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Flash Fiction

Flash fiction stories vary in length from anywhere between one hundred to one thousand words. The aim of flash fiction is to ensure every word is absolutely necessary. Stories in this category can cover any of the fiction genres, the challenge being to engage the reader and tell a complete story within a limited number of words.

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Editor's Pick

The Right Tonic

As his band stepped onto the stage, Tyrone stole a moment to sip his dirty martini. He ran his tongue along his upper lip as he admired the glass, savoring the lingering taste of the alcohol. With a contented sigh, he got up and walked onto the stage. During his break, the din of the bar had swelled to a jumbled murmur. The restless audience had taken to chattering over clinking glasses...Read On

18
Recommended Read

Of a Toke and a Time

Nostalgia offers a surprise sometimes

 

22
Recommended Read

The Penguin says...

Live your dreams

 

19
Recommended Read

Letter to a Friend

"Nothing is, but what is not" - Shakespeare, Macbeth. "Whatever... just sayin'..." - Dirty Martini

  Dear Alan, It's been a while since I wrote to you. Did you know there's a story competition in your name? I had an idea for it, started to write something. It was clever, funny, titled Jankowski's Lost'n'Found . The story got lost, but it goes something like this: Jankowski and Al were old friends, co-owners of a cab they took turns driving. They had a flat rate, 4.20, due to the...Read On

20
Recommended Read

Black Birds

Two long lost friends team up for an old job.

  Black Birds Cold night air pinched at the darkness. Frost painted featherlike patterns on the windscreens of the parked cars along the street. Grass huddled together beneath their icing sugar coating. A neon light at the corner of the street failed to notify anyone of the great deals Joe’s Café had to offer, the street had been plunged into darkness. The power outages were getting...Read On

28
Recommended Read

A Farewell Drink

A woman has one last drink with her friend.

The glow of the neon sign lit her face as she walked into the bar with a Gibson Les Paul guitar strapped across her back and carrying an urn in her hands. She set the urn in an empty stool and sat next to it, hanging the guitar on the back of hers. “Two dirty martinis please!” she called out. The bartender mixed the drinks and placed them both in front of her. She slid one over to the urn...Read On

25
Recommended Read

One More

One man's thoughts of a friend gone

I pulled the last olive off the swizzle stick with my teeth and ate it before finishing off my drink. Looking up at the clock it, showed 4:20. It was in the AM, not the afternoon. It had been a long day. “I couldn't even begin to count the number of people at the wake,” I thought. Flipping on the TV, I found there wasn't much at this time in the morning, just talking heads, Infomercials,...Read On

22
Recommended Read

The Four Hundred and Twentieth Warden

A vision of the future. A way to say goodbye to those lost too soon.

Dear Dad, It’s Julie. This is the letter we always used to wonder about. It took much longer than expected. My timeline runs parallel to, but thirty years ahead of yours, and I’ve grown older here than you are there.  You’re approaching the point where I lost you. A time when everything fell into chaos here. You wouldn’t recognize my world, but I’m still your little girl. I miss you...Read On

24
Recommended Read

The Last Beginning

He didn’t dance. Why was he locked in a room with a ballerina, a conductor, and a photographer?

“This is like a Rod Serling Twilight Zone episode!” he observed. “Four of us locked in a room, and none of us know how we got here!” “And none of us seem that concerned about it!” the photographer noted. “Mind if I get some photos of everyone with my Exakta 66?” He stood up and started looking for the best vantage point in the room. The short, portly conductor was already pacing around,...Read On

23
Recommended Read

Last Note

My friend Alan...

“What is this place?” he thought to himself. He carried only his beloved Gibson Les Paul guitar as he kept stumbling forward. His watch read 4:20 but he didn’t know if it was A.M. or P.M. A booming voice echoed through the cavern. “Step forward boy!” A figure rose from the ground. He watched as the figure stood 10 feet tall. It was grotesque in appearance with horns of a ram and a...Read On

21
Recommended Read

Shining On

I meet up with a distant friend... Sort of.

