HopeThere are so many daysHope in Free Verse More Like This
when humanity frightens
the most compassionate
it takes only a knife
or a word or a gun, and
we scare so easy.
I'm tired of living
I'm tired of not believing
There may not be a god above
but believer or not,
there are so many
reasons to love
I'm not giving up
I'm not letting go;
I'm going to dream
and one day
perhaps I will fly
and I will believe
the best of people
until it kills me,
because the moment
that you give up
is the moment
you become the problem.
strange habits (FFM 4)Coming home had always been a challenge for Natasha. The music was constantly just a little too loud, the ghosts in the corner too rowdy, the poltergeist in the attic too fond of guilt-tripping, or just plain tripping. Everything in the old house seemed to crowd Natasha, to shout and jeer and laugh; she even found the ornaments distasteful and a little embarrassing. And all of that, that was before she even began thinking about her family.strange habits (FFM 4) in Scraps More Like This
Nonetheless, here Natasha was, making the seven hour drive back to the house she'd grown up in. Only on one day of the year did her family enforce attendance, enforce 'social behaviour' and 'family spirit'; it wasn't worth the consequences of not going.
Natasha drew out the trip as long as she was able. She stopped multiple times at petrol stations, buying a chocolate bar, or a drink. She tried desperately to ignore one over-friendly cashier, who wouldn't stop asking questions;
"Why aren't you out partying? Young thing like you, I'd'
shallow by designshe's a bare distraction,shallow by design in Free Verse More Like This
echo falling from her lips
over and over in revolutions
that do little more
she's caught in a curtsey
that's half seduction,
and half a mannequin movement
poised just how you like her.
they carefully planned her
from blueprint bruises,
the puppeteers dripping vice
down her strings like virtue
in saccharine whispers;
a lewd command-cum-question
leaking slick into moments
that were supposed
to be dulcet.
and you can't help but pity
the porcelain fleshling,
for she's only
blackout (FFM 3)At some point, I start to become aware of what's going on around me. Not all at once; it's a flash here, a voice there, a touch on my shoulder. But gradually, I'm waking up. I open my eyes, blinking at the bright light. I'm on a couch. There's a girl standing with her back to me, holding a cellphone. I know her, I think.blackout (FFM 3) in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
All at once, I'm panicking, terrified. There was danger. I had to hide. No-one was supposed to find me. I fell. I couldn't get up. Why? How did I get here? She turns at the sound of my quickened breath.
"Sarah, you're awake! How are you feeling?"
I can't respond, I feel sick, I don't know what's happening. I'm hyperventilating.
"You must be freezing. I'll grab you another blanket."
She leaves. I doubt she even realised how awful I felt. Or maybe she didn't care. Confused, bewildered, I tried to remember.
* * *
It's dark, and I'm running, but I've never been very good at walking in high heeled shoes, so I stumble. A lot. I'm running, and it's dark a
as if asleepIas if asleep in Free Verse More Like This
She lies, all aflush with color;
her wide eyes half open,
and a willow branch caressing
her gently curved cheekbone.
As the sun drifts off
her face, thrown into darkness,
is made wild by shadows
and no amount of catharsis
in this setting idyllic
can bring back the light.
eggshells in my throatI am cradled,eggshells in my throat in Free Verse More Like This
rustling ribcage bursting
in feathered fragments
through still air,
and you ask what's wrong
but each breath is a triumph;
words would be a desperate freefall
I cannot fly--
I'm barely crawling.
I am embraced,
entwined in almost-whispers,
struggling, and I flinch away
from compassion; it would be kinder
just to leave.
I am caged,
my cries for help flutter in
wing-beat echoes from
larynx to lip
only to collide,
beaten and bruised,
with the towering walls
overcastcold water reignsovercast in Free Verse More Like This
a rain-drenched moor
of crocus buds and
i fall with the rain,
whispering of fickle
fears to the earth.
folding in and over
safe havens under
a hollow netted sky,
i drift like needles
sewn in delicate footsteps
through silken-still air
as i pine, pine, pine.
practise (FFM 6)G flat arpeggios. Modulation. E flat descending motif. Mistake; start over.practise (FFM 6) in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The piano was old and out of tune, but he'd saved up for three years, he'd paid for it; this knowledge made his battered old Collard & Collard the most beautiful darn piano this side of the country. He knew her every mood, the G, E, and F# keys that stuck in cold weather, the low C that twanged before it rained, the aggressive clash of the A's that didn't quite make a perfect octave. They worked together, a strangely lovely synergy of tired piano and determined boy.
Etude. Half-speed, quarter-speed, double-speed. Again. Get bored, play pop songs and add an alberti bass. Segue into Mozart. Accidental accidentals; make it sound intentional. Another etude.
At six on a chilly April morning, the cold air made his fingers feel stiff and unwieldy; they stubbornly refused to respond in a timely fashion to the commands his mind was sending. The heat pump was too expensive to run, so he had to make do
Bowie Day (FFM 26)I’m just reaching the peak of the arpeggio when my voice snaps like a twig.Bowie Day (FFM 26) in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I hiss plumes of colourful profanity – bad idea – that quickly degenerate into a great hacking cough. That very same cough has haunted me ever since the laryngitis; I run for the tap. Did anyone ever tell you that attempting to drink while coughing is a truly dreadful idea? No? Well, they should have. It results in a saga of cough, drink, choke, and literally repeats ad nauseum.
At some point during this lovely display, Cameron enters the room, looking concerned.
“Carmel, babes, you sound like shit – can you sing?”
I grimace. “Judging by my extremely scientific self-assessment, my vocal chords have gone on strike. Lost a full third of my top notes. It’s not looking good, Cam.”
Any other night this wouldn’t have been a problem. But tonight’s my night on lead, and instead of my usual flirtatious coloratura soprano, I’m cur
behind, and to the righti.behind, and to the right in Free Verse More Like This
you were a series of
battles won and wars lost,
twelve months sober
undone by one hour
a vodka bullet
dismantled a persona
already bare of bones
you loved so brittle
in jagged pageturns,
like tomorrow was
already a memory,
and one day, tomorrow
you died on valentine's day;
symbolism gifted in the form
of a flowing red bouquet
and desperate hopelessness
at least, that's what
they didn't say,
once it was
The Talking Dead “If you thought it was alright to be a zombie...” Bruce pumped his shotgun for emphasis, “you were dead wrong.”The Talking Dead in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Aaah!” yelled the zombie. “Not the face! Not the face!”
Bruce jumped in surprise, accidentally pulling the trigger, but only after he had also made an ungainly flailing motion with the shotgun. The result was that he not only missed the zombie, but the recoil caught him completely by surprise, prompting further flailing. All in all, it didn’t really fit with the badass action hero persona he had been trying to cultivate since the start of the zombie apocalypse.
“Stop! I’m not a zombie!”
Whether or not this was true, the slightly-rotten figure in front of Bruce was cowering, and since he had already ticked “shoot first” off his mental list, this seemed like a good time
Sicklefox Once upon a time there was a naughty boy. He was about your age, if I’m not mistaken. This naughty boy loved to run and jump and play with his friends, but more than anything he loved sweet things. So when he spied the baker coming down the street with two trays of iced buns, he wasted no time in running over to him.Sicklefox in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Aren’t you afraid carrying all those buns?” asked the naughty little boy.
