Favorite Fiction 3rd Quarter 2021

Oh, friends. I have a stellar selection of Flash Fiction for you this quarter. Stellar! Each one of these stories blew me away when I read them. They range from poignant and heartbreaking to spooky and freaky. They are all great reads for Rocktober & will rock your Pumpkin Spice world. Do not skip a one or I might have to unleash some juju on ya. 💀

©Charlotte Hamrick

An Alternate Theory Regarding Natural Disasters, as Posited by the Teenage Girls of Clove County, Kansas by Myna Chang in Women on Writing & 1st Place winner in their Spring 2021 Flash Fiction Contest

It was the summer Crystal Toynbee tied her drunk husband up in a bedsheet and beat him with the cast-iron skillet until he pleaded for mercy, but she knew how his bar-knuckle mercy worked, so she kept swinging…

Cleaning the Bathromm and Other Chores You Won’t Do by Neeru Nagarajan in The Cobalt Weekly

My arms ache like I have dragged four corpses, reaching spots behind the toilet and in the corners where the walls and floor shielded spiders and the homes they’ve spun. I know you would like me to do the laundry as well because you work all day and I’m home all day, having nothing to do.

So You Think You Can Tell by Patricia Q. Bidar in Pithead Chapel

That’s when it comes: A hideous skid and crunch from outside. Metallic and final. The condo faces a wide street just a few yards from a big intersection. Crashes are not unheard of. In this surreal time of quarantine, absolutely nothing outside of this house would surprise.

The Last Thing We Were Was Drowning by Pat Foran. He reads this extraordinary flash piece on Tahoma Literary Review’s SoundCloud.

Our child died and we’d been underwater for a year, on our way to the bottom of the sea. “It’s what grief can do, it can take you there”, said the grief people, the ones who hit the sea floor before us.

Don’t forget Sunday dinner, we’d love to have you by Timothy Boudreau in Cease Cows

she sliced her finger peeling the potatoes, tightened the Band-Aid until the tip of her finger showed purple-blue, that she watched six drops of blood plop into the garlic sauce, that she stirred the blood in, watched the burgundy melt into the golden-brown

The Hot Pitch Under by Nina Ferrari in Longleaf Review

The girl fled from his hands and didn’t look back. One last stop for the milk and she was done. On her way home, she saw his silhouette blocking her path on the empty ring road. He came closer. His eyes were hard like spears and she felt painfully female.

The Blue-Haired Woman on the Polish Freighter by Jacqueline Doyle in New World Writing

Afraid to return to our staterooms during the day, we clustered in the small bar drinking Polish vodka tonics, making nervous jokes about who would be next, and speculating at length about members of the crew, since none of us believed that another passenger had committed the crime. How could it be one of us?

Combat Zone by Jamy Bond in Tiny Molecules

We’d been waiting all day to watch Pennywise rise from the sewers of Derry, but Jocelyn’s father turned off the tv before the movie even started. “There are some things you can never un-see,” he said.

god at the side of the road by A. Poythress in Fractured Lit

The sound of cracking and something wet filled the truck then, and you battled with your seatbelt until it let you loose. It hurt to land on the windshield, but you knew if you didn’t get out, whatever it was that got Billy’d come for you next.

By the Gleam of Her Teeth, She Will Light the Path Before Her by Tina May Hall in Fractured Lit

Second Daughter imagines all of the things that could be circling her house with a flashlight. She remembers stories from school of children being cut up and left in the forest. She remembers the wolves and the bears and the abused boys who grow up to torture people found via classified ads.


©Charlotte Hamrick

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