It's unfortunate when you try something new and it all goes to pot. Big Dave is only too familiar with such misfortune, his rundown bar barely covers the rent and its faulty neon sign seems rather appropriate. Although, I kinda like the way his 'Rock Bar' trade name flickers and dies periodically, because sooner or later it always lights up and shines again. Despite its obvious...Read On

14
Recommended Read

Disconnected

Leaning as far over as she dared, she peered under the lake’s gently rippling surface. She could see all the way to the silt and rock bottom but couldn’t discern a black rectangle protruding from it. The phone was gone. “Stupid, stupid,” she muttered. “Where is it?” She risked leaning even farther, searching beneath the canoe but the old wooden vessel creaked in protest and tilted...Read On

4
Recommended Read

Bugsy's Revenge

Frank Danger has two choices: Think fast or die.

I was tailing the unfaithful husband of a neurotic client down a dark alley when someone slipped behind me and put a gun to my neck. I heard Bugsy’s voice and knew I had a problem. “Frank Danger, P.I.!” he said with a delighted baritone that rumbled like a dump truck. “Bugsy.” He laid a heavy mitt on my back and sent me staggering. Bugsy was a great guy. I thought the world of him. ...Read On

2
Recommended Read

Chump City Nights

Everybody's Dirty Sometimes

Since 1946, the same electric sign has hung out over the sidewalk in front of Dusty’s Pub. The sign features a cartoon French maid dusting the word “Dusty’s” with a feather duster. One warm summer evening in 1978, Dusty, the club’s namesake and creative genius behind the sign, clutched his chest, slid down a wall behind the bar, and expired. His widow sold Dusty’s before Dusty was cold and...Read On

7
Recommended Read

The True Story of Rapunzel

The witch never knew what trouble teenagers could be until Rapunzel turned fifteen. The girl whined constantly about boredom. She complained at every turn about her milk, bread, and honey diet, though it had been perfectly acceptable until now. Worst of all, she only had one dress and it was green. She hated green. In a moment of impatient weakness, the witch cursed Rapunzel with...Read On

A Hundred Breaths

December 22, 2015 Ricky breathes deeply as he walks through the park. The air, sweetened by the scent of pine and cooled by the fallen snow, refreshes his lungs and spirit. It’s barely evening, yet it’s already dark out, the sun having slipped below the horizon. The snow on the ground is new and untrodden. It casts a luminous blanket all around, as if flying above the clouds at night. He...Read On

26
Editor's Pick

Fade to Black

The winter solstice would be a long night indeed for these wise guys

  Connor Mulrooney sauntered into the members-only back room of the North Philly Irish Pub with his usual swagger, grabbed a Guinness and settled into a seat that may as well have held a Reserved sign. His chair, the one he always occupied during their weekly gatherings, notably sat right next to Billy’s — not that Connor or anyone else expected the boss to show up. He rarely did anymore,...Read On

In the Dark

“Are you afraid of the dawn?” she asks, watching him with a half-smile on her face as he scrambles around the room, frantically pulling down the curtains. The new darkness bathes them both in soft candlelight. It smoothes out her angular lines and eases the sharpness of his jaw. But even gentle light cannot take the edge off a soul, and he grinds his teeth, while her nails tap out a...Read On

11
Editor's Pick

Fire and Ice

On a clear, icy cold night in December, I find myself standing facing a raging bonfire. It’s the night of the winter solstice, and a group of people in this nowhere town have an annual tradition of a solstice party. Among other things, they set a bonfire and at a certain point in the night, everyone burns something that brought them negativity in the previous year. A few here really believe...Read On

10
Editor's Pick

Guardian of the Light

He had to complete his quest, the world depended on it

He pulled his cloak over his head and brushed away a few errant flakes of snow from his shoulders. He breathed out a long breath into his cold, rough hands, this warmed them with incredible speed. He stepped out from the Coaching Inn into the day. His footfalls were cushioned by the blanket of fresh snow. His long staff arced its way through the air as he walked, and made a small dent in the...Read On

14
Editor's Pick

Solstice: midnight enchantment

Love me, and decree, I'm Alive, I'm Alive. ~Dirty Angel by Courtney Jenaé

Moonlight edged through the tree branches high overhead, as the wind howled through them bringing a sharp cold slap to her face. Darkness seeped under the canopy far above, shrouding the world in shadow. There was one small flicker of light that illuminated the cover that encased it. Her fingers grew numb, holding the iron candle holder. A dark blue candle for banishing glowed with enough...Read On

12
Editor's Pick

The Gathering

Queen Ariane feels it in her heart but knows not why.

