Category: Flash Fiction

A ship’s bell

Bells are ringing, each toll like a death knell to my spirit. It’s traditional for the town bells to sound when there is good news to celebrate. The fleet returns, and the pealing began when the first sail was sighted. I knew before the last of the fleet docked in port that one ship was ...

Broken seashells

Previously: Paisley, rosemary, and time The best time to search for seashells is after a big storm, after torrential winds and surging waves churn up debris from the ocean floor. Whole shells and a myriad of fragments littered the beach, scattered over the sand like so much discarded chaff. Paisley and Jane walked along the ...

Upside down

The lake was like glass, the surface so clear, so pristine, it was difficult to tell what was real and what was a reflection. The world turned upside down or flipped right-side up? He stood poised on the end of pier, his toes extended over the edge of the worn, wooded boards. Slowly he raised ...

Time is a web

What came before: Capt. Poppy Spector After weeks recuperating from her near-fatal shipwreck, Poppy was finding life in an agrarian settlement a welcome change from the rigid routine of space travel. She was healing in body, mind, and spirit. Once she was feeling stronger, Poppy joined the ovine herders. It was the shearing season and ...

A homecoming

What came before: A Salt Life Poppy was convinced she had finally succumbed to space sickness. Her long, solitary trek and the loss of her entire crew to the perils of harsh planet exploration broke her spirit and snapped her sanity. It was impossible for a standard-argot speaking human to be standing in front of ...

The end is near

What has gone before: Goodwood Duxford tales... “While you’ve been here with Grace, the ladies and I have been over at The Magpie,” said Lilith, a newly-deceased resident of Gramberly Cemetery and best friend of Goodwood “Goody” Duxford, cemetery caretaker. “Patsy has quite the library of paranormal reference books.” Goody, Lilith, Frankie (Goody’s girlfriend), Grace (another ...

Medicine Show

You could read the sign on the side of Dr. Randall’s medicine wagon from a half-mile away. He’d roll into town every couple of months to put on a show. It was a cross between a tent revival meeting and a wandering minstrel faire. Granny used to say all Randall sold was snake oil and ...

Party time

“What should the invitations say?” “We should use his government name.” “Most people only know him by ‘Big Boy, they won’t know who Chauncey is.” “They’ll figure it out.” The two sisters, Ida and Ella, sorted through an upholstered album filled with stationery samples debating paper weight, and whether embossed or calligraphy lettering was better. ...

Open call

The sign hanging outside the seamstress’ shop creaked as it slowly swayed above the store entrance. Flakes of sun-bleached paint fell with each swing peppering the sidewalk dull green and yellow. If passers-by peered through the storefront’s milky, open-backed windows, they would see stripped dress forms lined up like a phalanx of linen and papier-mâché ...