“Afraid?” asked the baker. “Of course not—why would I be?”
“Why,” lied the naughty boy, “because Sicklefox likes nothing better than iced buns, and I hear he is nearby. If he finds you, he’ll cut out your tongue and eat it.”
The baker stopped. This was new to him, but all had heard tales of Sicklefox and all knew them to be true.
“Perhaps I should take half,” said
AerosolIt has been a day and a half since the crash, and I have found a cabin. In some ways, this is a relief. I don’t know if I could face another night on the mountain without shelter. Outside, a fire does no good: the heat simply travels upwards. However, this place also raises some difficult questions. I estimate that I’ve put eight miles between myself and the crash site. I don’t know if this will be enough. It occurs to me that I don’t really know anything.Aerosol in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The survival manual recommends staying with the plane. It explains that this affords the best chance of rescue. It explains that the wreckage offers warmth and shade. It explains that seventy percent of pilots who stay are located within three days, while seventy percent of those who leave are never recovered. It does not explain what to do if the payload begins to leak.
Jenkins shouted after me as I ran, said it was our duty to defend the aircraft. I tried to warn him about the spur of wood protrudin
It's a Wonderful Spoof“Goodbye, cruel world!” Greg prepared to take a long jump off edge of the bridge—he didn’t want to bump into the side on the way down.It's a Wonderful Spoof in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Suddenly, there was a blinding flash of light. Barely managing to stop himself falling off in surprise, Greg looked to his right. A glowing, winged figure was perched on the railing. “No, stop, don’t do it,” he said, not particularly enthusiastically. He took his cigarette out of his mouth for a moment to have a swig from a three-litre bottle of cheap cider.
“Who are you!?”
“I’m your guardian angel.”
Greg just stared.
“I’m not being sarcastic. I literally am.” He put the cigarette back in his mouth, freeing up a hand to offer to Greg. “The name’s Lawrence.”
Greg shook his hand. “Greg.”
Lawrence screwed his face up, as if talking to an idiot. “Yeah, mate. I think I picked that up at some point over the last forty or fifty years. N
The Trouble with Tybalt “What light through yonder window breaks?The Trouble with Tybalt in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.”
“Beautiful,” whispered Splirda from the front row, dabbing a tissue to her eye with one of her many facial gnathopods. “He may be young, but I doubt there’s been such a moving performance since Lemon Nimrod originally took to the stage a thousand years ago.”
Splurg leaned forward, peering through his thick omnifocals. “I don’t get it,” he grumped. “Who’s that guy? What’s going on? Why is that battleturret made of plywood?”
Splirda sighed, exasperated. “That’s Romulo. He’s in deeply in love with Juliet, but they can’t be together because he's a Montagen and she’s a Capulet: Montag II is stuck in a bitter war with planet Capule, much to the consternation of
Come With Me if You Want to Live“Are you Sally Connal?”Come With Me if You Want to Live in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Do I know you?”
The musclebound gentleman stared through his sunglasses. “That is improbable.”
“Because you look kind of familiar. Aren’t you the Governor of somewhere?”
“This is not a productive area of discussion. Are you Sally Connal?”
To Sally’s surprise, the man slowly drew a large handgun from his coat pocket. To her even greater surprise, a motorcycle crashed through the café window next to her, knocking him through a similar window on the opposite side of the building. The rider of the motorcycle did a tight lap of the room, brought the vehicle to a dramatic halt and stretched out an arm.
“Come with me if you want to live!”
Sally glanced over at the first guy who had spoken to her. He was already standing, the glass under his feet crunching dramatically, as it would under the feet of an implacable bad guy in an action movie.
Sally set do
The Superfluous Adventures of Captain Redundancy “Sorry,” the robber adjusted the tights he had pulled over his head as a disguise, “who are you supposed to be?”The Superfluous Adventures of Captain Redundancy in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“I’m Captain Redundancy!” boomed the hero. “The vengeful masked avenger!”
“And this is my sidekick, Tautology Boy!”
“We already know who you are,” added Tautology Boy, pointing a gloved hand at the criminal.
“Yes! You are a bank robber, because you are robbing a bank!”
The robber glanced nervously up at a security camera. “But you don’t know my identity, right?”
“No,” admitted Tautology Boy. “Your identity is disguised due to your disguise.”
The robber breathed
A Bold Stratagem July 5th, 1944:A Bold Stratagem in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
They will give me the Dickin Medal for this.
I have intercepted a report indicating that reinforcements are to be sent to the 4th Army, east of Mogilev. I cannot allow that to happen. Though my actions in Berlin have drawn a significant amount of attention already, I am determined to hold my position. The ground I have chosen to make my stand is exposed. Every day, things get a little more uncomfortable. The enemy is just feet away. But I will persevere.
I will prevail.
“I was going to write important Nazi stuff, but there’s a cat sitting on my typewriter.”
“Can’t you just shove it off?”
Before the Black Throne There was a rattle of chains as the rusty iron cage dropped from the ceiling. It was accompanied by the rattling laugh of the Dungeon Lord himself. The same mechanism that had dropped the cage over the great stone altar had also revealed his terrible black throne.Before the Black Throne in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“You may have found my gems of power, thief, but I don’t think they—or you—will be going far.”
“No,” the thief admitted. “This cage looks pretty secure. Very sturdy. Lots of spikes.”
“I claimed it from the Keep of Akragokh, where it once held prisoners of the Thousand Day Siege. Still, I don’t think it has witnessed such suffering as it shall see today.”
“Oh no,” said the thief. “What are you going to do to me?”
Standing, the Dungeon Lord approached an alcove near the throne and retrieved a
A Story about a Story that is Not This StoryI can’t quite remember what went wrong that day. In hindsight, it was probably a lot of things, chief amongst them the fact that I’d just stopped caring by that point. But regardless of how it went wrong, it went wrong, and it went wrong in the space of just one question:A Story about a Story that is Not This Story in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
“Can I have your creative writing coursework?”
It’s one of those questions that either slips by without a second thought—of course I’ve got my coursework! What do you think I am, some kind of imbecile?—or, as on that troublesome morning, hits you in the face like a wet sack of cephalopods.
I don’t recall exactly how I answered at the time, but it was something along the lines of “I’m sorry. I could do with a little longer just to clean it up a bit. When’s the absolute deadline?”
Whatever I said, it was good enough to get the teacher to go away, giving me the chance to formulate a plan:
1) Check you are wearing clothes.
A Black Market "Don't do it... Please, we can make it on our own we don't need this. Please Syd, I can sell my mother's ring I can thin out the soup, not this," Eve was pleading her husband, tears beginning trickle down her cheeks.A Black Market in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He glared her in the eyes with an iron look. "I need to do this. The little one shouldn't come into this world starving." He put his hand on her full belly. "You're eight months in, Eve." There was no changing his mind. He turned around and began walking away.
"You don't even remember our first date anymore," Eve whispered as Syd left, slamming the door after him.
