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

Redemption published 07/12/2012

The Kombi bus came to a stop by the side of the motorway, and its passengers disembarked. Titi pried her raffia bag from the cubby where it had been cramped under the seat, and dusted off her dress. “CMS Lagos Island CMS Lagos Island last chance last chance!” The conductor banged the top of the bus, and it sped off in search of its next crop of passengers. It was almost seven in the evening, yet the sun hovered over the city like a school child, cross-armed and unwilling to go to bed. The man who had been sitting next to Titi on the bus cleared his throat, spat, and set off in the direction indicated by the signs directly across from her. She watched his spit bubbles drain off in the shallow gutter by her feet, as a hawker peeled off green plantains and threw them on to roast, discarding their skins on the ground. It was Titi’s first time at the camp.

By Frances Uku.

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Tennessee Stop published 28/11/2012

Astral had missed the name of the city, or the town. One run-down area of the country had bled into another. Was she in the South yet? Plants here wanted to grow through concrete, cracked it apart with their pale fingers. The sun too had split the earth to help draw the flimsy weeds up tall. Glass shone painfully bright in the windows of the bus station. This is not the end of the world, this is a temporary extension of the end.

By Helen McClory.

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In Great Leaps published 22/11/2012

We never bring back crickets. Dad says we’d make bad frogs and rolls pellets of bread between his fingers to bait our hooks. The boat is small. Dad says, jump in, bad frogs. Even bad frogs can jump. Our knees touch as we sit with our poles. We hunt crickets too big to catch. We reach for them and they leap mountains and lakes, crush houses beneath barbed feet, rafters crashing through the beds, the bath shattered, water pouring from torn pipes, rubble shaking to their giant song, touching other stars while we close our hands on air.

By Will Kaufman.

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The Ripple published 20/11/2012

One first realised there might be something to the stories leaking out of New Guinea when the rich began to shake. Biologists and activists made dire predictions, which in their search for superlatives ended up sounded to most like hyperbole. Still, an influential article around this time coined the term “spenders” to describe a growing trend by some to cash in assets and life savings and simply “live.” “Spenders” (according to the New Yorker) were characterised as, “a sort of counterculture for the wealthy, well connected and those with only money left to lose.” The crazy spender uncle became a familiar character in movies and on the business end of late night monologues.

By Frank A. Possemato.

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An Unholy Grail published 31/10/2012

Quiet now. The night is Devil black.

Sleep now. The Knight waits for attack.

They mass behind. They storm and plunder –

The giant evil birds, the filthy scalded cats,

The eternal tombstone tenants, faces racked by thunder.

A Halloween tale by Alan McCormick & Jonny Voss.

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Fame published 30/10/2012

It was just the kind of party to be seen at and Nigel Ferranti was extremely keen to be seen. His hush puppy soles gripped the expensive Swedish decking, a well-sourced surface he intended to praise to the hosts later on, whilst his tight bottom clenched and his tiny mouth pursed and puckered ready to meet and greet anyone making it his way. For an hour, his risqué Sex on the floor cocktail in hand, Nigel Ferranti waited but no partygoer strayed near.

By Alan McCormick and Jonny Voss.

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Nina published 25/10/2012

The knock on the door was persistent and sure of itself, that’s why Nina didn’t think twice before opening. A middle aged man stood before her, carrying a hoover in one hand and a briefcase in the other. She was about to say thanks, I’m not interested and shut the door in the salesman’s face but the hoover man just pushed past her and walked straight in. I like what you’ve done here, he said and pointed at the red sofa she bought just last month. She didn’t like the way he just invited himself in and she gestured toward the door in disbelief. I’d appreciate it if you would leave, I don’t need a hoover and actually I have to go, Nina found herself saying.

By Maytal Yarkoni.

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Some Notes on the Habits of Wild Garment-Sculpture published 23/10/2012

Their history is as vast as our race and as varied as fashions across the centuries. From dirt floors to marbled expanses, comprised of animal skins or rarest silks, by candlelight or disco ball, in air-conditioned private jets or meadows less than a mile from the battlefield, these primarily ground-dwelling creatures experience short happy lives of mysteriously resilient grace. Governments and architecture have changed, new vaccines kept lovers alive who wouldn’t have survived the plagues of old, our scientific explorations yielded new perfumes and fabrics, and the art has advanced in tandem with the species that it has clothed.

By Matthew Jakubowski.

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Little Squirrel published 27/09/2012

When walking back from school with her sister, the pair always stopped by the bottom of the tree. They’d saved and invested in a stopwatch too, but her sister didn’t want to confess that she hadn’t actually worked out how to use it. The tree itself was outside their flat; you could see the very tip of it from the balcony. Sometimes Sara imagined herself falling from the balcony and stopping herself in the tree, as if it would wrap its arms around her. Her father wasn’t around much and her mother wasn’t aware of her agility or ability. Or that she’d even attempted climbing it. One day there was another climber. Sara and her sister had stopped, looking back and forth at each other several times. His father, sat at the bottom of the tree on a folding chair, with a cigarette dangling from his mouth and a can of beer by the bottom of the seat.

By Gwil James Thomas.

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6 Down published 30/08/2012

A class of nautical vessel, seven letters. I could feel the waves hammering the inside of my skull and the salt spray burning my brain. I saw the silhouette of the ship stark in my mind’s eye, and winced as it ran aground on the tip of my tongue. My right hand hovered in the air, a trembling claw grasping a shuddering pen. I sat like that for some time – quivering like a rubber band stretched almost to breaking point – until a steady drone, lazy and carefree, drifted all around me. I thought, common domestic pest, three letters, and I snapped into action. I rolled up the newspaper with a single, determined movement, thinking that one squashed carcass will cover those squares as well as any seven letters could, nautical vessels be damned.

By Charlie Gilbraith.

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