Tag Archives: Ashley Lister


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“Buried Treasure” – Fiction by Ashley Lister

The Caran d'Ache 1010
The Caran d’Ache 1010

The grand finale of our Fall 2014 issue is Ashley Lister‘s Choose Your Own Adventure tale “Buried Treasure.” Is it an amusing literary diversion spoofing a once-popular genre? Or is it a bleak satire on the illusion of free will? YOU DECIDE!

(Or DO you?)

{ X }

YOU ARE ONE OF SEVERAL PEOPLE SITTING BEFORE A SOLICITOR. You are in the room that was your late Uncle John’s home office. It’s a sombre day because you’re attending to hear the reading of Uncle John’s will. Uncle John was one of your favourite relatives. He made his vast fortune from writing Choose-Your-Own-Adventure stories.

Do you attentively reflect on the incongruities and peculiarities of all the other beneficiaries? (GO TO SECTION A.) Or do you tell the solicitor to hurry the fuck up? (GO TO SECTION B.)

 { A }

The walls bear framed covers from Uncle John’s many adventure stories. The room is dominated by a large old-fashioned desk that takes up half the room. Behind the desk sits the small, bespectacled solicitor.

The other half of the room is crowded.

Aside from being a popular writer, Uncle John was something of a ladies’ man. It’s been suggested this is what probably killed him. Your parents had always advised you to never eat at his house, especially not anything from the fruit bowl. Your mother always said he had more STIs than readers – and she made this remark after Uncle John had been on the NYT Bestsellers list. Your father claimed the coffee at Uncle John’s house tasted of rohypnol.

Many of the female beneficiaries are dressed in black. Some of them are sniffling into delicate, lace-edged handkerchiefs. Most of them are giving evils to each other through smudgy eye makeup as though only one of them is entitled to feel bereaved.

The most obviously upset is Dorothy.

Dorothy had been Uncle John’s off-again on-again girlfriend for the best part of a decade. She’d been living with Uncle John and putting up with his peculiar ways for the past five years. It’s widely known that she has forgiven more unforgivable indiscretions than the last three Popes. With jet black hair and jet black eyes and a jet black dress she looks like she’s auditioning for the role Morticia Addams. Her lips are thin. Her eyes are tired and bloodshot. And she’s glaring at the redhead wearing skin-tight leather pants.

The redhead is deliberately ignoring Dorothy. It’s likely the redhead was the most recent of Uncle John’s indiscretions. If there is any truth in the stories about his body being found in a wardrobe, with a shoelace round his balls and an orange up his arse, then it was probably a wardrobe in the redhead’s house. Even though she looks the sort who would introduce citrus fruit to sphincters, her tears look genuine.

There aren’t many men in the solicitor’s office.

You’ve met Tommy before. Tommy was Uncle John’s simple best friend. He’d read all of Uncle John’s Choose-Your-Own-Adventure stories and proudly told  anyone who’d listen that each new title was another book all about him and his exploits. You suspect the scars on Tommy’s forehead are the results of corrective surgery that was possibly too invasive.

You also recognise Uncle Jack, Uncle John’s brother. Uncle Jack is a police officer although he inspires no trust. He’s the type who will likely one day have to take early retirement under the embarrassing cloud of a bribery accusation, or the discovery of his improper involvement with a cache of controlled substances. Uncle Jack keeps glancing at his watch.

You clear your throat, ready to tell the solicitor to hurry up.

 { B }

Before you can speak Uncle Jack shouts, “Hurry the fuck up, man. We haven’t got all day to put up with you and your fannying around.”

A handful of those gathered chastise Uncle Jack for his coarse turn of phrase but there seems to be a consensus that the solicitor has been fannying around. Suitably motivated, the solicitor polishes his wire-framed glasses and then begins to read out the contents of Uncle John’s will.

Do you listen attentively to the final will and testament of your beloved relative? (GO TO SECTION C.) Or do you doze for a while and come back to your senses when you hear your name being mentioned? (GO TO SECTION D.)
Continue reading “Buried Treasure” – Fiction by Ashley Lister


Our Fall 2014 issue is so wonderfully bizarre & freakishly beautiful it’ll make your cheeks quiver & explode. It begins with an Alternate Reality Game, ends with a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, and in between there’s pink slime, raving gods, naked alligator rides, regurgitated Raymond Carver, a bunch more fiction that’s too bizarre to summarize here, and some phenomenal poetry. 

FLAPPERHOUSE #3 is no longer available for sale in digital (PDF) format
because it’s NOW AVAILABLE FOR FREE right here!

Just click the cover to enjoy…



“Human Child” – Brendan Byrne
“Blood Ties”Diana Clarke
“Map of the Twentieth Century”Samantha Duncan
“We Dream of Our Dead Pets”Carl Fuerst
“Friday Night, Saturday Morning”M.N. Hanson
“I Climb Down the Tree One-Handed and in Another Life,”
“Piney and Buoyant We Wave, Consecrate,”
“Ode to Joy,”
“Painstaking,” and
“This is the Shaky Phase”–  Jessie Janeshek
“Chicken Sandwich”Rebecca Ann Jordan
“Meeting”Jeff Laughlin
“Buried Treasure”Ashley Lister
“ARG”Anthony Michael Morena
“reflect / refract,”
“them bones,”
“Year of the Horse,”
and “Street Music”Emily O’Neill
“Laundromat”Smith Smith
“The Hole”Samantha Eliot Stier
“We Call Her Mama”Natalia Theodoridou
“Cold Duck” – Joseph Tomaras
“Just Another Evening”Dusty Wallace