It was true. No matter how hard Syd tried, he could not remember his first date with Eve. Nor their first kiss. The thoughts ran chills along his spine.
The black market was crowded to the point where you had to push your way through the streams of people shouting and exchanging money and goods over each other's heads. Syd saw peopl
Singing Flames He sat staring into the singing flames. She sat down beside him, long black hair casually draped around her shoulders. They fell dangerously close to the licking flames as she bend over to look at his face. "You look familiar." She tucked her hair behind her ear, but it fell down again instantly.Singing Flames in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He looked up from the fire. She was wearing a short, black dress, blood-red lipstick and a pair of casual sandals. There was sand in-between her toes. He wanted to brush them clean.
"I'm sure I've met you before," she said. The flames were reflecting in her amber eyes.
He looked back into the flames. Leave me alone, he thought. He was rubbing his hands.
She wasn't. She was grabbing him by the cheek, turning his head towards hers. "It's not polite to look away when you are talking to someone."
"I'm not talking. You are."
She let his head go. His eyes went back t
The Boy That Couldn't Tell the Truth This is the story of Jonathan Stone. Jonathan lived in England, Birmingham on Templefield St. the fifth in the little red house with the shutters on the windows. He seemed like a normal child, brown-haired, freckle-faced with a big nose and small ears. He was tall for his age, but not tall enough to stand out, just tall enough to reach up and wash his own hands in the tall sink. Jonathan Stone lived with his mother Lilian Stone, his father Hank Stone and his little sister Margery Stone. They were a happy, family that loved swimming and sending silly holiday cards to all their relatives. To the naked eye, the Stone family lived a normal life there on Templefield St. the fifth in the little red house with the shutters on the windows.The Boy That Couldn't Tell the Truth in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
But if you observed their daily routine, you would notice something was a little bit off about little Jonathan Stone. You see, ever since Jonathan began to talk, he'd had a terrible condition. Jonathan Stone couldn't tell the trut
Twelve Drowned RosesThey are waiting for him in the water.Twelve Drowned Roses in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He can see their faces – pale and fish-bitten, so swollen with water that the tide might slough them from their skulls at any moment. Their eyes are dark and hollow, but he can see the emotions swirling in their depths: love and lust and loneliness, despair, longing. They claw at him with rotted hands. Always they stay below the surface of the water; never do they reach out into the air.
He looks from one waterlogged face to another, naming them. Emma, Jamie, Kathryn, Elsie – little Elsie – she was his first, in her fluttery white dress. He remembers the flowers she was holding, roses in pale yellow and white. The petals fluttered about her in the breeze – now her dress is fluttering beneath the waves, ragged and torn, and her little mouth forms his name in silence.
She was his first, and an accident. He had never meant for it to happen. But it happened all the same; and she looked so lonely there, a single white rose burie
His EyesIt has been three months since we heard from the mainland.His Eyes in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Speculation abounds. Some catastrophe has befallen them there: a plague has ended them, perhaps, or a war, or something so dreadful that we cannot even imagine it. We are left here to starve, slowly, as we wait for news and supplies.
At noon we saw a boat on the horizon.
Through the spyglass we saw that its occupant was a lone boy, and that his skin was patterned with lesions. Sula saw something in his eyes, he said, though he would not speak more clearly of it; but he was so shaken by the sight that he begged us to shoot the boat down at a distance.
We were without choice but to obey. We pitied the boy, perhaps, but if he carried a plague – as indeed he must have – any show of mercy might have doomed us. We fired the cannon as soon as he came within range.
At nightfall we burned the flotsam brought in by the tide. There was no sign of the boy's body. With luck the current carried it away, to be eaten by the fish.
Here, There, and Everywhere“I've had it.” Paul grabbed his guitar and strode out the door.Here, There, and Everywhere in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“You can't—” Ringo ran after him. “Hey, you can't leave!”
Paul spun to face him. “You know what? We aren't—weren't—even that good. Losing a member can't make it worse.”
The audience glared.
Ringo glared back. A handful of people from a handful of villages—there were fewer people in the tent than there were cigarette stubs. As they continued to play, he saw several groups come in, look at the three-Beatle stage, listen to a few bars of a three-Beatle song, and leave. He suspected that their potential fans living in Kottspiel—who could hear the music from outside the tent—weren't bothering to come in at all. It was obvious what was wrong.
“There are meant to be four Beatles,” said John. “We'll need another Paul.”
“Paul. Ha!” Ringo jutted his chin at the audience. “They're the proble
Four WordsThis is how the world ends:Four Words in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
A quiet morning, a rainy day, a glass of orange juice. Your hand on mine, heavy. Your voice:
“We need to talk.”
My shoulder to cry on shoves a beer under my nose. “Hey,” he says, “it's not the end of the world.”
But he doesn't realize: it is.
To Skirt DestinyThe first messenger was an old woman wrapped in patchwork skirts and shawls, with eyes so milky that she must have been nearly blind. Seth had seen her before. She'd always carried so many bags with her that he thought they must be all she owned.To Skirt Destiny in Short Stories More Like This
She dropped something that day. A small parcel, wrapped in brown. He picked it up and ran after her; she took it from him, and took both his hands in her withered old claws, and stared at him with her milky eyes. “You'll do what's right,” she said.
He shivered, but before he could speak she had moved on, leaving only the soft swishing sound of bags and skirts. A yellowed envelope slipped out of one of her bags, and he picked it up and scrambled after her through the crowd – but she was gone, and her flock of bags with her.
He took it home, and kept it for three weeks without seeing her again. Curiosity overcame him at last, and he slit the envelope open.
Inside was a letter, handwritten and blotched with spilled ink. It addre
The Way After WakingThe man fell heavily to the ground. Rain washed his blood into the fallen leaves, and his eyes were already misting over with death.The Way After Waking in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The sounds of the battle faded; and it seemed to him that he was standing again, though he felt no weight on his legs. His body lay at his feet, staring eyes and parted lips and dark blossoms of blood. He looked at the empty woods around him and saw that he had died.
Then it seemed that a woman came to him, as pale and misty as the rain itself, with a somber mouth and hollow eyes. She said to him: “Come, and I will wash the life from you.”
He took her hand: her fingers were as thin and light as the wind. She led him past trees that grew ever barer, through mist that grew ever thicker, until he could see nothing of the woods around him; then the mist cleared, and he found that he was standing in a lake, with the walls of a cave all around and above him.
The clothes he had worn had vanished, and he stood before the woman as naked as a child. Wit
Flight and VengeanceIt began as an argument. A cruel argument, but – at first – just words. “I think you'd do it.” “So what if I did?”Flight and Vengeance in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It turned into a beating. They slammed Jeremy's head against the wall, kicked him, called him whore and demonspawn: the latter of which was as good as a death sentence in that part of town. Half an hour ago he'd been an ordinary kid (though not ordinary enough according to them, of course) – now he was a fugitive. There was no sense in hoping that the angels wouldn't hear.
He uncurled and peeled himself up from the bloodstained dirt, and tottered off towards buildings and alleys and anyplace else he could find that wasn't open to the sky. There was no sense in going home now, either. He texted his dad: Im demonspawn now, pls run, stay safe. Then he turned his phone off and ditched it, because he couldn't afford the risk of being tracked.
