Tag Archives: flash fiction

The New House

Copyright Dale Rogerson

The New House

It was a sunny day when the dam was finished. We stood vigil as the water rose over the house down below.

“I’m sorry, Dad. We fought so hard, too.”

I hugged her. “It’ll stay preserved down there, six generations of memories, just under the surface.”

My voice quavered, and she buried her head in my old shoulder and cried.

You have a new house. On a lake. You lucky old fart.

I breathed—the mellow scent of lilacs mixing with the loud aroma of fresh paint—and let the bitterness go, to dance with the sparkles on the water.


The Day of the Peep

Thanks to Rochelle for choosing my picture this week. I look forward to reading everyone else’s stories as well.

copyright David Stewart

The Day of the Peep

They are a cruel bunch, these humans, who eat our soft bodies for their pleasure. When the snow melts and the trees bud, then you will know that the season of our slaughter has again begun.

But that is not the worst. There is a machine of torture they possess: a very-small wave, where they confine us and explode our bodies, just to watch our torment.

So rise up, you pastel mallows of the marsh! Smother the oppressors with your gooey bodies. Mayhap we will discover a very-small wave of our own and then, the peep shall inherit the earth.

I’m not sure how universal Peeps are, but you can read more here.

To learn more about the diabolical very-small wave.


Oran Man Ida

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

Oran Man Ida

Five years since I’ve had the best food in the world.

The restaurant looks the same: the same line of 50 people waiting to get in. I get in line, the smells bringing me back: appetite and nostalgia winding a tight braid inside me.

“The special, please,” I say as a waitress comes up the line, taking advance orders. No time for looking at a menu.

I wonder how many have eaten here in the last five years. Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands?

I spot the owner as I reach the door. She looks up. “Where have you been?”

This is actually a true story. When we were in Korea, we lived in the city of Jeonju. In the old market, there is a restaurant called Nammun Pisundae (남문피순대). It is famous all over Korea and has been in business for decades. There is seriously a line outside of at least 50-100 people at every single meal time and it is always busy. They really only serve one thing: a spicy soup of blood sausage and pig organs. You might not think that sounds great but that’s because you haven’t tried it. It is seriously my favorite food in the world, specifically from that restaurant.

전주맛집 조점례 남문 피순대 (피순대국밥) - 저렴한 맛집 - 맛따라 길따라

I got a chance to go back to Korea in 2019 and made a point to go to Jeonju to see old friends and to eat at this restaurant. Even after all that time, the owner recognized me right away and asked where I’d been. I explained I’d moved to the US 5 years before. To be fair, there probably aren’t many non-Koreans who were regulars there.

(You might wonder about the title: what an Oran Man is or who Ida is. This is a transliteration of the Korean expression meaning “long time, no see”).

The line outside the restaurant (on the left)

Theater in the Snow

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Theater in the Snow

Anything could be cured with theater, Alice believed. In her first week as activity director for Nome, Alaska, she organized a Theater in the Park program to get people out of their houses and cure seasonal depression. She even flew in actors from down south. Their first production was the musical South Pacific to make everyone feel warm inside.

The performance got mixed reviews. On one hand, three of the actors froze to death mid-song and the rest got hypothermia. But the audience was fine and many commented it was the most interesting thing to happen in Nome in years.


Aftermath Math

Big things are happening in the land of green walls! For all my Friday Fictioneers friends out there and anyone else who might not know, I have started a website for children’s stories called the Green-Walled Treehouse. As part of it, I have a place for kids 0-18 to submit story ideas and I will write a story for them based on it. If you know anyone interested, have them email me at greenwalledtreehouse@gmail.com.

I also just published a children’s book about my travels last year in Southeast Asia. It’s called Stanley and Amber in Southeast Asia (it started out as a Flat Stanley project for my niece). You can read more about it here, as well as download a free copy.

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Aftermath Math

I stumble up the stairs, joy and horror warring in my mind. I spot the stroller box, and a burst of manic laughter escapes me. If only we’d known.