Inspired by the work of Anne Stokes, 'Solstice Gathering' Ariane stood atop the castle battlements and looked out across the heavily wooded landscape that stretched far into the distance as far as she could see. It was the twenty-first day of December in the year of our Lord fourteen hundred and twenty-three. All along the castle walls, torches flared, casting an eerie flickering...Read On

18
Recommended Read

Straight or Left

*Winner of a weekly flash fiction contest on Indies Unlimited*

Which direction should she go? Tanya had to make a decision. And she had to do it quickly. Taking a deep breath and pursing her lips, Tanya depressed the accelerator. Straight it would be. Straight away from her lifetime home. Straight into the unknown. Straight onto the longest bridge in the world—ironic for someone panicky about crossing bridges, but that was how desperate her...Read On

16
Recommended Read

Killer's Bliss

She heard whispers. Quiet and menacing, they coursed through the darkness like little scratching claws on worn, wooden floorboards. She stood still with her eyes closed shut, waiting for the silence to ensue again. But it never came. Those whispers intensified as the dark years crept on. Quiet and menacing whispers were no more. Now, terrifying and chilling screams inhabited her...Read On

7
Recommended Read

The Blob

There it was, a viscous blob of limber elasticity capable only of thought and some kind of irregular nebulous form of motion, perceiving the world yet barely influencing it. It spent its time floundering around the park, observing the quotidian routines of the proletarians in their mundane and monotonous undertakings, yet it felt drawn with interest and was intrigued to know more of the lives...Read On

9
Recommended Read

JuJu Bitch

"Woman want baby. Woman want JuJu.” “What?” “JuJu. It’s magic. African magic, white or black.” “I don’t want black magic, Tutu.” Tutu smiled. “Here,” she said. “Have this.” Tutu gave me a tiny carved figurine; she explained how the women of Ghana use ones just like it to help with fertility. They carry their wooden doll at all times, usually hidden under clothing so only a...Read On

13
Editor's Pick

I Am The Deep, Dark Woods

Picture prompt 2

I am the dark and spooky woods. Oh, please, don’t be afraid. Just because you see overhanging branches and tangled brambles, darkness and no way out, it doesn’t mean I’m going to hurt you. I really do quite like visitors, actually. Come, enjoy my clearly set out paths. You may want to take a flashlight, though. There was this one person who forgot their flashlight. In fact, he hadn’t any...Read On

14
Editor's Pick

To Fly Like a Hawk

An encounter in the forest inspired by the first picture.

“David, is that you? Are you back?” she asked. There was no answer. It was a Red-tailed Hawk that had landed on a branch above. She had heard his wings flutter. She stared up now as she raised her arm, opened her palm, managed a smile and waved. A small celebration of being alive. “Are you after the berries on those brambles, Mr. Hawk?” she asked. Then she said “No, probably not. You’re...Read On

23
Recommended Read

Broken Doll

How do you mend a broken porcelain doll?

He hears the elevator doors open and close, the click clack of high-heeled footsteps drawing closer, then passing his door on their way to the next apartment. He waits. Jacob had always been good at waiting. He hears the jingling of keys, then footsteps moving back toward his door. His door is unlocked. He had been expecting her. She had always been easy to predict. The front door opens,...Read On

7
Recommended Read

Neck Deep

How did my basement get filled with stuffed toys?

I'm standing in my basement, neck deep in stuffed toys. There are piles of Kermit the Frogs, and other muppets, there are a dozen Dora dolls and Bob the Builders. There are generic little seahorses and stars. Some of them are the size of my hand and others I won at fairs, and are life sized, most of them are somewhere in between. The basement is filled in archaeological layers of stuffed...Read On