Category: Flash fiction.

Warm Waves for Supper by nyoka eden

At first sight I thought it was some sort of exceptional moth. I had never seen anything like it. My husband’s best guess was an obscenely large bat. Neither had the ring of truth. I re-heated last night’s supper while we failed at calming each other down. It was all I could think to do. Perched on top of the microwave with its ovular, platinum eyes fixed open, the creature never once moved. I wanted to stop and inspect the down on its marbled wings. The texture of its skin reminded me of a mushroom’s gills. All we could do was chew and stare. Brian asked me sheepishly if we should keep it.

I suggested we call it Baby, short for Babylon. The weight of undying mystery seemed to suit it just fine. All day Baby sat perfectly motionless on our microwave. It became clear Baby needed to soak up a little radiation to survive.

Karoshi by Jaclyn J. Reed

TO: [REPLY ALL] Employees of Sand Star, Inc.

FROM: Allie in Advertising, Cubicle 2 (2nd Row) by the Copier from 2005

DATE: August 10, 2017

SUBJECT: RE: Our Culture: We Want Your Opinion!

PURPOSE

On behalf of myself, the ad. team, and my fellow worker bees, I’d like to inform the powers that be of the individual and institutional mismanagement, maleficence, and malapropism of Sand Star employees that has not only contributed to America’s middle class dystopia, but has no doubt also increased liquor sales and opioid abuse in Central Pennsylvania.

I Regret to Inform You that Your Former Hitman Can’t Take Your Call by Amy Marques

Dear RD,

I am writing to you from Fred’s Marina with a strong cup of coffee and a 6B pencil just like we used to do before emails took over. Call it nostalgia, if you will, but black coffee on the deck always puts me in mind of letters.

I heard you’d been asking after Lester.

Tea for Two by Alice Lowe

A tall, slender woman, fine gray-infused brown wisps escaping from her loosely pulled-back knot, walked into the coffee shop just ahead of me. When she turned to the side, I saw the unmistakable profile. For there she was, I thought, echoing the final line of Mrs. Dalloway. Standing side by side inside the door, we made brief eye contact as we took in the space, the buzz of student chatter and laughter, the piles of backpacks and bookbags scattered around every table. She stood out—I suppose I did as well—a middle-aged woman in a sea of youth. Not just any middle-aged woman, yet no one seemed aware that Virginia Woolf was in their midst.

The Spiteful Witch Fairies of Bayonne, New Jersey by Audacia Ray

What’s that saying? Hell hath no fury like a doña de fuera whose Tumblr has been deleted?

Feral is pissed off. She slouches morosely in the shade of a poorly maintained boxwood shrub. She absentmindedly stretches and contracts her claws in the dirt while she scrolls on her phone, pressing and double-tapping on the touch screen so hard that her pointer finger drums a soft, angry rhythm on the glass. She’d been preparing for this moment since Tumblr announced two weeks ago that they were banning sexual content starting December 17. There was some cruel commentary embedded in that message: dear sex workers and NSFW weirdos, on the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, you will cease to exist on our platform. So long, and thanks for all the clicks.  

The Last Page by Zachary Toombs

It’s three a.m. and as her child lays beside her, she writes. She writes in a notepad that isn’t a notepad. It’s the very last page in a bible that she found in the nightstand. What she writes with is no pen but an eyeliner pencil on its last legs. When she runs the tip across the paper it hardly gets the words out. But desperate are those words scrawled in cursive. And it’s desperation that muffles her sobs.