From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction

Emily and the What-if Imp

Emily was nine years old when she met the what-if imp. She was rereading her favorite book when the thing she loved turned sour. Something had its hooks in her mind. It worried her like a dog’s teeth as she sat motionless on her bed. “What if you ran away?” the what-if imp asked. “What if you ran away from home, like the girl in the book?”

Flash Fiction

Breath of the Dragon King

There were three tragedies in Drea King’s life, all of which occurred before it even began. The first was that her parents, like many other parents, tried to birth her in the year of the dragon. Not only was the dragon the most powerful persona, but it was the year 1988, and 8 was a lucky number, so everybody knew the Dragons of ’88 would be special.

Flash Fiction

Lost Portals

In a furniture showroom in Stockholm stood a large wardrobe called a Kleppstad. It was made out of cheap particle board and wooden pegs. If the shelves were removed and a person scrunched inside, the back panel would disappear and a passage would open into the shuddering woods of Myrkvior, where the highland trolls dwell. But a forklift backed into the wardrobe and it was taken to a dumpster.

Flash Fiction

Sounds for Crustaceans

“I’m a crustacean.”

Disbelief meets my gaze, then moves away. Jewel looks to the shells that decorate my room, the aquariums, the marked-down netting draped over my window. She looks to anything to save her the embarrassment of meeting my eyes, or the trouble of telling me I’m just a person, like her, like anyone. When she finally meets them, it is with resignation, and I know I’m being humored.

Flash Fiction

My List of Bedtime Bogeyman Blues

1. I’m a grown woman. I do not believe in the bogeyman. 2. Okay, I believe in the bogeyman, but he is confined to nightmares. 3. The bogeyman is not allowed in my closet where I keep my sexy lingerie and aphrodisiac mothballs. Nor under my bed, nor in the real world.

Flash Fiction

Shapeshifter

At the Last Black Unicorn, no one is too much to too little; everyone is enough. Period.

I’ve had golden wings that glittered, making me a jewel of the sky as I glided through the air. Swam in pink and purple oceans on a nameless planet. Traversed the cosmos to witness the birth of a star. And yet none of that compares to the ecstasy I feel being loved by a Black woman.

Flash Fiction

There Will Be a Question and Answer Period After Your Inevitable Demise

We hope the manner of your death has been pleasing to you. You’re confused, perhaps. Uncomfortable? This period of adjustment is necessary—optimal—for your full post-life experience. Contrary to your expectations, there are no angels here, no mead hall with feasting warriors.

Flash Fiction

To My (Final) Girl

You wanted to buy the house. Could you at least admit that? You looked at the dark wooden floors and the bay windows, and you said, “This is the one.” You didn’t mind at all that our neighbors refused to approach the property, would only wave from across the street as they jogged by. It didn’t even slow you down when our agent got around to disclosing what had happened in the house before we lived there. That has nothing to do with us, you said.

Flash Fiction

The Port of Le Havre, Night Effect, 1873

Mermaid stories and selkie stories, mother Eve stories, they always start the same way: with curious girls who want to know. So they leave their homes and lose themselves, but only for a time. Mermaid stories and selkie stories, mother Eve stories, they always end the same way: heads bowed, hearts heavy, they go back. They go home.

Flash Fiction

Dos Coyotes

Three more big swallows should keep the beast inside. Lupita sat against the wall, on the kitchen floor littered with broken glass, panting from the pain, clutching the canteen in one hand, the bottle cap in the other. Her body screamed for her to stop drinking the liquid fire that would keep her human for another day.