Category: flash fiction

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. 

A Spare Moment by Holden Zuras

“Do you have a moment?” The old man asked me.

“Well, a few,” I responded. “I have to return this book by 5 o’clock today. They charge an exorbitant late fee.” 

“One spare moment is enough. I just want you to help me mull over something that’s been consuming my thoughts.”

“Of course, but I don’t believe there is an afterlife.”

“Ha! Silly boy! I was only going to ask you if you were happy.”

Small Sounds Ricochet Through the Darkness by F.C. Malby

In memory of Sarah

Don’t walk home alone, not at this time of night, my friends say, waving at me from a table of empty cocktail glasses, flapping like a gaggle of geese. I’ll be fine, I say, I’ll text you when I’m home. Are you sure? they ask, but it’s more a way of allaying their own fears. Yes, I’ll be fine.

I walk out of the bar, keys in hand, each one pushed between my fingers — a miniature Edward Scissorhands — EarPods in, mobile phone clutched in the other hand. I wore flats, because that’s what you do when you might need to run. It’s normal, except that it’s not. Normal is wearing what you like, not thinking about when you might need to run or who you would need to call, it’s not turning the music down in case there’s a Come over here, Love. Oi. You. I’m talking to you.

Lemonology by Gina Headden

My mother always said it was my nursery got me started: citrine walls like sunshine that made my future bright.

As a toddler, I played with lemons, rolled them on the floor, threw them like a ball and nibbled them, the way that toddlers do. I liked the taste, craved more. I begged Mum for lemon chicken, lemon pancakes, lemon drizzle, lemon this, lemon that, lemon, lemon, lemon and, at the sweet shop on Saturdays, saliva pooling underneath my tongue, I watched Helen weigh my lemon sherbets on a silver scale.

Ghost Light by Kate Leimer

I am the Ghost Light, the one who stands and watches the stage when the theatre is closed.

I am here for safety; you wouldn’t want to tumble down into the orchestra pit while fumbling for the light switch, would you? I watch the ghosts who come to entertain the empty seats at night; the usherette in her apron and cap, who drifts through the wall that wasn’t there when she worked here, long ago.