There was no place safe to go.
But he knew what he wa
The Earth-Queen's SorrowThe earth-queen's son was born in springtime, and his birth was heralded with crocuses and fresh green and a splendor of sunlight. Through summertime he grew, golden and beautiful, dearer to her than the wind itself.The Earth-Queen's Sorrow in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Then autumn came, and the leaves ran red with his blood. He fell, and withered, an empty husk of brown.
Winter came: in her sorrow, the earth-queen swept the world with white. Snow would be his shroud and his finery. The chill in the air would mirror the cold emptiness in her heart. Ice would cover her lakes and rivers and the wounds of her soul; and her frozen tears would fall from the heavens as tiny flakes of crystal.
The winter drew on, and many died under the cold weight of the earth-queen's sorrow. At last the people chose a hero to go to her, to beg for mercy.
They fitted her with fatted leather boots, with a thick leather vest, with fur-lined gloves and a fur-lined cloak. “You go into the heart of winter,” they told her. “Give no quarter to the co
KokytosThey hate me. They hate me. I don't know what I did wrong.Kokytos in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Mother's eyes are bright and hard. Her lips are pressed together, thin, tight, like anger, like a coiled spring. She doesn't look at me. She doesn't speak to me. Even when I tug on the hem of her shirt, she doesn't listen. She just keeps washing the dishes with hard angry strokes and when one breaks from it her lips tighten even more, and she doesn't talk to me and she doesn't look at me.
Father sits silent, pressing the heels of his hands into his eyes. He pours himself a drink and then throws it out. Maybe he's just tired. Maybe that's why he doesn't look up at me, doesn't smile, doesn't pull me onto his knee and hug me. Even when I kiss his cheek he sits silent and stony, and pretends that I'm not there.
My sister comes into my room, but she doesn't talk to me, doesn't look at me. I don't know what I did, I don't know why she hates me, but she hates me more than the time I stuck gum in her hair, this time. She hates me more
The Color Without a NameThere is no name for the color of my hair, but there is a small section of it just left of the back that I must always braid when I leave home, so my sisters told me. As long as I wear that braid, I will be safe and nothing can harm me.The Color Without a Name in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
There was a girl I loved who lived on the edge of the desert. She was a year older than I was, and a bit larger, and light-skinned and blue-eyed with hair like twilight. Rashkah was her name. We were friends at first, but then we were more: she would take me dancing, and she would hold me on her lap, arms tight around me, lips by my ears, and she would kiss my cheeks and my lips and my hair and my braid, and I loved her.
On my last night she ran her hands through my hair and found my braid between her fingers, and she whispered into my ear – won't you undo your braid for me? And I knew that she meant more. I knew the words she never spoke.
And I wanted to say yes –
– but we were young, and my sisters had warned me so often that
FFM24: It's Raining MenShe's finally done it, Dani realized as lightning streaked across the sky, the damn writer had lost the last bit of grey matter keeping her from the cuckoo bin. The forecaster had predicted rain, but not this kind of rain. The first drop to hit the pavement was six feet tall of glistening, rippling sex beast. He should have died instantly, but since the writer was out of her vulcan mind, he landed gently beside the first and just as shirtless.FFM24: It's Raining Men in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Love me,” he said, holding out a hand.
Dani groaned, pretending not to look. This was so wrong.
All around the world, people stopped to watch this mysterious rain. Traffic stalled. Inside, the forecaster who had predicted a wonderful summer shower hid in his office, studying the readouts. It just wasn't possible. Men don't fall from the sky like rain.
“You've done it now,” Dani shouted, “Don't pretend you can't hear me. I know you're typing this right now. You have to stop this.”
Kaleen, the writer, ignored he
FFM19: Where No Sock Has Gone BeforeHis socks blinked at him. Jim hunched his shoulders. The socks tried to mimic the motion but since they had no shoulders they just kind of bunched up a little. Captain Bob, as usual, was not impressed.FFM19: Where No Sock Has Gone Before in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“It's life, Jim, but not life as we know it.”
“Shut up, Bob, this is serious.”
Captain Bob gave him a look that made him immediately regret his outburst. It was the “I'm your superior officer and I have the airlock codes, so no one will think twice if they see your body suddenly floating in space “ look.
“So am I,” Captain Bob said, “Stop leaving your dirty uniforms next to the radiation shields. It's an old ship, there's bound to be some spill off.”
The socks agreed.
But it wasn't until his uniform pants tried to bite him that Jim truly learned his lesson. He spent the rest of the voyage in the laundry room, learning how to operate the machines. Captain Bob was still not impressed.
FFM12: Lies are Bad and Don't Talk to BirdsThe silver prince lived in the far off land of Nomas. He was a good prince who loved his people. As much as he loved them and as much as they loved him, there was one thing that kept peace and harmony from the kingdom.FFM12: Lies are Bad and Don't Talk to Birds in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The silver prince told lies.
Most of the time, they were little lies. If the royal shirt maker asked what color shirt he wanted him to make, he might say red when he really wanted a blue shirt. When the cook asked if he liked roast beef for dinner, he might say yes when he really wanted chicken legs. When his lies were discovered, he didn't understand why it was wrong. He'd told them what they wanted to hear. What did it matter if it wasn't the truth?
The silver prince was walking in the royal rock gardens when he saw a crow land atop one of the big, marble boulders. It carried something shiny clasped in its beak.
“Hello, Crow, what have you got in your beak?” he asked. In the land of Nomas, it wasn't unusual to talk to birds or for them to talk back. The cro
FFM20: What Did You Say Your Name Was?Hiring a new assistant was a big deal. The Paranormal Researchers and Investigators Society was so broke, it didn't spring for new staff unless we were stretched so thin you could almost see through us. I should have known it would go wrong.FFM20: What Did You Say Your Name Was? in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The first was was a well dressed man who kept spraying himself with Axe body spray.
“You don't really want me to carry anything, do you? Because I'm more a reporter than an assistant. Like, you need someone to make this look legit, some one pretty. I was voted hottest in my class four years in a row,” he said. Somehow, I doubted that. Maybe it was because he looked like the offspring of a bulldog and a donkey
The second was an ordinary looking woman in a sharp suit. She got my hopes up until she opened her mouth.
“I know you said this was an assistant position,” she said, “But I'm on the fast track for management. In two years I will be running this place. We'll just skip all the entry level work and you'll start train
Just GoneThey found her shoes near the bottom of the escalator. Red plaid on black soles, double laces neatly tied---it was as if she had just taken them out of the box and left them. But that was crazy.Just Gone in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She had been threatening to disappear for years now. No one thought she meant it literally.
ffm 1: DemonicMaster Alaric wielded the Light of Sila like it was his dinner fork. One short thrust into the demon's chest cavity and the creature erupted into a shower of ash and bone dust. The undead warriors stopped attacking and then collapsed, once again, just piles of bones.ffm 1: Demonic in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“You were enlightening me about the virtues of patience, I believe,” he said.
Serena bit her lip. She had been. Master Cyril was supposed to bring reinforcements. He'd told them to wait after chastising Master Alaric for recruiting an apprentice to assist. He'd given her a look that said he'd expected her to have more sense.
