Archive for Flash

Flash Fiction: Prey


Prey

by Monica Valentinelli

A musky scent drifts lazily on stale, moonlit air. Alara knows this scent—fear—it holds little meaning to her. Her hawk’s eyes narrow as she circles above the cemetery searching for her dinner. Focusing on a small, brown mouse huddled against a piece of stone, she dives to strike. The mouse spots her and freezes.

Something hot hisses and sparks, burning her dinner to a blackened crisp. Alara leaps to the night air, squawking in alarm. She lifts higher, caught by the smell of pungent, moldy earth and burning candle fat. Faint sounds penetrate the smells; a harsh voice interrupts the monotonous droning. Alara knows the voice—it belongs to her master.

Flash Fiction: Garbage Day


Garbage Day

by Russell L. Burt

Kenneth was twelve when the significance of garbage day first struck him. That’s when it became his job to patrol the household’s trash bins, bag their contents, and then toss the bags into the huge plastic garbage can outside his kitchen door. Well, now it was a huge blue can. Back then it had been a couple of smaller, metal cans. But superficial differences aside, the result was always the same. The detritus that had accumulated over the week was gone, disappearing while you slept, as if by magic.

Flash Fiction: I Am Nature


I Am Nature

by J.M. McDermott

Detroit is dying. All the ornamental structures from the glory days of American industry wilt in ruin. There’s one building — found it myself — where the roof caved in one winter. There’s a tree that used to be in the lobby — and it’s dead — but its children are growing there. The forest has taken over the lobby. Birds hide everywhere, in the trees and the rafters, and their shit covers everything, but their singing is so beautiful.

Flash Fiction: Why I Hate Cake


Why I Hate Cake

by Paul Mannering

We ate things on dares too. A particular favorite was the larvae of a winged beetle called the Huhu Bug. These grubs grow to about the size of your thumb and they eat dead wood so they taste almost exactly like peanut butter doesn’t.

I always liked to fry mine first, having seen a friend run around screaming with one of these blind maggots attached to his lip with its wood munching mandibles when he tried to eat one raw.

Flash Fiction: Rite of Atonement

Show Notes

Reading and music by W. Ralph Walters


Rite of Atonement

by Melinda Selmys

She would not be able to fly, of course, but he had run the simulations carefully, had seized his achievement in the animated projections of the contact-lens computer screen that nestled against his natural eye. She would be chased to the cliff’s edge just like all the others, but when she arrived she would not tumble graceless to the stones. She would spread wide those gossamer-green constructs of his genius and for a few precious moments that wind would fill them and she would glide until the weight of her body broke the fragile bones of the living apparatus that held her aloft. Then she would fall like a wounded bird, like Icarus as he plunged, spinning, downwards from the sun. In a tangle of broken wings, she would carry all of the terrors and tortures that he had perpetrated against her down to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Flash Fiction: Hunan Fare

Show Notes

Musical production by Toby Chappell — now available for your podcast soundtracking needs. Ask him while he’s feeling generous.


Hunan Fare

by John Hayes

Each night I have the same dream. I am sitting on a white donkey and a noose fashioned from strong Asian hemp is tightened around my throat by six laughing women. The smile fades from the tallest woman and she leaps onto a hickory tree and scampers along a stout limb. Carla’s sister tosses the rope to the tall woman who knots it about the limb. I lean forward and shield the donkey’s eyes. A cowgirl removes a derringer lodged between her breasts. She places the weapon against the donkey’s head and shoots. The donkey falls and my body swings in the thin night air of the third moon of the fifth planet from Being, the blazing star.

Flash Fiction: How to Grow a Man-Eating Plant


How to Grow a Man-Eating Plant

by Michael A. Arnzen

The secret to growing a man-eating plant is the same as it is with any plant: you must enrich the soil.

Read by Sheila Unwin

Flash Fiction: Questions

Show Notes

Music mixed by Navicon Torture Technologies from recordings available from ANNIHILVS:
1. “Instrument Landing System” by Propergol, from the GPWS CD
2. “Rent Boy” by IRM, from the CD, The Cult of the Young Men
3. Gutterballads Vol II, track VI by Wilt, from the Gutterballads Vol II CD-R


Questions

by Edward Webb

“Name’s Claude,” he says. “You’re new.”

I nod again, still looking out into the empty street near the alley. It’s bad enough that I’ve lost everything in my life – my job, my home, my family. But now a chilling realization splashes over me: I am going to be trapped in this alleyway, melting snow soaking into my shoes, listening to a disfigured man with breath as stale as his conversation, forever. This isn’t just another November night. It’s a pit of hell that I’m trapped in, a punishment for my unknown crimes against the universe.

“Sometimes the innocent are put in jail, and the guilty go free.”

Surprised by the comment, I turn back to him. “What?”

Claude’s face twists into a grin, his scar stretched into a new, more hideous shape. “That’s what I like about new guys. They ask questions.”