Sheep from the Goats – By Rachel Kuhnle
Flash Fiction / April 26, 2009

When the son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. And before him shall be gathered all nations and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. -The New Testament   I don’t own anything black but my winter coat. And it’s March, but warm for the season, and people all around me are sleeveless. I’m red in the face with sweat on my brow and my eyelids. I’m fingering loose change in my pocket. This isn’t the funeral but the wake. The distinction is important. The funeral will be at a church, the wake is in this tiny little room. But most importantly, the funeral is for family, the wake is for friends. *** And the funeral will be at a church. *** “Sometimes, I’ll just get out a physics book and just read for fun, ya know, I just love all that stuff…I just find it so fascinating, I could read about the life of a star for hours, I could figure the calculations for Atlas, holding the world on his back…ya know?…

Schimmler – By Richard Grossman
Micro Fiction / April 19, 2009

It’s been ten days. No desperate craving, no headaches, no obvious depression. Carole asked me earlier why I’d quit smoking. General health considerations, or is there something wrong? I knew I’d have to stop some day. Why not now? That was very nice, what you did for that couple just now. Breaking the rules to change their flight. Without nicotine you’ve become more charitable? I wanted to see their faces light up. Did you notice when I said, about the fee, we’re going to waive that? It was as if the room became brighter. You see yourself as Edison? Or Dr. Phil? I remembered a friend’s story. How his parents were able to escape Nazi Germany because a Gestapo officer gave them forged papers. Really broke the rules. In my imagination, the official calls himself Schimmler, a compound of schlemiel and Himmler. In your imagination, how would he know any Yiddish? From remarks of people he had saved? Referring to him as a schlemiel? That’s the point. He has a Jewish grandmother. She’s Italian so they don’t recognize the name. If it comes out, he’s in the concentration camp. The Gestapo doesn’t recognize Italian Jewish names? They’ve asked the Fascist…

Vintage – By Patricia McCowan
Flash Fiction / April 12, 2009

Christine spots the suit towards the back of the dusky shop. No, the suit spots her. She has escaped her desk at the brokerage for an illicit lunch hour. She has taken a long walk away from the towers, found a street of little brick buildings and grime. Now, inside, Christine makes sure her cell is off, checks over her shoulder. Just the burgundy-haired girl at the counter, idly flipping through an old Life magazine. Christine stands in place, prolongs the moment, describes to herself what’s caught her: Size Eight Ladies’ Tailored Grey Suit, 1930’s. Severe, sombre. Her breathing slows, the musky smell of the place like a tranquilizer. She goes to it. She reaches out and pulls the garment towards her, strokes the pleasurably raspy fabric of the jacket and matching skirt. The sensation catching on her nerves like tiny hooks. She narrows her eyes, pauses like a swimmer on a sun-heated dock, then slides her hand inside the skirt. Lined, she knew it would be lined. The old silk a thin barrier against the scratchy wool. She splays her fingers against it. Maybe she could have it. Maybe she has to have it. She could buy it and…

Rorschark Attack – By John Wiswell
Micro Fiction / April 5, 2009

A Washington D.C. Rationalist Think Tank was on holiday at the undisclosed beach that day. Three employees saw it break the surface. Tammy saw a deck of playing cards. Guido saw a platter of fried shrimp. Ironically only one of the rationalists, Virginia Welsley, saw a shark fin. Even more ironically, she was the only rationalist in the water. She swam like Hell. Tammy would attest that the shark went straight after Virginia, while Guido swears it swam in the opposite direction. Other beach-goers looked when they heard the screams, but the majority said they didn’t see a shark at all (while three saw an ice cream truck treading water behind Virginia). When Virginia looked over her shoulder mid-breaststroke, she saw the gaping jaws of her third grade Math teacher – the one who always put impossible bonus questions at the end of his quizzes, presumably just to watch his pupils struggle and fail. That pungent memory felt apt as she swam for her life, and even more apt when she was seized in the middle-aged Math teacher’s overbite. She was fortunate enough to awake, alive, in the local ICU. Apparently the shark had nearly ripped her in half. After…