Category: flash fiction

Lights Out by David Henson

Around dusk, two men and two women in yellow jumpsuits force their way into my house. They claim to have guns and warn me not try to stop them. One ties me to a kitchen chair. 

The four spread out on a ransacking binge. One comes back and puts my phone, tablet and laptop on the table. She yanks the lone landline out of the kitchen wall.

I hear them going through drawers in the bedroom. I expect them to come back with Lucy’s jewelry, but they don’t. 

The Reunion on Glacier St. by Ethan Kahana

It felt funny wearing my brother’s cologne. The fragrances wafted through the moist, trapped air of our old bedroom, the soft smell of the sage coming through the dimly lit room with a small hint of cedarwood and mint. I could tell that the air hadn’t been used in a long time. Years, maybe. I put on my brother’s black suit, the pinstriped jacket with the real-looking white rose lapel, the leather shoes, top hat, everything. It finally fit after years of hanging off my body every time I tried it on. I remember standing on homemade stilts and stuffing the suit with paper towels to try to get into it, much to mother’s consternation. Unable to look at myself in the mirror for too long, I pulled it off and hung each article of clothing with great care, making sure there was not a wrinkle to be found.

The Blazer Committee by Cecilia Kennedy

In the dining cart of the slow-moving train, I eat the meal set before me at the “Best of the Best” conference. It’s a white-china-linen-napkin-breaded-lemon-chicken affair. I’m seated with three other people I’ve never met before—all of them “Best of the Best” conference participants. We’ve submitted resumes and won the chance to be here.

“Why is this train moving so slowly?” I ask the woman seated across from me.

An Exoskeleton of Fear by Catherine O’Brien

That night I shed an exoskeleton of fear. It happened as a sweet pulsation overlooking the river. My body crackled with suspense as, like an exhausted sprinter, I was overlapped by a clear and gracious winner. There was no creaking or moaning as it wrenched itself free. It left quietly and with all its dignity. 

I’d been gifted an excuse, a chance to reclaim my wilderness and that’s the end of my story.

South Atlantic Career Change by Michael Bloor

Really, I did feel bad about neglecting the alien, but I was terribly busy at work that week. I’m a delivery driver and Christmas is our busiest time of the year. And the company cancel your Christmas  bonus if you clock-in late more than once in a month.

So, I’d just stepped out the front door that morning and there s/he (gender indeterminate) was: standing beside the bird feeder – a six foot high Giant Crab, waving her/his front claws rhythmically like giant windscreen wipers.

Scarce as Hen’s Teeth and Pot Luck Noods by Lucy Goldring

Apart from hunger, I have zip in common with Chizzy, but he’s ex-army and knows how to handle himself. It was my idea to pair. Chizzy’s a quiet one, keeps a low proaf. Literals: we’re elb-to-elb in cold grit and he’s silent as a panther. Got the same lean, muscular phys’ too. Mabes he’s stashed some weights some place and works out, sly-style. We have time apart daily so we don’t do each other’s heads in – not so long we morb-out though. There’s zip to be gained from that.  

It’s Audrey on patrol tonight, pacing back-forth on the other side of the fence. She’s ‘resplendent in Halloween green’ through Chizzy’s mil’-grade binoculars.

A Perfect Companion by Emily Harrison

From inside the dim recesses of his bedroom, the yellow light of the laptop screen soaking his skin in a sickly glow, he purchased the parts.

They arrived sporadically over a raw-bone winter. Limb by limb. Feature by feature. Ordered via the Dark Web. His hands itched as each delivery piled on his doorstep. Stomach quivered as he sliced open the boxes with the jag of a serrated kitchen knife.

Her skin was crystalline, stomach slim, hips like blown glass. Blueprints pertaining to a pristinely crafted perfection. The only blemish: crimson lips that came as adornments. He’d selected nude on the website. Allowances could be made. A first-time hiccup. The parts had taken a month to arrive and her assembly, carried out in the icy bowels of the basement, was well underway.