She knew why she'd let Master Alaric talk her into coming to the Wizard's Boneyard---she was a bone head. An apprentice curse breaker in her first year had no business assisting her adviser in his quests of madness. She should have just shut the door in his face and gone back to poring over the required reading, but she'd let his enthusiasm convince her everything would be fine and dandy.
FFM2: Space ScumDonnelly cursed in English, Common, and Y'Tak just to be sure the pig-faced spacer understood.FFM2: Space Scum in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“There are more to choose from in the back if none of these are to your liking,” the spacer spoke in Y'Tak, but Donnelly doubted it was his first or only language. A man who kept live merchandise was a special kind of scum. They tended to have to know how to say “Don't shoot me” in at least five kinds of speech.
“You have some kind of nerve, don't you think?” Donnelly asked. The spacer laughed nervously.
“I don't understand your accent, sir. Would you like to browse?”
The store's holo-front had promised power converters and shield clamps. They were the last doggone items on Cricket's stupid list. Finding both meant Donnelly could hit the Blue Warp before he had to get back. He had so been looking forward to real whiskey and s'mores for the last three hundred hours. It'd be another three hundred at least before they reached the next outpost, and
FFM25: Spaceships and Magic Don't Mix“Authorization code invalid. Please wait for your security escort.”FFM25: Spaceships and Magic Don't Mix in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Roseblight zapped the controls. The damned metal contraption was madness. Everything she touched made the disembodied voice talk at her. Do this. Do that. State the code. She didn't blame humans for being so paranoid, but really, did they have to make everything so complicated?
Muddywaters dropped beside her.
“You can't just blast everything with magic when it doesn't work the way you want it to,” he said, “Let me take over. There's a bit of a rumble among the rabble.”
“Your code is useless,” she said, “And don't call them rabble. They hate that.”
“You have to use the voice. It won't work if you don't sound like that captain fellow.”
He touched his wand to his throat before he leaned into the communication thingamajig.
“Hey, you. Take us somewhere,” he said, his voice much bigger than it had been, “Alpha Gamma 1378 Epsilon Pi. Be
FFM1: The Broken BrideI scooped her up before Rani could touch her. It wasn't a clean break. She was in three pieces, her edges jagged at the elbow and the waist. Her white ceramic skirts split in a network of spidery cracks. The lines were rough under my fingertips.FFM1: The Broken Bride in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“What's wrong with you?”
Rani wrenched the broken bride from my grasp. She turned the pieces over and over again, as though willing them to knit back together. My face felt hot, and when Rani looked at me, glared at me, I wanted to hit her. The bride had been one of the last things Grandma bought me. Ten years and she hadn't gotten even a scratch. She was mine.
“It wasn't my fault,” I said.
“To hell it wasn't,” she snapped, “You always do this. You're so selfish. God, you never think about anyone but yourself. That was supposed to be my cake topper. I'll never find anything else on such short notice.”
“You should have asked first---”
“I didn't have to ask. Mom said I could have i
Room 700 in Nine Parallel Dimensions1.Earth 2 is exactly like Earth 1 except for the Overlords. Room 700 is a wallpapered with their praises. Instead of money, you pay with your soul.Room 700 in Nine Parallel Dimensions in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
2. I've never seen a sky so empty of stars. The air smells like fire, and the wind carries thick clouds of ash into the city. Room 700 is still occupied, but as a tomb.
3. I sleep with the windows open this night. The city hums with music so sweet it will never leave me. Instead of mints, the maids leave sheet music. Instead of complimentary breakfast, I receive complimentary serenades. It would be paradise if not for the virulent, telepathic parasites.
4. Everything is black and white and gray. I'm an anomaly in a world devoid of color. Room 700 is steel and glass. I am a monster in a luxury cage. I cannot stay.
5. Like Earth 2, Earth 6 is a study in faithful devotion. Pictures of an unfamiliar god decorate every inch of wall space. Religious sermons play on the PA, never ceasing. Believe and obey. Believe and obey.
6. Finally a world full
CupboardingMagnolia and Bertie were sitting side by side in bed, reading.Cupboarding in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Magnolia put down her Georgette Heyer and turned to her husband. “Do you think the romance has gone out of our marriage?”
“Hmm..?” said Bertie, flicking through his copy of Aeroplane Weekly.
“We never seem to do anything together any more,” said Magnolia. She put her book away on her bedside table. “Why don’t we go out for a meal on Saturday? That new Chinese restaurant seems promising. We could have sweet and sour chicken or some nice stir-fried pork.”
She looked into the middle- distance. “Oh, I can just smell it…” She paused. “Hang on, I can smell it.”
She put her hand on her husband’s arm and he looked up at her. “Do you smell that?” she asked. “Someone cooking?”
“Don’t be daft,” said Bertie, going back to his reading.
“It seems to be coming from…” Magnolia g
CursedWhen I was five I told my teacher that my mother magically appeared whenever I was doing something wrong.Cursed in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Miss Jones laughed. “All mothers do that, Jill.”
So it wasn’t until I was about thirteen that I realised that my mother was unusual in this respect. Picking my nose, yelling at a friend, trying to copy someone else’s homework—no matter how far apart we were, if I did something bad my mother would abruptly appear at my side glaring at me.
And she still does.
Mum doesn’t talk that much about my curse. I only know that it came from my father. Well, he was Mum’s husband—he wasn’t actually my father. Hence the curse, I suppose. I’ve never met him but he’s some kind of natural magician. Very rare.
The situation felt bearable as a child. I didn’t know any different and I was reassured by it, to be honest. But as a teenager going through a rebellious phase… Smoking, bit of graffiti, kissing boys. And more. My mot
Sense MemoryI developed taste.Sense Memory in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
We lost touch.
Flower PowerPink roses, white lilies, lilac freesias and cream stocks.Flower Power in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Now, how would you describe this beautiful bunch of flowers? Yes—how about you?
A ‘stunning bouquet’. Yes, that’s absolutely right—well remembered! When thrown directly at the head, this kind of bouquet can stun an attacker for up to 30 seconds.
I shall demonstrate a few throwing techniques for you.
You can throw… underarm!
Or, if it’s possible for you to turn your back on your assailant, there is always… ‘The Bride’!
Oh. Oops. Is he… OK? Is he breathing? Oh, lovely. Just pop him into the recovery position then and we’ll crack on.
Next we have the glancing-blow posies. These are used simply to distract the assailant so that someone more heavily armed has time to get into position—maybe with a stunning bouquet, or perhaps even a wreath. But wreaths are only used in extreme circumstances. They don’t call them funeral flow
I've Really Lost My MindThe young man smiled, with just a touch of embarrassment. “I seem to have lost my mind.”I've Really Lost My Mind in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The female attendant looked at him. “This is a railway ticket office.”
“You want the lost property section over there.” She pointed at a counter where a severe-looking man was rearranging misplaced umbrellas.
“Thank you!” The young man nodded politely and headed across to the other section.
The lost property attendant looked up as the young man approached. “Is it an umbrella you want?” He indicated the display.
