Hugh Lessig has been a part of RVA City Writers for several years and he came to us with a lot of experience. He spent more than 30 years as a newspaper reporter, primarily covering politics and the military. He’s spent time with doctors in Ecuador, earthquake victims in Haiti and fellow journalists in Ukraine, but his best memories are the quirky and sometimes questionable characters he’s met closer to home.
Now, Lessig has turned his way with words toward the field of fiction. His short stories have appeared in Thuglit, Shotgun Honey, Needle: A Magazine of Noir and Crime Factory.
More recently, his story “Last Exit Before Toll” was included in Mickey Finn Noir, Volume 1, released last year from Down & Out Books.
This year, he was part of the Guns + Tacos series of stories, also from Down & Out, and next month, Mickey Finn Volume II will be released and include his story “Confessions on a Train from Kyiv.”
He’s currently working on a novel about an aging thug battling Alzheimer’s and the crime boss who abandoned him.
We are pleased to welcome Hugh to the Flash Challenge. What is the challenge? Write a fifty-word flash. That’s it. However, the story must incorporate three randomly selected words and revolve around a single, overall theme. The words have been drawn and shared; letter, afford, and yard. The theme is despair.
By Hugh Lessig
Digging in the yard, Butterbean tears off Joe’s finger and parades up the street, wagging his tail.
After Joe’s drunken rant, everyone cried over my broken arm. I couldn’t afford a hit man or dig a decent grave, but my neighbors won’t care about the letter of the law.