Saturday 1 April 2017

Four Minutes - Barry Lyga - A Short Story

Four Minutes:
A Short Story
Barry Lyga
Barry Lyga LLC

Wow! What an incredible story. This is the fourth short story by Barry Lyga released in 2017, though from reading it, it was intended to be the first. These are short stories with a purpose. With the changing political and social climate in the USA after November 2016 election Barry wanted to know what he could do, as a writer and as a wordsmith he decided to use his voice, his words to draw attention. So we his fans benefit, because he has decided to donate the money to the ACLU in response to all that is currently going on in the political sphere. You can read about that more here. This is the first of the 2017 Year of Short Stories that was written specifically for this purpose. 

Barry states about this specific story:

This is the story that started it all, the one that was supposed to start it all.

Let me explain: 
In November of 2016, after the election, the story that you’re about to read occurred to me. It wasn’t entirely fully-formed, but I knew its nuances and its general shape. I thought I would write it and post it online as a fundraiser.

Then I thought: If one story is a good fundraiser, why not do more than one? And thus the idea of monthly stories was born. 

My intention was to have “Four Minutes” ready to go on January 1 as the kick-off. But that dastardly beast Real Life intervened. Things were chaotic. The holidays interfered. A project with a tight deadline came out of nowhere. 

So I dropped back and punted, posting another story as the first, figuring “Four Minutes” would be second. Real Life interceded there, too, necessitating a different story in February. 

And in March. 

But hey! Better late than never, right? Please enjoy “Four Minutes” (at last!) and stick around at the end for some more talk about the story.

I need to state that the story was well worth the wait. In some ways it reminds me of Noah's Castle by John Rowe Townsend or like the back story that V in V for Vendetta shares about how they got to where they are. It also brings to mind “First they came …” by Martin Niemöller. This story will stir deep emotions in the reader. Especially parents or grandparents will question what would they do in the same situation. The description of the story is:

“The place: The suburbs.
The time: Tomorrow, maybe.
The situation: Ray is just trying to get by in the newer, greater America. With a wife and a new baby, he can’t afford to get mixed up in politics or the fight for civil liberties. But as the world shrinks and darkens around him, Ray finds that the safe harbor he’s crafted for himself and his family may not be big enough or strong enough to stand.

And then one night, there’s a knock at the door. Now there’s nowhere to hide, and soon Ray will have to make the hardest decision of his life.”

There are times that art predicts the future, the flip phone, the iPad, man landing on the moon. But this is one of those stories we hope, and if we are a person who prays, we pray that it does not come true. Also read Lyga’s afterwards about where the idea of the story comes from. It is a powerful story in and of itself. 

If you are a fan of Lyga’s get this short story while you can. It is only available for 30 days. If you do not know Lyga’s writing but love good short stories this one might just rock you, for it is an incredible piece of writing!

Books by Barry Lyga:
I Hunt Killers:
I Hunt Killers (2012)
Game - I Hunt Killers #2 (2013)

Blood of My Blood - I Hunt Killers # 3 (2014)

I Hunt Killers Short Stories:
Down Time (2018)
Lucky Day (2014)
Career Day (2012)
Neutral Mask (2013)
Blood Boy (2014)

Brookdale High:
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl (2006)
Boy Toy (2007)
Hero Type (2008)
Goth Girl Rising (2009)

Bang (2017)

Archvillain #1 (2010)
The Mad Mask - Archvillian #2 (2011)
Yesterday Again - Archvillian #3 (2013)

The Flash Series:
Hocus Pocus (2017)
Johnny Quick (2018)
Tornado Twins (2018)

Other Books By Barry Lyga:
Graphic Novels in Your Media Center: A definitive Guide (with Alison A.W. Lyga - 2004)
Wolverine: Worst Day Ever (2009)
MangaMan (with Colleen Dorren 2011)

Unsoul'd (2013)
After The Red Rain (2015)
The Secret Sea (2016)
Thanos Titan Consumed (2018)
The Hive (2019)


Short Story Project 2017
The Ghosts at 95
Loving The University
The Ideas of March
Four Minutes
Pulse vs. the Killing Fiend
Her Decade
The Life Cycle of Stars (Ignition)
Trading Worlds
When I Die
The Autopsying of Michael Edward Morgan
Meet Me Tonight

Contributed to:

Geektastic (2009)
Who Done It? (2013)

Author Profile and Interview with Barry Lyga

Author Profile and Interview with Randall Banner

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