The young man appeared to be tempted for a moment by a purple one decorated with cats and dogs, but then apparently remembered why he was there.
“No,” he said. “I’ve lost my mind. I’m pretty sure here was the last time I used it—I was trying to work out what would be the cheapest ticket to Inverness on a weekday in June, outside peak hours, travelling with my back to the engin
Musical ChairsThree women.Musical Chairs in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Fan FicJohn punched Sherlock.Fan Fic in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Sherlock detected animosity.
Giving the Bride AwayThird Person PluralGiving the Bride Away in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Father: Teenagers are too immature to know what’s best for them.
Third Person Neuter
Mother: This country just doesn’t have the same standard of morals.
Third Person Masculine
Father: He’s the perfect choice for her.
Third Person Feminine
Mother: She’s not too young. It’s normal to be nervous.
Father & Mother: You should be excited on your wedding day.
Bride: This isn’t what I want.
Punctuation“I thought full stop didn’t feel like going because of her period,” whispered hyphen.Punctuation in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Oh, no,” said semicolon, “that’s not full stop; that’s dot, one of the ellipsis sisters.”
Well, considered hyphen as he prepared to dash off, it had been a confusing story but now it seemed he’d be able to join the dots...
CarP arkAlice had been searching for a parking space for three-quarters of an hour. Damn the company sending her on this presentation when Palanchester was in the middle of a Morris men convention. Every car park was full and every street was lined with cars. Flaming Morris dancers. If she had to see one more waving hanky… And she’d nearly mown down a group earlier because they’d been too occupied banging their sticks together.CarP ark in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She’d reached the outskirts of the town now, and was following the road by the river. So that was it. There wasn’t a single parking space left in Palanchester apparently. Alice was just considering driving back out to the nearest station and getting the train back in when she saw it. A large boat on the river. It had a little wheelhouse and a huge deck and—miracle of miracles—a sign painted on it saying “CAR PARK”. What an enterprising idea, she thought—floating parking spaces. The businesswoman in Alice hearti
The Fifth Horseman“I'm not saying they're not killing each other,” I explain. “I can see from the figures in front of me that they're killing each other. What I'm saying is that unless you can broaden your demographic, we're never going to meet our targets for this quarter. This is supposed to be a world war, Belgium and the Netherlands isn't going to cut it.”The Fifth Horseman in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
War squawks at me down the phone. It's hard to hear him over all the screaming in the background, but frankly I'm not interested in his excuses, I need to see results.
“What do I expect you to do? Do your job! Think outside the box! Look, Famine is in Europe right now, why don't you ask him for some help? I see the potential for synergy there. No, I'm aware you don't do 'asking for help'. I'm also aware of your performance over the past century, and I'm noticing some startling correlation between- hello? Hello?”
I slam the handset back into its cradle, which is a lot harder than it sounds when done from the back
Pre-inventing the WheelLon was an I.T support worker. He was also a caveman, so perhaps it would be more accurate to call it lowercase ‘t’ support.Pre-inventing the Wheel in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Me rock no right way up,” said Gurp.
Lon looked at Gurp’s rock with an expert eye. “Gurp try drop it pick it back up again?”
Gurp dropped the rock. Then he picked it back up. It was still upside-down.
“Hmn,” said Lon, mulling the problem over. “Try throw it at wall.”
The rock clattered off the wall and landed on the ground the right way up and only slightly chipped.
“Gurp thank Lon,” said Gurp as he resumed aimlessly hitting bits of cave with his rock.
Lon strolled out into the sunshine chewing cloves. Some of his fellow proto-humans were sat a little way down the hill trying to make fire. One in particular seemed to be having trouble.
Krog was waving a single stick in the air furiously, a somewhat perplexed expression on his simian face. “Fire no work,” he complained.
Andrew SarchusAndrew Sarchus stood in the old woman's blood, struggling to keep his dark side in check. Grandma was dead. A normal wolf would eat her before her body started to cool, or another wolf arrived to compete for the carcass. Andrew was different. He couldn't help but wonder how he would look in her frock.Andrew Sarchus in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Giving in to his compulsion, he donned the flowing floral dress and twirled in front of the mirror. He felt more like himself than he'd ever felt before. Suddenly there was a knock at the door, and the feeling disappeared. Panicking, the wolf shoved Grandma's body into the closet and jumped into her bed.
A girl opened the front door and ventured into the cottage. “Grandma?” she called.
“I'm in bed,” said Andrew. “I'm afraid I'm a little under the weather.”
“Oh, there you are. Mother sent me to bring you some cake. My, what a deep voice you have. You must be ill.”
The wolf coughed nervously, covering his snout with a paw.
“And what gian
BirdwatchingThe rain floated down in curtains, swept on the breeze like sheets of spider web. Tiny drops of water tapped softly on the leaves, collecting in rivulets and trickling down the trees of Finwold Edge. Overhead, dark clouds could be seen getting darker through the gaps between the branches. Neil didn't mind the weather.Birdwatching in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He didn't sniff as the rain dripped from the end of his nose.
He didn't shiver as the cold water soaked him to the bone.
Neil was a swamp monster, and he was bird watching.
His foliage rustled in the wind, but the rest of him remained still, wooden. A tiny wren hopped happily up to him, completely unafraid. Neil wasn't dangerous; he wasn't human. Neil was vegetation. He was the soil and the leaves. He was Finwold Edge itself.
Slowly, carefully, and very deliberately, Neil cupped his mossy hands beneath the wren and scooped it up, holding it up to his face. It pecked him affectionately.
The swamp monster knew every creature in the Edge, from the largest boar to the smalles
HandwritingIt was a curse, really, but he thanked the stars that he lived in an age of word processors. He shuddered to think of the effect his condition would have had on his career if he'd had to write job applications by hand. Even so, sometimes it was too much to bear. He'd written a love letter once, to his high school girlfriend. She'd dumped him immediately afterwards.Handwriting in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He'd tried different pencils. He'd tried changing his grip. He'd tried switching hands. He'd tried therapy, for fuck's sake.
It didn't matter what he did. Everything always came out in comic sans.
AilurosThe house stands between two rivers, with a small grove of trees growing on one side of the island. In retrospect I can’t remember the exact string of decisions that led me to buy it. It’s just always been the place I was supposed to be. But money aside, it doesn’t belong to me, not really. It belongs to her.Ailuros in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The day I moved in there was a little white cat in the living room. There were no open windows, no doors left ajar. She was a mystery. She rubbed up against my ankles in the way that cats will, and retreated to perch on the mantelpiece and watch us haul in the furniture. At some point she disappeared. At the time I assumed she used the front door, but I’m not so certain now.
The next time I saw her was two nights later. Reading by lamplight, I was startled by a slinking shadow, only to wheel around and find her on the back of the chair. She shot me a condescending look and calmly padded across, leaping to a half-laden shelf and curling up. It didn’t t
Flowers and RainA city full of flowers. A city full of rain.Flowers and Rain in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I watch over it through the gap in the crumbling brickwork. There's a little girl wandering in the street below. God knows how she got there. I can't see properly through the scope of my rifle, but it looks like she's crying.
