The Last Waltz – By Annie Edge
Flash Fiction / January 9, 2011

Mrs Murchison met the man from Vienna on a train. She was leaving the city where she had spent the day at her granddaughter’s fourth birthday party, and the train had just pulled away from the station. She hadn’t said anything to her daughter, but she wasn’t comfortable on trains. It wasn’t a physical thing – the jolting motion she rather liked – it was the sense of being trapped there, hurtling along at a terrific speed, but held still, at the mercy of anything that came along. And to be on a foreign train, too.  She and Arthur had driven everywhere, never relied on public transport, and she would always help by map-reading, or unwrapping  Murray mints,  but now that he was dead, she had no one to take the lead. She left her compartment and walked out into the corridor for fresh air and almost bumped into the little man. He started back, away from the outer door which had just slammed shut, and was clutching a small, battered suitcase to his chest. They span, their shoulders leaning away from each other, and he fell back through the open door of her compartment, and into her seat. “Oh, I’m…

Bean’s Story – By Baruc Avrim
Flash Fiction / November 21, 2010

Bean, a nickname which has stuck longer than its origin, sits in front of a small black laptop lying on the kitchen table. An empty bottle of Gilbey’s gin lies on its side in the window sill, aimed at a silhouetted spider plant. The spider plant shoots stems and leaves relentlessly at the hapless bottle. Past the glib Gilbey’s bottle and beyond the window pane, sits an empty football stadium. Bean stares blindly at the computer screen and then at the empty stadium. “Whatcha doin?” Nance steps gingerly down the steps into the kitchen. Her long straight brown hair meets the middle of her back and contrasts with his curly black mop. His hair is long too, but it stays high up on his head, wild and unruly. “Writing a story.” An edge of defensiveness skitters from his voice enveloping the response. She opens the avocado green fridge and pulls out a yogurt, stripping the aluminum top off with the noise of tape peeled off wet skin. Then she bumps the avocado green door shut with her ample butt. “What’s this one about?” “It’s about a guy who can’t write a story.” “That’s a great idea.” The words ooze from…

Apartment Mom – By Margaret Eaton
Flash Fiction / November 10, 2010

Lorna didn’t want to be an apartment mom. Not in Birch Point. Tommy, her ex, started this whole thing. There was a woman they would see around town that he started calling Apartment Mom. They both thought of her as a bit of a fuck-up. Although they knew nothing about her, except somehow Tommy knew she lived in an apartment, a rarity in Birch Point.   After the divorce Tommy confided reluctant lust for Apartment Mom. His not so reluctant lust was the chief cause of their split, now Lorna lived on the other side of their small mindedness, the side that bruised. On the night of their daughter Chloe’s Open House she got slammed good, mid-torso. It was a self-inflicted blow, provoked by the sight of her lowered social status on a public document. There it was on the second grade parent list, next to her name. It read like a warning label, Apt. 4A. A bit disoriented, trying to pinpoint precisely when she had fully acclimated to the town’s caste system, Lorna drifted into the throng of chattering parents headed out of the building. The throng stalled on the steps outside. Scouting an exit strategy she saw Apartment Mom…

Nick’s Special Talent – By Dan Duritsa
Flash Fiction / October 25, 2010

Nick sat in his usual booth by the window that overlooked the highway. He watched the the cars race past each other while he sipped his coffee and ate a raisin bagel. The newspaper in front of him had the usual trash of headlines of crime and car accidents. This one murdering this one. That one robbing that one. What a bunch of losers in this town. Time to stand up and take charge just like a true spartan warrior, Nick thought to himself. Nick picked up the cream cheese covered bagel and took another bite. He quickly wiped the debris from the corner of his mouth with a napkin. Kelly, his waitress came over with a fresh pot of coffee. “How’s life today, Nick?” she asked. “Not bad. Just taking in the morning with my usual before I head into work. And you?” “You know me. Just living the dream here at Jake’s Diner,” she said with a sarcastic smile. “Can I give you a fresh refill, Nick?” He lifted his white mug up to her with a wink. “Please do,” he said. “If you need anything else, just holler.” “Will do.” He watched her walk away in those…

Sure, Why Not? – By A. L. Cerda
Flash Fiction / October 17, 2010

We’re at the doorway to her apartment, her key entering the lock. And no, I’m not going to make the obvious double entendre quip. But this is do or die time. It’s now or never and all that jazz. God, I’m so nervous. I can’t believe I’m actually going to go through with this. As she opens the door, I move in closer than I’ve ever dared invade her personal space. “It’s been a nice night,” I say. “Yeah, it has been.” Inside her apartment now. “Too bad I have to go and ruin it.” I put my hand on her arm and, in my best attempt at smooth, turn her to face me. I lean down and place my lips upon hers. Now, having thought about this all night, I know there are three possible outcomes. Actually, there’s an infinite number of outcomes, but only three highly probably ones. First outcome: Jayde struggles from the kiss, violently pulling herself away. The sudden jerking action leaves me so dazed that it barely registers when the palm of her open hand slaps across my cheek. “What the fuck are you doing?” she asks in a raised and stern tone. “I… I……

