The best vintages have a distinctive character

Eleonora Balsano               Fresh blood is the colour of Pinot Noir, bright red and translucent.               I’ve never said this to the visitors. They all come just to get wasted.               I see it in their eyes as soon as they follow me down to the cellar, tiptoe on the stone steps. As the air […]

However far she runs away from home

Rosie Garland               My mother lives in a house full of gravestones. Every morning, she vacuums around their beds and washes their faces clean of any lichen that bloomed overnight, until they look fresh as the day of their funerals.               I’m sure there are more each time I visit. As a peace offering, I’m […]

She Remembers it Like This

Emily Devane               Always, the sun shines and the black telephone dangles from its cloister wall like a stricken beetle.               Always, the skipping rope circles and the dust rises and the Pujarnol air is thick.               And always, Ruby sits on a tree stump, watching the girls. The younger ones play a skipping game. […]

I took my skeleton for a walk today

K.A. Nielsen               My skeleton tilted their skull up, stretched their bones wide in the cool, crisp sun. We stood in the sun until they turned to me. Ready for whatever came next I suppose, and so we walked. Little golden leaves clung to most of the trees, but one was completely bare. My skeleton […]

A Fable of Two Halves

David Luntz Writer’s Note: Myths and fables have long interested me. So, I tried writing a quirky fable that shows how we lie to ourselves so easily. Originally, the story came to me as kind of thought experiment where I wondered: what if a person had a chance to live two separate lives at the […]

Seed of a Rainbow

David Luntz Writer’s Note: Seed of a Rainbow is the third flash in a series I’ve written about a fictional uncle (“Uncle Kev”). I’m not sure where he comes from, but he’s been visiting a teen version of myself over the last year or so. He’s annoying. He demands to be heard. He’s trying to stop […]

The Psychic Plays Dress-Up

Chelsea Stickle Writer’s note: The psychic snuck up on me one day. She tapped me on the shoulder and introduced herself as someone I already knew. That’s the unusual thing about writing a novel in flash. You get piece after piece but never the whole picture at once. She showed up when I finished the […]

Welcome to the Pixel Exhibition

Paul Thompson On screen you are an abstract masterpiece. I secretly take screenshots as we talk, print and rearrange them on my walls. In a gallery I would label them – laughing, frowning, embarrassed, quizzical, and so on. My exhibition title would be something profound, something only you would understand. Something about friendships and the […]

This Seagull

Richard Barr This seagull was bigger than my cat. Noticeably so. It was rush hour. All at once the people, so many people, emerged from their buildings and out onto the street. Up and down that long industrious stretch, tall, glass-fronted, non-descript buildings haemorrhaging…people…like a mass evacuation of ants from their anthills. People filled the […]

Osmosis

Shannon Frost Greenstein It doesn’t taste as bad as you would expect. I thought it would be like swallowing a mouthful of salt, but eventually, it goes down like regular water. # Did you know, if you’re ever lost at sea, you can buy your life back from Poseidon with a black pearl? There was […]

I’m a Corpse Flower, and I’ve Got a Bone(r) to Pick with You, Botany

Shannon Frost Greenstein So. Botany. Let me just say it, right out loud, because it’s what everyone is already thinking, anyway. I’m essentially a giant penis. I mean, sure. I’m more. I’m more than just my enormous stamen. I know. I am my absolute uselessness for years on end, for example, before I finally bloom. […]

The Vanishing

Jared Beloff 1. The house went without a sound during Mrs. Thompson’s daily trip to the mailbox last fall, her back turned from the crater where the front porch had been. When she looked up from a fistful of circulars and credit offers, the absence announced itself in a plume of smoke, the crumpled paper […]

My Boyfriend’s Wife

Iona Rule When I’m with my boyfriend, who is also her husband, he serves me spaghetti in their pond green bowls. I lick them clean, imagining her tongue. My boyfriend laughs and wipes the red stains from my chin.  My boyfriend’s wife is away a lot. She is a paediatrician, working shifts or headlining conferences, […]

Untied

Al Kratz Skitter scattering critters of the ceiling, we’re trying to sleep around here. I guess boundaries and borders. I guess party time for the nocturnal. Siri, what is the opposite of nocturnal? Oh, that makes sense. Let’s take a moment here. A sleep prayer for the diurnal. Our cat likes to party day and […]

God knows what to do with our bed

Kik Lodge Down in Grignan, a man called Didier has a comfortable clic-clac. He’s a self-diagnosed poet and truffle-hunter, says all treasure lies beneath. What I find confusing is that he calls out Mother! in his sleep and his boar is also called Mother. — I spent last Monday night on a bunkbed. It’s ridiculous, […]

The Man With the Moon

Sabina Wong               Little Ramon Huang was in love. His child’s mind too small for him to process this particular complexity, all he could do was lay on his back, stare at the stars he longed for, and cry.               The older he grew, the more his passion consumed him. He read about space at […]

The Other Mothers

Kelle Clarke               The early morning train passes swiftly through the thick trees below, sending her coffee mug jittering across the counter. She wonders what time they’ll arrive. The noon train rattles her teeth. They are fastened tight to her jaw with industrial epoxy, though they are all her own. Sharp little fuckers, they used […]

How to visit an Irish peninsula in the 1970s

Mary Byrne Take the long way around a coastal promontory on a Sunday afternoon. Floor the accelerator in vain when the clutch cable snaps. Get out of the car and wait a while in the hope that another vehicle will appear, then realise that no one else has any reason to take this road. Recall, […]

Nobody Will Hear Them

David Hartley             Craig knows other Craig sneaks into his shed with his girlfriends. Craig knows other Craig thinks nobody will hear them, going at it, but Craig doesn’t have to hear, he just knows. Craig knows what sounds those walls of his shed hear: every whoop and squeal, every groan and gasp of other […]

What Makes a Good Story?

Maybe you’ve been wondering what our editors will be looking for once we start reading entries for our anthology competition that launches October 14th. Here are our short takes on what makes a good (flash) story. We hope this helps! Sara Chansarkar Siddiqui – An effective flash must be a singular story, not a confused […]