Short & Sweet Flash Fiction 2019
Stories by writers Ryan Chapman, Bonnie Harris, Kira Marie McCullough, Holly Woodward, Mark Sadler, Steve Young, and Jessica Lee Richardson; performed by actors E. James Ford, Hannah Seusy, Jeff Wills, and Kira Davies. Hosted by Andrew Lloyd-Jones at KGB Bar, NYC on Tuesday, 20th August 2019.
At first the news was a source of humor for Jonathan and Rose. They would list more deserving names on the fridge notepad, or point out future nominees on the front table at McNally Jackson. Rose even sewed the honorific onto the breast pocket of his favorite bathrobe. When Jonathan brushed his teeth, idly studying himself in the bathroom mirror, the looping cursive resembled an illegible doodle.
All the people I’ve forgiven and I went on a trip to Alaska together. Looking over the prow of the boat and watching the freezing turquoise water, the weight of us wrote a poem into my fascia. It was heavy, but it featured tuna. We rented a car so we could visit hardscrabble ranching towns and meet ice fishermen and buy handmade items, sweaters we pictured, but wound up with mugs. At least they were local mugs.
There’s an alternate version of this story in which Ben is the hero.
But the cat is yowling piteously. One of its legs is bent at an angle. Another hangs limply. When Ben tries to touch it, the cat attempts to scratch him with the useless paw. There’s blood on the cat’s nose, like it’s gone a few rounds with Foreman, who beat the crap out of Frazier couple years ago, summer of 76, year of the tall ships and that rah rah America crap.
Mary was in the back room, swaddling the last of the surfboards in bubble wrap. I watered-down a tin of emulsion and whitewashed the shop windows. When I was done, it looked like a thousand breaking waves had been pressed flat against the glass, as if part of the building had been dressed in the skin of the sea. I took a few paces back and stared at it, the way that I sometimes stare at the ocean, searching in vain for a semblance of a pattern, a leading current.
A ferryboat from Manhattan disgorged a crowd covered with gray cinder. The figures walked past me on the Hoboken dock, their silence as thick as the dust on their backs. I had come to the shore of the Hudson that bright morning to rummage the New York Times from the bin. After the first plane crash, I’d dropped the paper. Then the first tower had crumbled into itself. I stared at the empty sky. Refugees streamed past as the last tower burned.
By 7:30, a posse of kids had cut loose the helium balloons. They floated up to the high ceilings and hung belly to belly, their tethers dangling just out of reach. One rubbed up against the stove pipe and exploded with a horrendous bang, eliciting shrieks of laughter from the kids and startled smiles from the adults. So far, the children were the life of Raymond’s 35th birthday party, the only ones who seemed to want to be there at all.
Lilly’s best kiss was not the one she got when she was five.
Although, that was an interesting kiss. She had endured it from her cousin, the only boy on her mother’s side. They were covered by a blanket, hiding inside of an enormous empty cardboard box during a game of Hide and Go Seek. The other girl cousins counted to 100 and shouted, “Ready or not, here we come!”
While they searched the basement, her five-year-old cousin grabbed her, giggling, “Kissy, kissy!”