From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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Fiction

Flash Fiction

The Unseen

A city stands on the horizon. It glitters against the hazy background of a desert, enticing you to come near, to relieve yourself from this afternoon heat and revel in the shade of its skyscrapers. You consider it. You’ve considered it for a good portion of your life.

Fiction

Free Coffin

The coffin lies at the curb, tilted aslant on the strip of grass next to the sidewalk. Old Mr. Byerly spies it on an evening walk through his suburban neighborhood. It’s been put out alongside a pile of other discards—an old-fashioned lawn mower, a chrome-legged kitchen table, a bookcase with only one shelf. The stuff is from a house that’s under renovation after sitting vacant for many months.

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?

Fiction

Markets: A Beginner’s Guide

In the folds of banyan trees, between the treeish world and ours, are markets. Real markets, not the pale human sort that happen every week, as if things that are worth buying happen every week. A banyan market occurs one day a year, which is as often as trees are willing to entertain on such a lavish scale. And once a year is just barely enough time to make the stuff that trees dream of. – Revathi Kumar, ‘Markets: A Beginner’s Guide’

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

Fiction

The Rainmakers

“When in doubt—” I catch Thomas’s eyes and hold up a jar of sparkle lip gloss. “—add more glitter.” The mirror we face is cracked and wreathed in vanity lights that flicker in time with the strained chugging of the ancient generator outside. The smells of old perfume, road dust, and hush puppies fill the painted wooden wagon that serves triple duty as my transportation, home, and dressing room. I blame the generator for that last odour. We restocked on biodiesel at our last stop, and now everything smells like frying corn.

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.

Fiction

Saviour of the Light Market

Rain soaks through my hair, stretching my coils to wavy locks streaming down my face. A cold gaze follows me through dark windows, reminding me of Lisa’s face. I complained about my parents, once.

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.

Fiction

Girls Have Sharp Teeth

When Madison S. didn’t show up to school, and word got around that it was because her boyfriend threw his phone at her mouth and knocked out four of her teeth, the junior girls of Clark High turned into monsters. Taloned, screaming things driven by rage and revenge. We swarmed her boyfriend, Josh C., by his car after school, and though he tried to beat us off with his lacrosse stick, our numbers were too great, our sisterhood too mighty.