From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction

Pest Control

There is a mermaid in your fields, fisherman. I saw the signs when I was coming in; its lower jaw was lying unattached, and I could see the deep groove its upper jaw had left as it dragged it along the dirt, ripping wheat out from the ground, no doubt. Here, I have its jaw for your examination. Look at it well. A fine specimen, is it not?

Flash Fiction

The Mirror Test

“The mirror test . . . is a behavioral technique developed in 1970 by American psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. . . . In the classic test, an animal is anaesthetised and then marked (e.g., painted or a sticker attached) on an area of the body the animal cannot normally see. When the animal recovers from the anaesthetic, it is given access to a mirror. If the animal then touches or investigates the mark, it is taken as an indication that the animal perceives the reflected image as itself, rather than of another animal . . . Very few species have passed the test.” – Wikipedia

Flash Fiction

What the River Remembers

I was a river, once. Fish-filled, smooth-pebbled, with currents to snare the unwary and weeds that undulated like the hair of the drowned. Boats travelled me, while birds and small creatures lived and died on my banks. I was a world.

Flash Fiction

24 Reasons You’re Dreaming About Your Ex / 24 Razones Por Las Que Sueñas Con Tú Ex

1. Because he is an espectro that only appears to you in dreams. / 2. Porque lo echas de menos. / 3. Because you’re back in the place you first met, en la cabaña cerca de Bacalar.

Flash Fiction

Shouty Lads

2 a.m. in South London, and the dark is shattered again by roars and laughing and screaming. The shouty lads again, the ones around each night, every night, apparently drunk, sound like they’re murdering each other. You get used to ignoring it, if you live in South London. Not your business.

Flash Fiction

Lessons

 I know exactly how many times I’ve tried to leave. The last time, I walked right up to the edge of the playground, as if the swings and the seesaw weren’t penning me in. Weren’t a boundary I couldn’t cross. I pushed my toe against the air, right above where the blacktop meets the meadow. I’m not sure if I imagined it: the thin film flexing and shimmering like a soap bubble against my shoe.

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.