Favorite Fiction: 4th Quarter 2021

Beauty Among Thorns / See attribution below

This is a quick and dirty post because I procrastinated putting it together because, well, that’s what I do, sometimes. Sigh. If I proclaimed New Years resolutions I’d proclaim not to procrastinate but I don’t so I won’t.

So if, like me, you’ll be huddling in your home tonight cursing the fireworks that frighten your pets, click on these exceptional flash fictions I’ve collected for your reading pleasure. A nice glass of bubbly would be a perfect accompaniment. Happy New Year! 🥂

She combed my hair and picked the leaves out of it and washed my body, then she filled up envelopes that said Stephanie’s shining hair and From Stephanie’s running legs and From Stephanie’s wonderful pumping arms.



She spoke in a dialect I didn’t know to the man in a black t-shirt, his head wrapped in a bandana. He nodded and ladled clear broth onto a clump of yellow noodles. There was an iron pot shaped like an ancient throne, covered with layers of rust. Inside, brown meat sauce bubbled over a fire.



We followed the trail onto the lake, and we saw how the tracks veered away from the safety of the white ice toward the grey. We got off our machines half way out because the ice was too weak to hold us riding. We walked out to a casket-sized spot where I could see the bubbles in the water below through the wafer-thin ice.

The Only Comfort By Meagan Lucas in Pithead Chapel


Pay attention to any sounds the animals make. These may be the only warnings they give that they are agitated. When you spot Christopher Walken twice at your hotel, do not wave. When he audibly grunts the second time he sees you, do not make eye contact again. He is indeed agitated.

General Rules for a Starfari When Visiting Hollywood by Susan Triemert in Scrawl Place


The children’s mother will hate your death, the messiness of it. It will remind her of something small and breakable in herself that she hasn’t thought of in a great long while. She’ll hate the weight of her husband’s hand on her shoulder, the chill she can feel through her silk blouse, she’ll hate the detectives and their notebooks and the sound of her own children crying, crying, crying for you.

Being the Murdered Nanny by Cathy Ulrich in Mayday Magazine


At the cemetery, I unscrew the top of my mason jar, hold it out and run between the gravestones, arms wide. I run circles and figure eights around the old marble and rock that tell of peoples’ names and the lives they lived. Tia Carmen sits on a bench and sings.

El Triste By ERIC SCOT TRYON in Ghost Parachute


Once there was land. Once there was a beach where we spread towels and cooked food over fires and tossed Frisbies to dogs that nipped them from the air. The beach was sand and soft. We stood on the beach at the end of the day and applauded the sun setting over the water and then we drove home.

Rise by Sarah Freligh in Trampset


Like Beauty, she pricked herself with darkness. She rose to the mirror to ask the questions about waist and thighs. When it answered, mouthing the drab adjectives for size, she understood the anger of queens.

Sleep Diet: A Fable by Gary Fincke in Milk Candy Review


And I see you as you used to say you saw yourself — out there on that rink of a river, all sit-spins and salchows, triple jumps and toe loops. Before you settled in with me, before you started singling your axels. Before I stopped accompanying you to the rink to watch you skate through life.

A Centrifugal Wish BY PAT FORAN in Moonpark Review


Next up: Favorite Poetry (Date tbd) 😊

Image credit: Mural by Dale Conboy aka @daleconboytattoos for @kotisstreetart as seen in Eden, North Carolina and posted on Terence Faircloth’s Flickr

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