Slurping. Groaning. Mud in your eyes and mouth. Teeth aching.
Clambering onto the riverbank, you cough up a whole fish then a beetle.
Your reptile skin slithers off, glinting iridescent in the sunshine.
You shove and jostle into your human frame and shuffle on trembling legs towards the silver city.
Dettra Rose writes flash fiction and tiny poems.
Her pieces have won and been shortlisted/longlisted in a number of esteemed competitions, including: Bath Flash Fiction Award, Reflex Fiction, Retreat West, the Australian Writers’ Centre and TSS Publishing. Dettra is working on her first novel. A born-and-bred Londoner she now lives in Australia and calls both places home. Find her at Dettrarose.com.
“Why do you bleat like a goat?” I ask. “Do those sounds comfort you?”
“Yes, I believe they do,” he responds.
A month later, once again, “Why?”
“They help me to focus and think.”
Three more months, and he barely understands the question.
“They remind me that I’m still alive.”
Mary Hickey is an internationally known backgammon champion, teacher, coach and author. Her literary fiction has appeared in The Griffin, Happy, Kalliope, and other publications. She takes a break from writing if sushi, mattar paneer, or really good coffee are on offer.
She cut herself falling off her bike. Instead of blood, wires spilled out.
She wondered if her childhood was a lie, fake memories coded into her psyche. If her parents were androids too.
The last one was easy to test.
She taped a metal detector to the doorway and waited.
C.M.F. Wright (@cmf_wright) is an avid fantasy reader and sentence wrangler. Her short stories have appeared in Fifty Word Stories, Syntax & Salt Magazine and the VSS365 Anthology.
After Rapunzel donated her braid to Locks of Love, her head felt too light, like it might float away.
They called her selfless, saintly. They praised her for her sacrifice.
She couldn’t tell anyone the real truth—that she needed to learn who she was, without her hair defining her.
C.M.F. Wright writes sentences that occasionally turn into stories. Her short stories have appeared in Syntax & Salt Magazine and in the VSS365 Anthology.
Once upon a time, there was a girl who was a jigsaw puzzle. Everyone loved her because she could arrange herself to be whatever anyone wanted. Then, one morning, she looked in the mirror and realized she did not remember who she was anymore.
Then she fell all to pieces.
J.C. Pillard lives in Colorado where she works as an editor and data analyst. She has previously published stories with Broadswords and Blasters and Fall Into Fantasy 2019. She spends her time gardening, reading, and, of course, writing.
Her first tattoos were memorials. Then an image, then a symbol of sobriety. Each enriches her story. She embellishes her canvas with great care; her children are amused but shrug.
She is making a burning bowl of her skin.
One day everything she is will rise into the morning sky.
Melody Leming-Wilson teaches poetry in Portland, Oregon. She is about ready for a new tattoo.
It’s all new, each day of your life. New mornings, new challenges.
New enemies, new regrets. New reasons to leave.
New people in town, and the journeys you’ve never made.
There’s only one thing that never changes: the desire to become someone else without the strength to make it happen.
Russell Hemmell is an alien from Mintaka snuggled into a (consenting) human host. Recent fiction on Aurealis, Flame Tree Press, The Grievous Angel, and elsewhere. See more at earthianhivemind.net.
When the girl found me, I carried no traces of humanity. Unremembered, I became smooth as an egg. Seeing me should have killed her.
Though blind, she could hear my stories. As she listened, my limbs and features reappeared.
I kissed her eyelids and dissolved, tethered to Earth no more.
Becky Kjelstrom watches the night sky and ponders, what is light without dark or the known without the unknown?
An office drudge’s gloom always characterized James’s daily commutes.
Today, he smiled as he slid into City Station’s unisex washroom. Jaimie emerged, boarded the train and bypassed his regular stop.
At line’s end, she gazed across the sun-dappled street at New Beginnings’ help-wanted sign. Perfect place to restart my life.
Alan Kemister is a retired scientist experimenting with more fictitious writing. Get the gory details at alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com.
Jane was trapped in a world of low ceilings and high furniture.
At a charity event, she met an avant-garde decorator specializing in purple lighting. She told Jane, “Stand out. Be bold and bright. Shine. No excuses.”
So nowadays Jane lives in a beige cube with powerful splashes of purple.
Roberta Beach Jacobson is a humorist from Iowa / USA. She writes tanshi (short poetry), greeting cards, and flash fiction. See more at RobertaJacobson.com