When I see her face I remember something I haven't remembered for years. I was her age when the evacuations happened. At least they started as evacuations. The word implies that everyone was following a plan, but it was just mass panic within a few hours. Still, we call those days the evacuations, because that was the word they gave us. That's the word my parents used.
I remember I held my mother's hand all the way through the crowds. I remember the way I slipped out of her grasp on a bridge full of violent people. I remember being jostled and crushed by the rabble as I searched for them. I remember the taste of my tears.
I brush my hair away from my eyes and watch her through my sights as she picks her way up the road.
Choose 3: Adventures in Flash Fiction1-Choose 3: Adventures in Flash Fiction in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
You wake to find yourself in a strange mansion. Oppressively gloomy, the room exhibits an oddly familiar and yet vaguely sinister atmosphere. You look through the window, but the outside world looks all distortified and weird. There are some tiny black footprints on the wall. By the hearth is a dark mat of some sort. A wolf skin rug. “Damon wakesss,” it hisses. How did the rug know your name?
Follow the footprints (Go to 2)
Talk to the rug (Go to 3)
There's a small black salamander hiding behind the curtains. It's an inkling. With some effort you manage to catch it.
Key item 'Inkling' has been added to your futility belt.
The inkling is literally dripping words. It has written 'rose' on the wall with its tail. You think this might be important.
Look for a rose (Go to 5)
Talk to the rug (Go to 3)
The rug's snarling wolf head is looking directly at you. Although its teeth are constantly bared, it seems able to talk without much difficulty.
“Well well well,
Dirk Strauss and the vague fortune cookieDirk cracked open his ORB-issued fortune cookie. The company had gone by many names over the years but this month they were the Occult Regulation Bureau, because it spelled something cool and mystical. In any case, apparently the initialism for Federal Bureau of the Incomprehensible had already been taken by another unrelated organisation.Dirk Strauss and the vague fortune cookie in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Unfurling the scroll from within the cookie, Dirk prepared himself to receive the wisdom inscribed upon it.
Maintain a cool head, but cultivate a warm heart, said the fortune. Your lucky number is 31.
The Psychic department had recently been replaced by cookies for budgetary reasons. This intel was far from ideal.
Dirk took a flaming torch from a sconce on the wall and ventured into the crypt. He had no idea what he was walking into, but that was fine because Dirk was incredibly competent; so much so that it regularly strained credulity.
The stone steps were worn with age, but not use. This place was ancient, but it wasn't exactly well
PiHe's a seer. A magus, practised in arcane rites the runic grimoire, 'forbidden numbers' imprisons. All of the chthonic gods shriek in terror that the hex circulus may be invoked.Pi in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Abhorrent beast Pi, cackling, croaking, rise. A brilliant madness, a divine infection; the ur-decimal, gathering our howling souls.
A world consumed in reverence, mankind dies murmuring each vile digit.
ApocalypseContrary to popular misconception, the end of the world is not global warming, a nuclear fallout, or a mechanical uprising. Zombies do not erupt from their graves, aliens do not suddenly decide to invade. There are no horsemen, vengeful Gods or wayward comets. Lightning does not smote the wicked and angels do not lead the worthy to peace. The end of the world is not a mass disaster; there is no exploding sun, tidal wave or earthquake. Instead, it is those quiet moments happening all over the world, every day.Apocalypse in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Resting my hand on the gentle curve of my belly, I croon sweet nothings to my baby. I have decided that "it" is a "she", though the ultrasound confirmation is still several weeks away. Still, I have heard her heartbeat, and I am looking forward to hearing it again later today. I sit like this for an hour or so, soaking the sunlight into my skin and communing with the life growing inside me. I am lulled by the sound of traffic in the street, but the unmistakable drone of my hus
EternityDown by the lake, a child stands overlooking the water. Her dark hair is damp from a drizzle of rain not long passed, and her shoulders are lightly hunched beneath a pink jacket. Her small hands cup something tenderly as she seats herself on the grassy knoll by the water's edge. Once settled, she carefully tips the object into her lap, creating a bowl with her dress.Eternity in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Her hands dip quickly into pockets and pull out items that she lays beside her with reverence: a crumpled sheet of paper, a pen, and a lighter. She ignores the pen and lighter for now, smoothing the paper and folding it attentively. Spiders drop from the trees above and she periodically swats them without giving it much thought.
When she is finished, she holds up a paper boat and examines it. Satisfied, she uses the pen to mark it with what she feels is an appropriate name, leaning sideways to avoid spilling the object from her dress. She holds the boat up again and nods in solemn satisfaction, slipping the pen back into h
ParallelIt's 2014 and you've spent the better part of the last four years dealing with a diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder. Your head is more full of noise than ever, and your skin still feels like it's the wrong size far too often, but life is slowly starting to improve as recovery begins to take shape within you.Parallel in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
You are touching the mirror, nose to the glass and examining your face in minute detail when it happens. The floor shudders beneath you, your forehead hits the reflective material and a crack forms. Something in you likens the crack in the mirror to the crack of your fractured personalities, and then there is nothing.
The silence wakes you, and you take stock. All your limbs are there, and except for a bump on your head, you seem unharmed. Whole. The word seems to want to connect to something, but you're still a little muzzy. Pieces of the puzzle gradually come back to you - the mirror, the ground shaking beneath your feet. The mirror.
You try to see how the glass fare
BabydollPropping my daughter against the towel on my shoulder, I rhythmically pat her back. Nevaeh's just had her second bottle of the day, and try as I might, I still can't get her to burp. Today is no different, and in the end I give up, wipe her small round mouth, and pop her in the bouncer for a while. It's the electric kind, with a soft lullaby and swinging motion, so I know she'll be entertained while I get on with the mountain of washing that needs to be folded.Babydoll in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
You wouldn't think just two people could make so much washing, but ever since her dad had left me, it seemed like the washing pile had grown larger instead of smaller. Despite the lullaby, I make conversation with her as I fold - it seems to me that it's the best way to develop her speech, for her to hear it. She's such a good, quiet baby, I often wonder how long until she starts making more noise.
By the time I've reduced "mount fold-me" to a mere foothill, she's asleep, so I leave her in the bouncer and dash out to check the m
Those Heady Days of SummerThrough June, Frank Stein's cloak hid a grotesquely disfigured body. If one didn't know better, one might even think the shape resembled that of a spare head, but of course that would be freaking ridiculous. Nobody approached the derelict building, and Frank, frequently caught in bizarre situations, gradually deteriorated. He threw fruit. The villages watched from a respectable distance, forming opinions: their eyes wide and their mouths whispering rumours.Those Heady Days of Summer in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Frank Stein was well-known for being unique. He kept to himself, talking only to his butler - a man with a penchant for dried figs, and a predisposition to solitude. He threw fruit. He could frequently be heard muttering to himself. When the butler disappeared, the villages assumed he had fled. Nobody fretted, and life went on. Frank took to wearing a cloak that made him resemble a double hunchback.
