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

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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Three dogs published 17/08/2012

Later, the boy seals the sorry gap between door and floor with a towel, and covers the windows of his five-star Japanese hotel room with the tinfoil he had packed amongst unsorted socks and childish white vests.

At home, his mother will push pastry with her fingertips, pricking it occasionally for the sake of tradition. She will drive all over town searching for white eggs (they take the Easter dye better than the brown ones). She will call him daily and slowly her eyes will turn into shiny red spheres.

By Mira Mattar.

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Half Lights published 21/06/2012

emreapyI know he’ll have the dirty mouth on him. Between the singing and the slurring. He’ll be stooped over trying to take his t-shirt off. Fall off the edge of the bed trying to get the legs out of his jeans. I can pretend to sleep. Do the snore noises from the movies. But he’ll wake me. Shake my shoulders and call my name. Harder and harder until my eyes open. He’ll push me over. Drool on my neck and chest. Climb on. By the time I’ll get into it he’ll be limp. In the morning, he’ll have a headache and I’ll blast open the curtains and leave the door open. Bang the pots onto the hob. Stir the porridge by tapping the spoon off the metal in a frantic beat. Morning talk radio will fill the kitchen with all the auld ones complaining. Overcharged. Frustrated. Not taking it anymore.

By E.M. Reapy.

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Bovver published 12/06/2012

photo-on-2012-06-12-at-2141_thumb‘Think of it as initiation into the rough and tumble of army life you posers,’ Bovver had instructed the wimpering rich kids. Bovver knew that it wasn’t worth pitying these types; within months they’d be in positions of high rank in civvy street making life hell for the working classes. The crap they handed out indirectly was always far crueller and nastier than anything he could deal. Because their violence and cruelty remained indirect and thus invisible they also got to keep to the visible moral high ground. It made Bovver sick to understand how all this worked, but that’s the way things were for Bovver. He knew what he knew, and it all stank like a thirty year old unwashed arse hole.

By 99%

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Viewing published 19/05/2012

gilesrufferShould they go up to the bedroom, he asked. He let her walk in front of him again and on the stairs she noticed paintings on the wall. She tried to look at them, a blur of greens and blues and undefined lines. She thought about the middle-aged man’s life outside of this moment in time, how she didn’t want to know any of it. The bedroom had a single bed, a dresser, a window that looked out onto a garden and some shelves. She had placed her beer on the dresser and turned, realising that the middle-aged man was closer than she had expected. At this distance, she could clearly see the skin between his eyelids and eyebrows drooped down like his developing jowls, making his eyes look half-shut.

By Giles Ruffer.

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Roman Road published 21/03/2012

celiaforbesWe moved into the house next to the fire station on the fifth of November and all night the sirens raged. Our ritual began that first night. As I lay in bed reading Lydia Davis, you put your head around the door. “Can I sleep in here tonight?” “OK,” I said and turned over to face the wall. You deposited your loose change on the broken chair next to the bed and climbed in fully clothed. Our transaction continued in this way, a few loose coppers in exchange for sleeping next to me. No kisses, no sex, no affection, just uneasy sleep.

By Celia Forbes.

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Lone Ranger Ain’t No Stranger published 08/03/2012

loneranger2Mescaline, mescaline, that’s my tipple of toxin.

Bit pretentious, mine’s an Amaretto on the rocks.

A book will give you all you need simpers the tiny reader on the aperitif woman’s head.

Bite hard on a porcupine, crumple it up and squeeeze out its poison onto your lips booms the Lion.

I like a concertina when it sings, steams the anvil man behind his mask of glass.

By Alan McCormick & Jonny Voss.

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Between Saint Roch and Music: three flash fictions published 06/03/2012

utahnatag21“Mother! Mother! Mother!” The lead singer shouted it over and over again. I was glad I had always called mine Mama, and that my little boy did the same with me.

The guitar screamed, the singer/player’s fretting hand shooting up and down like it was turbo powered and chicken fat greased. The bass player had the bass face, mostly, keeping a line on digging. The drummer kept his eyes closed and sticks flying. All that sound, it was hard to believe it was really only three people.

There was no definite anger in the Mother mantra. It was difficult to figure. Could have been homage, could have been fear, or rage, or respect. Could have been anything. At the end, the singer fell to his knees, went prostrate, forehead on floor. That, for me at least, clarified.

By Utahna Faith.

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