One ultrasound would have shown us what was growing inside Danielle, but with losing my insurance and COVID . . . As long as everyone was healthy, we said.

How naïve.

I reach the nursery. My mind flips to calculator, but the numbers aren’t adding up.

I collapse into the rocking chair while the word that now will forever define my life careens around my mind.

Septuplets.

We’re going to need a bigger crib.


Frozen Beauty

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Frozen Beauty

Ultimately, physical perfection was just genetics. Perfection became standard, beauty turned banal.

* * *

The club was a horror show: missing teeth, scars, ruined eyes. I was displaying a port-wine birthmark, created over two hours.

“Jess! Check this out!” It was Kaylee, her arm around a one-legged girl. “Her name’s Hazel.”

“That’s amazing!” I examined the stump. “Great work! But how?”

Hazel hesitated. “Car accident, actually.”

“Wait, it’s real?” Kaylee took her arm away.

“At least I fit in here, right?” Hazel laughed nervously.

Kaylee and I remained frozen, the illusion shattered. Finally, sensing this, Hazel adjusted her crutch and hobbled away.


Bye Bye Birdie

copyright Ted Strutz

Bye Bye Birdie

Me and the fellers are unwinding when one of them new auto-harvesters drives by. The ones that took our jobs and left us homeless by the highway.

“Ay, ya arshdriver!” Kenny shouts, flipping the double bird as it roars by. I flip it off too just as a piece sticking out chops off my right middle digit, clean as a butcher. It goes flying into the fire where Robbie’s cooking roadkill.

It’s nothing but ash now. Bad enough the bastards take my job, but now I can’t even flip the double bird in protest? It’s enough to make you misty-eyed.


Requiem in Amber

Requiem in Amber

Walk to the grey city at the edge of the long-dry sea, past the corpses of ancient architecture.

Go to the center where it all ended, the gothic hall where that otherworldly bomb landed, obliterating everyone, leaving everything.

Sit anywhere you like—you’re the only audience today. Maybe ever.

Listen to the orchestra playing in their bubble of time, like music trapped in amber. They endlessly loop the 122 minutes before the bomb, unaware of the dead world outside. Odd how that happened.

Close your eyes.

Relax.

If you fall asleep, you can hear it all again in two hours.


Hope from Above

Happy New Year everyone. Globally speaking, this has been a pretty terrible year and a lot of people are still suffering quite a bit. We can only pray that 2021 is better and do what we can to make it so. I have hope.

copyright Na’ama Yehuda

Hope from Above

The wind caressed the dress shirt from its rooftop drying rack. It rose into the air, a well-dressed ghost preparing for a New Year’s Eve party. A cross breeze sent it dancing with invisible partners.

Sung-Ho sat listlessly on the curb. Suicide? Why, with no life insurance? Burn down the building? Insurance companies could tell. Start over?

How?

He felt Eun-Ha’s hands on his shoulders. “We’ll get the money somehow,” she whispered.

The shirt fluttered down. Sung-Ho caught it before it hit the ground.

“See?” his wife said. “2021 will bring hope. Even God is sending us his dry-cleaning now.”


Mixed Signals

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! Thank you to everyone who has read any of my stories over the past year. I am looking forward to big things in the coming year.

By the way, this story takes place before COVID times. 🙂

Mixed Signals

I’d spent a week preparing for the Christmas party. We even got an eggnog fountain.

Little Ellie-Mae wanted to put a sign at the end of the driveway, so people knew where to turn. “Eggnog for all!” it would say.

Twenty minutes later, she was back. She’d made the letters too big. “Can it just say EGGNOG?”

Sure.

Ten minutes later, she returned. “How many G’s does ‘eggnog’ have?”

Three.

“Oh. I only put one in.”

EGNO? ENOG?

When no one showed up, I walked down to the road to look for cars.

That’s how we learned about Ellie-Mae’s dyslexia.

copyright Trish Nankivell

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