From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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Flash Fiction

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.

Flash Fiction

Disenchantment

A girl is born with a hole in her heart. Her parents cannot touch her for weeks; instead, they whisper in immigrant languages over the rune-inscribed plastic tube in which she sleeps: terrified, for the first time, of death. She is so tiny—fists small as a doll’s, fingers the clenched sepals of some infinitesimal flower—and as they watch the tufts of her hair, her mouth opened in a cry no one can hear, a love swells in them so fierce and pure it hardly fits their skin.

Flash Fiction

Like Birdsong, the Memory of Your Touch

When I was a little girl, I’d experience premonitions, like the time I sensed that Mrs. Weatherby should stay home and not take her usual walk around the neighborhood, but of course she did anyway, because who listens to a six-year-old? and got caught in the grill of a self-driving car, which were everywhere in those days, like the kudzu climbing up every tree, swallowing abandoned houses like the old Ripken place, where I’d sit for hours, where there was no sound but birdsong (so much birdsong then, and I didn’t know to treasure it) and in that decaying house the vines were invading so fast I believed I could hear them grow, which was ridiculous, since back then nothing grew that fast.

Flash Fiction

So. Fucking. Metal.

Baron Samedi pounds the drums and the whole floor shakes. That’s his thing, earthquakes. I heard the Skull Suckers played Santa Monica and the Baron literally brought the whole place down during a blistering solo of “The Devil May Ride.”