James Vachowski: Flash Fiction: April 2022


Southern Legitimacy Statement: James Vachowski once spent 21 days confined to a quarantine facility in southern China. A former resident of both South Carolina and Beijing, he speaks Mandarin with a drawl.

Missed Connections: Master Builder Seeks Missing Piece (M4W, 24)

Spotted at Bay Area LUG-CON: The “1-by-5” I’ve been searching for in my brick pile.

ABOUT YOU:  Female, Asian, early 20s.  Thick glasses.  Black nail polish.  Public Enemy t-shirt, with cut-off tube socks worn as shirt sleeves.

I admired from afar your bas-relief portrait of Ai Wei Wei.  A triptych of frozen images, with the priceless Han dynasty urn held.  Falling.  And shattered, into a hundred bricks or more.  

Such visual impact.

And your work with minifigures was nothing short of superb.  So many protestors fleeing the Legislative Council, terror showing clear in their tiny yellow faces, while heavily armed police officers ringed the building in a defensive perimeter.  

From where, might I ask, did you manage to source so many yellow umbrella accessories?  And the mixed media!  Chunks of dry ice, strategically placed throughout the diorama, evoking the whirling mists of tear gas?  Those thin, wispy puffs filling the streets as plastic German Shepherds charge forward through a barrage of black nightsticks?  

Creative genius.

But truly, the ‘pièce de résistance’ was your scale floor model of Tiananmen Square.  I could almost hear the screams as that long column of Type 59 tanks rounded the corner, winding southwards from Chang’an Jie.  The masses of students, so jubilant only a day before, now retreating in terror, while the summer sun rises high on a steamy June morning.  

Panic and chaos.  

Blood in the streets.

And a solitary man, with nothing left to lose save a pair of shopping bags.  

Stepping boldly forward, out into the road…


Absolute chills.  

I was shook.

ABOUT ME:  Male, White, 24.  Equally woke.  I specialize in Castle and Space.

There’s a Panda Express near the convention center; let’s sneak out for some cream cheese rangoons.  Perhaps our brick sets are compatible?