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

The Idea of the Mouse published 21/12/2012

With another serviette I swept the mouse up into a plate and dropped it into a plastic bin behind the bar. I thought repeatedly about the desirability of a universal system of justice that applied equally to all living creatures and wondered what sort of sentence I would receive from a tribunal based therein. I had committed an act tantamount to unintentional manslaughter but knowing this did not free me from my guilt, in the same way as I had decided that it was better to put the mouse out of its misery despite having no access to the longings that comprised the mouse’s inner life or the agony it had undergone, so this hypothetical tribunal would relieve me of responsibility without having a clear idea of the private texture of the mouse’s existence. In any case I did not believe in responsibility, therefore I did not believe in the divestment of responsibility.

By Adrian West.

» Read more...

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.

» Read more...

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.

» Read more...

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.

» Read more...

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.

» Read more...

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.

» Read more...

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.

» Read more...

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.

» Read more...

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.

» Read more...

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.

» Read more...