Under the burning of the August sun, Frank Stein laboured. His thick cloak left him sweating, but the grotesque sight beneath would hav
I, ResurrectedYou make a point of turning your back on him as you dig. Albert moans lightly, but, except for increasing the ferocity of your digging, you don't respond. There's no going back now. You've returned your library books, the shopping's done, and all that's left is to bury Albert and you'll be back on top of things.I, Resurrected in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The trouble is, Albert really doesn't seem to want to stay buried. This is, after all, the sixth attempt so far, and he just keeps turning back up and knocking on the door. It's getting ridiculous, to be honest. The yard is riddled with makeshift graves, and the stake you tried to send through his heart is discarded by the last one. His heart, impossibly enough, is still attached.
Albert moans again and when you look up, you see the dog licking his mouth. "Mr Tickles," you admonish, "come away from him!" The dog whines up at you. "Oh, come here, you stupid mutt." You pat him twice and send him home to the lady next door. He's probably been responsible for several of Albert's gr
ptsd (otherwise known as you)i. you.ptsd (otherwise known as you) in Free Verse More Like This
ii. the world bears down,
into my path and raining
ash like platitudes.
(none are as heavy as
this solid mass growing
beneath my gums
and setting my mouth alight:
an ulcer birthed in history.)
i begged Eirene
to no avail.
i still have faith:
the impurities that bind themselves
to my throat, and carve sorrow
into bones that were never hollow
cannot outlive love.
iv. today not even the Gods
can reduce the stain of you
i will breathe again.
Fresh HellShe missed the first sign that something wasn't right, and the second flashed past so quickly she mistook it for a misunderstanding. By the third sign it was getting a little more obvious, but still not enough to spark her curiosity.Fresh Hell in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The fourth sign, the one that should really have made her realise she wasn't alone, was the lovely scent of vanilla. She'd set her air freshener in the kitchen deliberately - it was one of those "spray when someone enters the room" types, and she'd left it focused on the door. She, meanwhile, was in the bedroom when the scent wafted around her. She put it down to lingering scent from an earlier spray.
The fifth sign occured late at night. She slept through it.
And so it continued, sign after sign of another presence in her house being ignored, misconstrued or simply unnoticed. She remained blissfully unaware and he, for his part, made good use of her ignorance. He had come from rags to riches, Hell to Heaven, and he was determined to make the most of it.
My Knee Hurts and I Hate David BowieThey're at it again.My Knee Hurts and I Hate David Bowie in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I've grabbed the broom and smacked the handle against the ceiling, but the neighbours upstairs take no notice. I think about calling the police, but I hate doing that without at least talking to them. Everybody deserves that chance, I think. Still, the prospect of standing outside their door and talking to them isn't one that sits comfortably. When I think I'm going to explode if I have to listen to another second, I give in.
I power up the stairs like nobody's business, and pound on their door. I'd knock like a normal person, but if they can't hear the broom hitting their floor, they won't hear a knock, either. Finally, after what feels like an eternity, the door opens and sound washes over me in a wave that's all but solid.
The figure in the doorway looks like a reject from an 80's concert. He's got a blinkin' mullet, and he sparkles... but he's got nothin' on the fella behind him. Bloody queer's wearing a dress, and more makeup than an entire row of beaut
The Bone ClocksWhenever my mother would announce a trip to Grandma's, my brothers and I would cheer like mad things. Most kids our age hated visiting their elderly relatives, and we weren't that different -- but it wasn't Grandma we cheered for. It was her house, with its winding staircases and trick cupboards, that we really cared for. Many hours were spent discovering forgotten treasures, hunting for Narnia, or just playing hide and seek in the most interesting house we'd ever seen.The Bone Clocks in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
My mother would always expect us to sit nicely through the boring adult conversation, but Grandma didn't mind us exploring. There was only one exception - just one room we weren't ever allowed into. "Stay away from the bone clocks," she would say, cautioning us with her sternest voice and her pointer finger raised. We were curious, but the house offered many distractions, and we never failed to obey, until the year we discovered the secret passage.
If it had led anywhere else, it would have been fine, but of course it l
Remembrance.I rememberRemembrance. in Free Verse More Like This
the coarse feel
of the tepid sand
beneath our feet
as we stumbled over them:
beside a stale creek,
for a night
and if only
at the bottom
of a bottle
your blissful face
your chaotic hair
just as the sun came up
over our bodies
our skin still drunk
off the touch
of each other's
My cheeks remember your lashes
how they fluttered
as our kisses deepened;
the subtle sweet of love.
And it's a good ache,
And I press it
like a bruise,
And I listen
to those blues
as they spread out
under my skin.
Adolescence.We became cold-eyed and questioning things,Adolescence. in Free Verse More Like This
Religiously reading their careful lips
To sink the deceptive ships they steer,
The sails swollen with mindful lies.
And it was ecstasy for us,
The bleakest nightmare for them,
To see the act of becoming
In a younger thing,
Because the question of death is enough
To melt them down to size,
Return them to their days with wider eyes,
Because there is no first adult day,
But a first dance in a decades-long masquerade,
That ends with sweat
Racing down the corset
Of a child russet-cheeked from red wine.
Who lays down still spinning
And glad for the moon
To be keeping the dark things at bay,
For death is the monster
We know not how to fear
Until the moment we become "gone."
Jealousy.I fear not hellJealousy. in Free Verse More Like This
For it is here
Pent up in a chest
Cold as dungeons.
My ribs and teeth bear gaps,
the coldest of drafts.
The curse of jealousy.
Easy.We don't need easy.Easy. in Free Verse More Like This
We will hold the impossible
between the fingers
of our joined hands;
that would reduce
kings to cold sweats,
And together now,
in the labyrinth
we have both wandered
in screaming solitude,
with a single breath
set free the leaves
on each branch
before falling exhausted
beside our shoes.
And in doing so,
cut the dead ends
and the ambiguity
and the pain
will be foreign
instead of familiar.
We will make easy.
Lost in You.How can I rest whileLost in You. in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
my heart races in your chest?
I am lost in you.
like you.I sit up at nightlike you. in Free Verse More Like This
watching the ceiling
so as not to miss
the end of the world
I carry stones in my pockets
because I'm too squeamish to cut
but I like to carry my sadness
I collect old photographs
because I like to imagine
the old worlds in their eyes
I came into the world
screaming and bloody
But inside my chest
blinks a vacancy sign
that would otherwise rest
in a dark calm.
(we only have so long to be beautiful
and I want to share it with you.)
Oblivion.We've all got a blindOblivion. in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
date with oblivion and
lateness just won't do.
Fireworks.So many diamondsFireworks. in Free Verse More Like This
lamentations of warfare;
with radiance wed.
A night alight with war stories,
light seized from
of the weary
already so far removed
from their glory days,
in the napes of pale necks
and in rouge lip stain
on shirt collars.
oh-so ignorant no-names
lawless and unapologetic,
for an ideology.
Chemical confections called
to illuminate a
pitch black parking lot.
to untimely deaths,
in their absence,
Because.Because I'm all out of answersBecause. in Free Verse More Like This
and I can't turn off the lights.
Because the memories burn
brighter against the dark,
like our Sunday's best,
the sleeves ripped to expose
where we sow our sins,
and pure white as the tissues
that I fill with sorrows
when my poetry overflows.
Because my train of thought has crashed
a fault line in my consciousness
and it shakes me out of sleep
and into thoughts of you.