Category: flash fiction

No Escape by Claire Schön

I dim the headlights before the approach. No other vehicle has passed in the last ten minutes. The rain is all but a splutter now; the wipers cease their tormenting drag and slide. The wet gravel sinks silently under the tread of the tyres: perfect conditions.

The windows glow at opposite corners above. I navigate to the very back of the car park and pull in under an unkempt bush. Sliding out, I walk towards the building, satisfied that the car is out of sight. The back entrance is clear. I ease off my boots and pad up the stone steps in Lycra-soled feet, reaching the doorway of the flat I have been familiarising myself with for a fortnight now. Carefully easing down the handle, no need for a key and hence no jingle, I sink to my knees and enter on all fours. The deep scent of wood smoke emanates from the rugs, raising recent memories. I feel for the sofa, the one between two windows, benefitting from the join of the wall to evade prying eyes. Retrieving the flashlight from my bag, I am finally ready to digest the passages I began over two weeks ago.

Useless Werewolf by Naaz Frederick

Being a werewolf is horrible. Being a useless werewolf is worse. At night you are crazy and unstable. Why did you let this happen? You wouldn’t be a werewolf if you said just said no. Why didn’t you deny it? You don’t remember being asked. You didn’t want this. Why are you complaining? Everyone nowadays claimed to be turned, you are not special. You are nothing. You hear your mother on the phone earlier, you heard it too clearly with your trained ears.

“These fake werewolves are destroying the lives of who turned them, why would you expose if someone was turning people? That’ll cost them their lives.” Your mother hates the new trend, as she calls it, of involuntary werewolves calling out those turned them.

Mollusks in the Air by Julie Flattery

My dad and I are sitting at this bistro table in the sky having a great conversation—a really lovely time. I’m not eating or drinking anything, but he’s eating a bowl of steamed mussels that appears to be bottomless. He’s making no headway whatsoever.

Eating seems like the wrong word because he’s actually chowing down on them like there’s no tomorrow, which there isn’t, for him at least, because he’s dead. He’s been dead for years, but he showed up in my dream to say hi and eat these mussels. He’s talking with his mouth full, which is ironic to me because he was always very strict about table manners. I guess all decorum subsides in the afterlife since he really does seem more laidback.

What Do-It-Yourself Homeowners Suspect by M.R. Neis

Ah… UPS delivered the replacement valve, and Eithan could finally finish the washer’s repair. He removed the plate at the rear of the machine and pulled out the old unit, taking careful note of all the connections, electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic. The new valve clicked confidently onto the mounting plate, a confirmation that the replacement part was the correct one. It would be nice to get that pile of laundry back under control.

Son of Pissy by Tre Luna

Gerry sighed and gazed at the clock in his dorm room. He’d already visited the bathroom for himself and three of the professors on his client caseload. It was four o’clock in the morning, and this term paper was due by nine thirty. If he didn’t drink any water then he would only be interrupted by the needs of his clients, and he might be able to save his college career from yet another failing grade. Might. He was the first in his family to go to university—he wanted this so much. Gerry took a deep breath and tried to believe in himself, then shook out his fingers. Time to hustle.

Bad Mood Camp by Alison Bullock

Marjorie’s having dinner with a few friends on Newbury Street. They’re at a cute little sidewalk bistro with red umbrellas and lots of string lights. Marjorie’s telling about her recent stay at a wellness retreat.  Bad Mood Camp, as it’s popularly known, was featured in both  O Magazine and Goop. Even though the waiting list is a mile long, she finagled her way in through her chiropractor, who knows somebody who knows somebody.

Marjorie lowers her voice. “When you first arrive, you’re outfitted with a wardrobe for the week. The clothes are all incredibly comfortable. No tight waistbands. Fabrics so soft you want to rub your cheek on them. And they look pretty good on you, too.”

Timothy the Turtle and the Spiritual Awakening by Lisa Fox

No one would ever know if Timothy the Turtle’s arrival at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church was a well-timed prank, or a tiny miracle.

Sometime between the First Reading and the Responsorial Psalm at the first Friday children’s mass after Easter, he’d wandered through a maze of potted lilies on the altar. Prehistoric feet pressed into the plush carpet as he ventured out, one agonizingly long step at a time. Timothy stopped at the altar’s edge, facing the pre-pubescent, parochial-school-uniformed congregants giggling on either side of the center aisle.

The Peacock Lady by Erica L. Williams

Your house smelled as if bathed in Pine-Sol. Ebony and Jet magazines cluttered the coffee table. You didn’t care that they were twenty years old. It reminded you of when Junior was young and your husband, Manny, was faithful and alive.

“How you been, Mom?” Junior asked. Cheeks puffy. He sat in the chair next to the sofa.

“I’m fine, Junior,” you said, adjusting your auburn-colored wig. “Nice of you to ask since I haven’t seen you in months?”  

His face, the color of sandalwood, flushed crimson. “It’s only been a couple of days.” He fiddled with the papers in his hand. “You’re all set to move next week.”