Flash Fiction: Show Me Don’t Tell me? That’s Rubbish! It’s Circumstantial!

Credit: Jean Philippe-Cypres, photographer

by LJ Frank

“It’s rubbish! That entire approach feels like a piece of romanticized, southern gothic intellectual debris with a heavy dose of teary-eyed hubris wandering through a swamp outside Byhalia, Mississippi in the heat of the summer.”  Savannah sighed. 

“You think so? I don’t know…” I replied. My eyes still closed. It was too damn early.

“Who really needs it. It’s hollow and it’s hackneyed.”

“You mean…?”  I asked.

“Yeah! The show me don’t tell me is adulterated nonsense. It’s sad. No, it’s actually pathetic. Feeble minded and inbred like two cousins married to each other.” She stated.

“What a thought.” I mumbled.

“It’s like an actor on stage in search of a director to give that actor a script to follow in telling him how to express himself. Show me, don’t tell me. It’s tripe.”

“Hm. I suppose you have a point.”

“Damn right. I can give plenty of instances I don’t want to be shown something whether literally or in written form. I like the thrust and rhythmic spontaneous build-up. My mind needs fondling!” She said. “Nothing better than to start out with a tantalizing metaphor or even an allegory. I like to know the location, content and size of things, if you know what I mean.”

“Foreplay has its rewards.”

“To tease or to be teased.” She chortled.

“Context can mean so very much.” I said.

“It can be seductive to be on the same path going in the same direction with whomever you’re with on any given day.”

“Hm. The palette of diversity enriches our life.” I suggested.

“Exactly. I just want to have a straight handled brush with a good, slightly pliable bristle and a nice glob of oil dripping at the tip to apply to the canvas …to give texture to the mountains, fertile valleys and beaches of my life.”

“Well, at least you know what you want.”

“In fact, I do know.”

“Where do you go from here?”

“I’m already here.”

“I don’t understand. What does that mean?”

“Come on. Open your eyes. Take a deep breath.”


“Wake up and shut off the alarm before it makes that sonar noise.”

“What alarm?”

“You’re silly.  Remember when and where we first met?”

“My wedding.”

“Yeah. You married my distant cousin. Then six months later she ran away with your friend’s wife.”

“The wife of the protestant minister?”

“Yeah. I dated  her at one time.”

“Really? My ex or her girlfriend?”

“Her girlfriend.”

“Hm. What’s today?”

“Sunday morning. It’s 6:00 a.m.”


 “It’s a big day.”

“It’s all coming back to me now.”

 “I have a sermon this morning at the 8:00 and 11:00 o’clock services.”

“Will it be a show and tell, Pastor Savannah?”

“You’re hilarious. There is something though.”


“I have an irresistible offering for you this afternoon.” She smiled.


“You’ll need to meet me. Bring your umbrella.”