Pizza Poison – By John Ammirati
Flash Fiction / September 19, 2010

Perry got the slip for where the next Pizza Palace pizza was getting delivered: Jackson Raynor. His old high school principal. Principal Jackson Raynor, who wouldn’t let Perry attend his own high school graduation last year because of his poor attendance record. That bastard Principal Raynor. And his bastard family. The Pizza Palace had a rat problem and kept rat poison in the manager’s office. Perry sprinkled some poison on the Mega Meat pie going to the Raynor household. Principal Jackson Raynor. And his bastard family. Principal Raynor answered the door. “Hey,” Perry said. “Mega Meat?” “That’s the one,” Raynor said. “Saaay, I remember you. Perry… Hoffhauser? Right?” Perry gulped. “Yep.” He passed the pizza to Raynor. “How’ve you been Perry? How’s the working world treating you?” “It’s real good.” “Your dad still coaching Little League? Sorry, how much do I owe you?” “$9.76.” “Here’s $10,” said Raynor, handing over the bill, “and here’s an extra $5 for you.” Raynor smiled and his eye twinkled. Raynor’s little girl walked up to him and hugged his leg. “Daddy, Daddy! Pizza’s here!” she said. Raynor smiled at her and said to Perry, “Well, good seeing you, son. Take care of yourself.” “You,…

Adventures of G.O.D. – By Darlyne Baugh
Flash Fiction / August 8, 2010

Pablo grips a bottle of booze he managed not to drink last night. A block away Miguel and Niña trail pre-school kids who are joined by a tether and are blocking the sidewalk. The children are noisy and joyful. Their smiles glitter under cloudy skies. This is Pablo’s favorite time of day, a modest slice of time when he’s drunk from the night before, but not drunk enough. Bright sun breaks over the Verranzo Bridge, southeast light making its way toward Pablo’s world—a park bench situated along a curved road that faces Piers 88 and 90 on the Manhattan side of the Hudson River. The weight of the bottle in his hand is like a golden chalice of nectar. Unable to wait for Miguel and Niña to close the gap, he twists the bottle top off, gulping sweetness until his throat closes and swallows. His friends see him drink. Alarmed, they slip between parked cars and break into a trot, lest Pablo consume the whole bottle. “Hombre, can’t you wait?” Miguel says breathless, taking the liquor from Pablo and drinking a healthy dose. “Damn that’s good.” “Good morning, chacho,” Pablo says with a pound on Miguel’s back. Niña catches her…

A Little Pinch – By David Aquila
Flash Fiction / July 11, 2010

“You might feel a little pinch.” That’s how it starts and I turn my head to the right. I never can watch the needle go in, but I look back as soon as she snaps the band free of my bicep and tells me to unclench my hand. The blood fills the glass vial in steady waves of thick pumps. It’s so red, so final and I know. This test will determine it. Pass or Fail. Live or Die. Like the thumb of an emperor, it comes down to this. “I didn’t even study,” I try to joke with the nurse but her eyebrows wrinkle. She’s working, changing vials, not looking at me. “For the blood test,” I try again. “I didn’t even study.” Now she gets it with an, Oh, and a short, Heh, and her breath smells like tuna and mints. I wonder how many times she’s done this before? If she knows how much is riding on the blood in those vials. I feel the sweat coming. I bring a finger to the top of my lip. Five years free and I’d really thought I was clear, life or death? And not a quick death but one…

Late Delivery – By Nicholas Conley
Flash Fiction / May 9, 2010

I take the pizza box out of the bag. I hand it to Man #3. He opens up the box. He looks at me suspiciously. He ordered pepperoni and pineapple and if it isn’t just how he likes it, he’ll blame me. I know the type. Man #3 seems satisfied. I smile. I even got the pizza to him early this time. He digs into his pockets. “How much is it, again?” he asks. “13 bucks,” I reply. He takes out $15 and puts it in my hand. “Keep the change.” He walks inside. I go back to my car. $2 tip, not too bad. I look at my next delivery. It’s at 433 Banner Street, which I’ve never heard of. Great. I take out my map. There’s no Banner Street in town. The waitress must have messed up the order again. I sigh. She always does this. The pizza’s getting cold. I call the recipient’s number. “Hello?” woman #2 answers. “Hey, this is Sheriff’s Pizza Rodeo,” I talk quickly, “We can’t seem to find your address. 433 Banner Street, is it?” “Um, no,” she says in a tone that implies I’m an idiot for thinking it. “What is it,…

Such A Lovely Dream – By A.L. Cerda
Flash Fiction / May 2, 2010

It was such a lovely dream, too. My first dream about Sadie, how could it be anything but? So rife for pseudo-Freudian psychoanalysis, everything a metaphor for my fears and desires, my excitement and my frustration. The dream started with me at work, caught in a playful argument with my fellow workers about whether or not my dream girl actually had any interest in me, especially seeing as she hadn’t shown much. Then to the amazement of myself and the others, Sadie appeared behind me, surprising me with her hands clasped on my shoulders. “Let’s go,” she said. “I’ve got something to show you.” Those who weren’t slack-jawed let out the type of “Woooo!” sound you hear on bad sitcoms. I followed her out of the office and suddenly, on a dime, as happens in dreams, the location changed to the university where she studies (though truth be told, it looked more like the one I studied at). She smiled at me and said, “I have a new dance routine.” The brazen confidence she exuded belied the meek insecurity she held inside. Sadie hadn’t danced for anyone in years. She didn’t express any of this, explicitly or implicitly. I knew…