2019 Flash Us Your Fiction
by Janet Miller
Old Alba made notes. Scribble, scribble, scribble.
Sidewalk-2 sm. dogs-yapping
The writing stopped.
On Sunday morning Police Constable Hopkins, uniformed, official looking, tall and broad, knocked on the door of Alba’s room.
She’d seen him coming down the street from her perch by her window, having her cigarette. When his boots started up the stairs she pinched the butt, put it in the oyster shell on the sill.
“Thought you’d promised to stay out of trouble Alba. Report of an elderly woman near the bridge a few days ago. That you? Sounds like you. What were you doing?”
Alba overlapped the front of her grey sweater, pulled it loosely across, adjusted her shawl, said, “Fishin’”.
“I doubt that. The report says the old lady threw a sack in the water. You chop someone up, Alba?”
“I was fishin’ it outta the water.”
“What was in the sack, Alba? No lies now.”
“How many dead cats?”
“Almost all of ‘em.”
“Threwd it back in. What would I want with a bunch of drownded cats?”
Both Alba and the constable looked down at a scramble taking place in the fabric at Alba’s bosom. The head of a small, fluffy orange tabby appeared. A wide yawn showed all its tiny sharp milk teeth. The kitten focused its green eyes on the constable’s large blue chest and shiny buttons.
The kitten hissed.
The constable took a quick step back.
Old Alba cackled.
Mid-Life Climate Change
by Derek Hanebury
“I just can’t believe that we’re responsible for making the sea levels rise like they’re predicting,” she said.
“We did it,” I said. “There’s no one else to blame.”
“And now we’re doing nothing to stop it.”
“Yep, even doing nothing can have its consequences.”
I was driving south with my first wife, well before everything went south, her in her usual jeans and a sweat shirt with the Saturday Sun fanned open to a page on climate change dotted with crumbs from her daily bran muffin, me at the wheel of our SUV locked into dreams (okay, fantasies) of something less predictable than the weekend paper and watching the weather channel for another 20 years. Her muffin done, she cracked the window an inch or two, raised the paper up to shake the crumbs onto the highway, and whoosh the entire Sun flew out the window quicker than her gasp. I took to the rear-view mirror and watched the paper blow across the shoulder –-Lifestyles, Weekend Living, World Affairs, the Personals— the whole Sun raced for the ditch and then caught by our exhaust reared up like a cloud of kites or a herd of paper cobras just above the heads of our two wide-eyed boys trusting me to hold the wheel steady. We all started laughing then: Them wonderstruck at how fast it could all go out the window; me at how one day, somewhere down the road, it would.
Letter of Love
by Shelley Green
Your father died last month in my arms. He wanted me to write you. I have never met you but your father told me good things about you. Your father, The Great Cicero was an artist like no other. Everyone loved Cicero and came to all his shows. Your father was a mime, a clown, and an artiste. He wanted the audience to witness the shapes and sounds that he could create from the air. They would feel it on their skin like silk. His performance was more than magic and the transformation that happened in the theatre was indescribable. You could feel the wind, see the spaghetti and smell the elephant farts. Alone on the stage, he was the creator of an unfolding and invisible universe. He made his world real and touchable. Blowing up an imaginary balloon, he would step into its shadow and find love. He liked to play Debussy’s Claire de Lune while the story unravelled. He wanted me to explain his life to you: he died a happy man with some regrets about you, which I will not say here. Charlie, the Roman philosopher, Cicero who your father looked like and often quoted: “The life given by nature is short; but the meaning of a well-spent life is eternal.” Charlie, your father had a well-spent life that’s what he wanted you to know. He was my trusted friend and we were lovers.