Flight of Destiny is my first published book. It was a long haul to complete this book. There are twenty two short stories in this book, which cover a range of themes. The book opens with a story called “Arrival” …Flight of Destiny… “Arrival”…do you get it? It seemed a logical beginning. The story revolves around a man who can’t place a name and this niggling problem grows into an obsession, as paranoia starts to grip his mind. “Snatched”, the second story, concerns a parent’s worst nightmare when a child goes missing, however readers are left to ponder, is it the fault of the father? Can ever be forgiven by his bitter wife ? Does the blame really lie with him? Another title is “Opium”. Oscar Wilde said The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it… I can resist everything but temptation” in this story a righteous man is driven down this bumpy road. Onto Bugeyes. We live in a world of body image stereo types, are perpetuated by the media. Those unfortunate beings, born with abnormalities, could face a lifetime of cruel jokes, and in this story’s case rejection. “Seed” is a story about a woman who is simply desperate for a baby and is surrounded by young virile officers in an army barracks, while her husband can’t seem to provide her with the offspring she craves. “Mutant” is a story about a scientist who takes the ultimate revenge on his cheating wife. “Maggot” is a story based around a circus owner, who is forced to sell his daughter to a slimy tyrant
I suppose I will admit to having a few favorites. “Flawless” is a favorite, for sentimental reasons, because it was the first story I wrote which got published in a small literary magazine called Rat Mort (Dead Rat. It set me on the way to write other short stories. It is about a man who is proposing to the woman of his dreams, when suddenly a colorful insects arrives and he is forced to swallow it. He develops a terrible inexplicable skin disease and his life goes in a downward spiral. His fiancé soon deserts him for his younger brother, leaving him bitter and betrayed. Totally out of character he decides to take his revenge, on the day of his brother’s wedding. As he is about to enact his revenge, the insect suddenly exits and his skin is back to normal., to pay off his circus debts.
The book is full of quirky characters, horrible odious characters, oddballs, freaks. The stories usually have a dramatic twist at the end. I have been heavily influenced by the short stories of Roald Dahl (Kiss Kiss).
Francis H. Powell is a masterful storyteller. He successfully kept me on the edge of my seat as I paged through from one story to the next in FLIGHT OF DESTINY—a fantastic collection of 22 short stories. Here he weaves humor, surrealism, and contradictions into tales that reveal errors in commonly accepted definitions. Each story is uniquely different with twisting endings and story plots that challenge commonly accepted concepts. The characters are true and undeniably out-of-the-ordinary. Such stories as DUKE and FLAWLESS will bring into question all you thought you knew about people and the universe —I know they did me. These stories kept me guessing until the last page.
As with all great literature, these tales provide excellent food for thought. There is a bitter sweetness to humanity, in terms of what man is capable of doing to one another. In FLIGHT OF DESTINY this paradox is magnified, examined, and spit out in artful, literary way that is brilliantly captivating.
I love the dark tone of the short stories and how the underlying theme of each is this sense of shock over what humans would be capable of if there were no reality based limits. While the stories do not tie together, the tone of the work connects them all and makes it easy to flow from one story to the next.
I enjoyed these tales as they gave me a fantastic break from my daily routine and I enjoyed remembering them and day dreaming about them afterwards. They’re a little Ray Bradbury, a little Stephen King, but with Powell’s own unique twists. Very interesting read.
Francis H Powell is a writer. His recently published book is Flight of Destiny, a book of 22 short stories.
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