:: Flash Fiction archive ( 2000-2005, click for articles pre-2006)

Before the Storm published 19/03/2013

I met her in a cocktail bar, but she wasn’t working as a waitress. She was getting drunk like me at the counter, blabbing away to strangers, some of whom were queuing to order. We swooned this way and that, as if on the deck of a storm-swept ship; then she yelled in my ear. She stank of perfume and gin; and later, in her room, I wondered whether she’d splashed on the latter and drunk the former.

By Alex Sheal.

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Making the Bed published 14/03/2013

“For some reason I’ve started making the bed.” Luc said stroking the little, grey bristles poking out from his cheeks.
“I don’t know what it is. I’ve never made the bed before. I always thought it was a waste of time, and then suddenly, I can’t stand to see my bed unmade.”
“What are you talking about?” asked Marcel before taking the final sip of his coffee.
“Making the bed in morning. I never used to do it. Now I can’t help myself.”
“So what?” said Marcel rubbing his hands on his cream coloured corduroys.
“So nothing, I just thought it was interesting. When Marigelle was alive she couldn’t stand to see the bed unmade and I never did it. Not once in all the years we lived together.”
They both chuckled.

By Nathan Loceff.

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Three 21st Century Koans published 18/02/2013

‘Sweet choice,’ he applauds as she steps out the store.
‘Chairs,’ she says, and smiles. Lips glossy beneath the glossy visage of himself upon each of her eyes. ‘Which are you thinking of?’
‘You don’t like the look of these?’ He teases, as she stares up at the twin visage of herself upon each of his eyes.
‘Sure I do.’
And they went to the movies together.
And they never took off their shades.

By Jeeshan Gazi.

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Love & Bottle published 14/02/2013

Pass the bottle old girl.
Mine, all mine.
Come on, give us a slug, woman, I’m spitting up fur balls.
I was here first.
Share and share alike, why don’t ya?
No, it’s all mine, loser.
Who’s you calling loser?
You, you fuck beard.
What if I say please?
You’d be a fucking loser who says please.

By Alan McCormick & Jonny Voss.

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Fag-Ash-Man published 07/02/2013

She cups his lung and he squeezes out a breath, dragging, scraping, draining a way through and out. He coughs. Grey clouds. Yellow moon. Sulphur pools. The rooster carries his collarbone to hang in the sky. He inhales his last, bonfire, crackle and spit. An ashtray collects the ash. His smoke circles, his grey lips smile, and he’s ready to take his first step.

By Alan McCormick & Jonny Voss.

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KAFKA Cosmetic onabotulinumtoxinFranz For Facial Rejuvenation published 04/02/2013

At a certain point, turning back becomes impossible. As nervous and forlorn as a child in the woods, your glory has greatly declined in recent years. The wicked and accursed bug of criticism bites down on your moderate to severe frown lines and nasolabial folds. At this moment, between the ages of 18 and 65, you must be conserving your strength to act – but doubts have invaded your waking moments and anxious dreams in a great tide of unrest. Unfortunately, there is little comfort to be had as you direct your gaze to the mirror.

By Louise Phillips.

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Perfect Crime published 08/01/2013

Some solutions to his little problem were only available to those with the fortitude and determination of the completely insane, like the eleven-centimetre nail which one man succeeded in driving into his brain with a mallet, or the woman patient who had simply forced her head into a washbasin, breathed deeply, and drowned. One of the points made in the book was that in some ways suicide could be seen as the perfect crime; an unlawful act which requires courage and ingenuity. The idea appealed to him and he contemplated his own death with this in mind, no longer content to just pick one out of the book, intent now on something original, effective and painless, something to be remembered by.

An exclusive extract from Simon Crump‘s My Elvis Blackout.

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Drinkers (Overheard & Misheard) published 31/12/2012

The thing is I try and keep a mental count of how much I’m drinking.

And it’s only when you lose count that you get in trouble?

You know what I mean.

It’s just mathematics.

Trouble is I was never any good at maths.

By Alan McCormick & Jonny Voss

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The Bad News First published 27/12/2012

This is no waiting room, no trauma unit, no place here for your piebald squatting and lipsticked obscenities. We know where to start with these steel cutting things. Josephine Scudder’s name lighting up the place in bloody, transient scrawl – the strings of her anatomy. Her cues to move and yours to leave. She is stealing chunks of chandelier from DIY store departments still in her slip and slippers going the long way round stalling at the lights and running faster in the rain. You’d find that gall rare these days.

By Julie Reverb.

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Christmas spirit (by the River Lea) published 24/12/2012

It’s Christmas Eve and down at the anchor of hope down by the river Lea, Leonard the hopeless disabled Santa is on his seventh Pride. Melancholic Mike whose eyebrows dance for a local ska three-piece offers some advice: ‘There ain’t no Christmas spirit no more, Santa, it’s about advertising, capitalism and exploitation. Kids these days would fall behind Pol Pot and mow you down without a blink for the sight of a Moshi Monster.’ Tiny Hat Pete chuckles and says the best Christmas spirit is found in a full Tequila bottle.

By Alan McCormick & Jonny Voss.

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