, Guided By Voices and Gossamer), two stand out as particularly striking.

Special Pudding is a lovely bit of magical realism with just a dash of malevolence thrown in to spice things up. It would spoil the story to give away the central idea so I won’t. Suffice to say this was another example of the excellence Gaffney is capable of, an excellence, while not maintained in every single story in the collection, that does permeate the majority of the book’s contents.

Gossamer ranks amongst the very best in the collection and deals with the relationship between two men harbouring secrets. What is most striking about this story, though, is the denouement, which deftly reveals that the story you thought you were reading is actually quite another. This will be a story I will return to, to have a root around and see exactly how it works. It makes a great closing tale and is my favourite of the collection.

Aromabingo features stories of varying lengths, from flash fiction to lengthy short fiction. Gaffney’s organising the stories under the headings 45 Revolutions Per Minute, Twelve-Inch Single and Long Players clearly shows his age, but also, more tellingly, reveals an affection for each type of story. Writers looking to take on flash fiction or fully formed short stories could do a lot worse than get some pointers from Gaffney’s creations.