David Rodeback’s Fiction

David Rodeback

Hello and welcome! This page exists to offer you new things to read — short stories, even shorter stories (flash fiction), and maybe some excerpts of longer works eventually. Discussion which doesn’t directly advance that goal is collapsed under these buttons, so it’s not in your way unless you want it to be:

What I Write (What You'll Find Here)
I write mostly contemporary, realistic, slice-of-life fiction — short stories, very short stories (flash fiction), and some longer forms, including a novel that currently needs to go to beta readers. Some of my short fiction fits in the young adult (YA) and middle grade (MG) categories.

I read in many genres. I’m especially fond of political, legal, and military thrillers — but I’m content to let others write them, along with the adventures of wizards, princesses, and vampires; the conflicts of nations and worlds; and the deification or enslavement of science.

My writing sometimes wanders in the fringes of dystopia. When it doesn’t, conflicting secular or religious ideologies may still be involved. But even when they are, I tend to write about people living life on an ordinary scale, not a geopolitical or galactic scale. Often they are people with religious faith.

There is magic in ordinary life, and great beauty if we choose to see it.

One enthusiastic and generous early reader of my fiction wrote,

A lot of writers invent a fake world, maybe because the real world isn’t worthy of them. This writer focuses on the real world and allows the reader to lose herself in the beauty and breathtaking quality of real life. Because real life is beautiful, even if it has rough edges.

I’ll be trying to live up to that for the foreseeable future.

Writing is Fun, My Critique Group, Works in Progress, Etc.
When I grow up (and retire), I want to do two things: write novels and teach writing again. Meanwhile, I write what I can, when I can, and I’m having fun.

Over the past few years most of my short stories have been critiqued by a local group, Good AF Writers, my city’s chapter of the League of Utah Writers. (As far as I’m concerned, the AF is for American Fork.) With their help in most cases, several of my stories have won awards in one contest or another, and (so far) one has found its way into print, both paper and electronic. I’ve written about the group here and here.

Some tales here are works in progress; they may yet be revised a little or a lot. Others are as finished as they’re likely to get. Perhaps you can tell the difference, but I haven’t labeled them here.

Some of these stories are password-protected. They’re the ones with “Protected:” before the title. It’s not because of their content or to keep you from reading them. It’s because they are or may be submitted for publication elsewhere, so I’m trying to fit the common industry definition of unpublished, while still sharing them for interested (possibly quarantined) readers like you. If you want the password, ask, and I’ll send it. It’s the same password for all of them, so you only have to ask once. Meanwhile, brief descriptions of protected stories are under the next button.

Descriptions of Password-Protected Stories
When I find the right WordPress plugin or have time to fiddle with the code, I’ll be able to display a protected story’s description before the password is entered. I hope that’s soon. Meanwhile, it’s clunky, but here’s a list.

If Only I
A junior high boy writes poems no one ever sees about a girl he admires, but he struggles even to talk to her. His older brother doesn’t help. Fortunately, she’s in the school band. A short story. Includes vomiting.

The Old Man and the Chicken
An old, lonely man shares Christmas Eve and Christmas with the only chicken left in his coop. A short story.

Nine Roses and Three
A widower writes his deceased wife a letter for Valentine’s Day. A short story.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment, share, come back for more, etc. There are more stories to come.

Stories about Youth

In the industry’s terms, YA (young adult) and MG (middle grade) fiction — two categories which many adults enjoy. If a story here says it’s “protected,” ask me for the password. A description of each protected story is in a dropdown section above.

Falling Off My Shoes

A ninth-grade girl gets in trouble in history class, gets angry at the teacher’s pet, and misses the school bus home. A very short story (flash fiction).


Protected: If Only I

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.



For a seventh grade boy, the last few days of the school year don’t turn out as he had hoped. A very short story (flash fiction).


Stories about Adults

See also “Stories about Seniors” below. If a story here says it’s “protected,” ask me for the password. A description of each protected story is in a dropdown section above.

Clipped - barber shop


In the dystopian but still familiar near future, a divorced man’s hopes die in a barber shop. A very short story (flash fiction).

plant - you died

I Dreamed You Died Thursday Night

A man’s dream causes him to wonder if certain things are as they appear. Gently dystopian. A very short story (flash fiction).


I Made Muffins

An awkward early-morning scene on a man’s front porch causes a woman to reflect on what she really wants for her life. A short story.



Dads, boys, camping, homegrown walnuts, wild animals. It doesn’t go well. A very short story (flash fiction).


Stories about Seniors

If a story here says it’s “protected,” ask me for the password. A description of each protected story is in a dropdown section above.

Protected: Nine Roses and Three

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.


Protected: The Old Man and the Chicken

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.


From the Author

David Rodeback

Thanks for reading!

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