From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

THECONDUCTORS

Advertisement

Flash Fiction

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

Flash Fiction

The Billionaire Shapeshifters’ Ex-Wives Club

“You’d have thought it’d be the musk, or the way he could rend me limb from limb at any moment,” said Carla thoughtfully, “but honestly it was the hairballs. You haven’t known gross until you step in a tiger hairball.” They all contemplated that for too long. Steph took a deep drink of her mimosa.

Flash Fiction

Incense

The storyteller sits on a plastic stool by the side of the street. Rickshaws trundle past; cars honk their horns. Cart vendors crying their wares (“Beef noodle soup! Dragon’s beard candy! Scallion pancakes!”) swear at him for getting underfoot on the sidewalk. Children, released from school gates in a delirious swarm, run shouting through the streets.

Flash Fiction

Tiny House Living

After years of roommates and sublets and shared bathrooms, other people’s beard trimmings in the sink and other people’s leftovers leaking a brown film into the refrigerator, Jude moved into a walnut shell. She went in feet first, arms locked overhead in a butterfly stroke, letting all the air out of her chest in one long exhale like a spelunker. Inside, it was snug. Cozy.