From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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Flash Fiction

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.”

Flash Fiction

Single Origin

I met Fawn in line for the bog witch’s coffee. At first, there was a man standing between us, but after a few days of waiting, he wandered off. Most people did, but not Fawn and me. We started talking once we were beside each other, sharing the food we’d brought. I’d brought a flask of bourbon, which she hated (and still hates to this day), but she gamely worked her way through it with me.

Flash Fiction

Close Enough to Divine

Mona watched them with dark, darting eyes as they dipped and tripped over the makeshift dance floor in the stuffy basement. Their laughter sounded high and clear, silky strands of hair catching the dim light and refracting it into a million shimmering sparkles. She gripped her cup, the plastic cracking between her fingers, the piss-warm and piss-taste beer threatening to overflow. Careful, careful, she chastised herself, easing her grip, forcing herself to relax. To ignore that itchy feeling between her shoulder blades. The tingling at her fingertips that drove her to something. Was it one of them? She puzzled over it while she watched, her eyes catching everything.

Flash Fiction

The Code for Everything

Izzy hugged her knees to her chest, her stomach a tight ball of humiliation. She was out on the verandah, sinking into a saggy floral couch. The city was doing its ridiculous Melbourne-summer thing, where the night was hotter than the day, and heat radiated off the asphalt in waves. She’d left the party to “get some air,” which was code for “cry where no one can see you.” You had to know the code for everything, that was important.

Flash Fiction

Of Course You Screamed

Sunsets are never beautiful here. Instead, it’s as though the sky burns red and hot, the lengthening shadows falling like ash, smudging and darkening everything they touch. This isn’t the comforting darkness of your cottage, where your grandmother’s well-worn furniture provided soft edges. (What did they do to your grandmother? Did they hang her like the others?)

Flash Fiction

Blackman’s Flight in 4 Parts

Part 1. / Blackman knew lack / Of gravity before gravity / had a name / Black man flew before he was told to / Till the ground / Till the ground / Till the ground / Till he forget to look at the sky / Till Blackman forget he knew how to fly