Flash Fiction

Her fingers. They are like creeping spider legs, spindly and skeletal, reaching out towards you, pleading and desperate.

MORGAN QUINN, BRIDGET CLEARY’S FINGERS

The Night Circus—Kate Leimer

It will appear, as circuses do, occupying the bare grass with tents and caravans, stalls and a Big Top, with a small kiosk at the entrance.

When it leaves silently before dawn, you may find something else is missing: your bicycle, your dog, your brother, or even your soul.

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Nora Chases the Sea—Nick Tan

Nora chases the sea, spitting at the long, tattered line of foam curling away from her salt-scabbed feet. As she advances, the sea retreats, pulling out of the bay and putting itself away. Nora runs across the stripped littoral zone, shredding her soles on the rocks jagged with barnacles, kicking at the wriggling fish. The sea huddles as far back as it can, then stops.

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Nursery Rhyme—Claire Schultz

Don’t go into the fairy circle late at night, they tell you.

Bad things happen in the fairy circle, they tell you.

In fact, don’t go into the fairy circle at all, not even in the broadest of daylights, they tell you.

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The Fleshland—Surya Hendry

Today, the fleshland is brittle and aggravated. I step out to retrieve the mail, and each step I take shreds the skin below me, causing blood to well up and soak my slippers. I bend to massage the flesh, console it, but even my soft finger strokes provoke bleeding this morning.

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The Doll’s House—Elle Symonds

There is one light aglow in the little house. It flickers like a spotlight above the table, the resin food glistening beneath it. A glazed roast chicken. A basket of bread. Jam that never goes down. I watch you as you sit there, staring at the feast. Sometimes you stare at the newspaper, too, but you never pick it up. Your hands don’t work that way

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The Last Birthday—Ryan J.M. Tan

The last man on Earth sits on a pew in a ruined church. His silhouette cast by a flickering flashlight. He is gaunt, malnourished, wrapped in rags. His face is permanently darkened by soot; wrinkles on that face add years to his true age. Any colour on him has been robbed by dust, any expression ground down by reality.

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Growths start. Spreading out from the point of contact: lumpy knobs that flatten out into palms, with knuckles on one side and heart lines on the other. The palms fold out into jointed fingers as she draws the flame back, reaching forward for the match, ending in nails.

SEAN NOAH NOAH, SOLID WALL BUT THE WALLIS MADE OF
HANDS BUT THE HANDS ARE MADE OF SHEETROCK