Tuesday, September 16, 2008

story: Emergency Exit

Las Vegas Fiction - Bodog Nation: "Tonight, a puncture in the air-conditioning unit above the third turnstile, a slow drip of chilled water into the stack of plastic trays. Like a miracle rain, delivered to Vegaboy of the Desert, but they can't see the miracle. Instead, the monsters waiting in the security lineup nervously complain: my wallet's soaked, my alligator belt, my laptop can't get wet, dammit, dammit, dammit."

Click the link to read the rest

Story: Violeta

Artvoice - Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly: "He came back again. The best at the agency, knocking on her door. This time she was sitting cross-legged among candles burnt low. There were circles under her eyes; they were deep violet in the dimness. She leapt her bony frame and grabbed his arms by both wrists.

“Come sit with me!”"

click the link to read the rest

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Gone Fishing

Flash Forward is on vacation till further notice, which of course will be posted here.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

story: Phil


by Tom Mahony - pacificoffering (at) sbcglobal.net

= = = = =

It looked like a body, floating in the kelp, under the blanket of Pacific fog. Jake couldn’t tell. Too far offshore, the morning light too weak.

He stood on the cliff, sipping coffee, contemplating. He’d stopped to check the waves, hoping for a surf. Hoping for some stoke before confronting another day of vagrancy. He had no job, no woman, and no prospects. Not even a home. With Phil—his roommate and best friend—vanished, Jake couldn’t pay the rent, already way past due. The landlord booted him yesterday. Everything he owned filled his truck.

The waves were small and blown. Jake didn’t feel like groveling in the mush. But this thing, the body or likeness thereof, haunted him. Phil. It might be Phil. He disappeared last week during a giant swell, surfed this very reef and never returned. His board washed up on the rocks, but no body. Could it be? Jake paced the cliff. Only one way to find out.

He slipped on his wetsuit, grabbed his board, scrambled down the sandstone, and hopped into the ocean. Frigid water stung his exposed limbs until they grew pleasantly numb. He stroked past crumbling waves into open water. Nearing the kelp, he felt, with deepening dread, the floater was Phil. Had to be. Just too coincidental, the mystery solved. Jake could not fathom his death.

Phil was a sketchy character of dubious scruples. But he set the bar, called the shots, made the plans. He devoured life, knew the answers. A dynamic enigma. Invincible. Phil scorned modern society. Jake did too, but lacked the balls to leave.

Since childhood, they dreamed of ditching the country, permanently, for a windswept Baja headland, surfing, fishing, taking local brides. Just talk, fantasy, but Jake never abandoned the dream. Nothing held him here, no job, no house, no family save a distant sister. Yet he remained, wasting into oblivion. Poverty stymied the adventure planning, sure, but inertia was the kicker. Phil needed to trigger the journey—a wink and nod over beers, supply list scrawled on a cocktail napkin, wheels in motion.

The past week, Jake doubted Phil’s demise, figured he just split town for reasons unknown. Had expected a postcard, replete with outlandish story, any day now. But the floating body changed things. Phil was gone. The dream was dead.

Jake’s heart thudded as he reached the kelp bed. He began to regret paddling out, didn’t want to see Phil’s corpse. Didn’t want to drag him to shore, up the cliff, and into his truck. He considered heading in and forgetting the body altogether. Keep pretending Phil was alive, somewhere, raising hell. Keep pretending the future held possibility.

He hesitated, groping for a valid reason to bail. But reality sunk in. Denial would change nothing. Just get it done. He paddled into the kelp. Apprehension grew with each stroke. Thirty feet to go. Twenty. Ten. He reached it.

Relief overtook him. He straddled his board and laughed out loud. Wasn’t Phil. Wasn’t a body at all, just a large black duffel bag, perhaps washed up in recent storms. He started toward shore, but curiosity stopped him.

He grabbed the bag, fumbled with the zipper, and looked inside. His jaw dropped. The duffel bulged with several handguns, and, sealed in freezer bags, cash. Lots of it. He rifled through the cash, shaking with excitement. Stacks and stacks of bills. Millions of dollars worth. Excitement turned to paranoia. Somebody must be looking for the duffel. Somebody with serious issues. And he held it, floating in a kelp bed. Time to head in.

As he zipped it shut, something caught his eye. A yellow drybag. Inside was a wallet, passport, map. He opened the passport and stared in disbelief. Phil stared back with his classic shit-eater.

What the hell?

Jake studied the map. Baja. Notations were scrawled beside a familiar headland deep down the peninsula. A remote fishing village of fine surf and friendly people. Since childhood, he’d frequented the place with Phil.

Truth hit Jake like a revelation. Phil hadn’t died surfing, only pretended to. The washed up surfboard was a nice touch. Upon reflection, he realized Phil’s prized possession—his guitar—went missing when he did. Jake felt a surge of anger, abandonment. Why would Phil split for Baja and leave him behind? And, more importantly, did he make it? The abandoned duffel was a bad sign. He’d been snared in something deep. But Phil defied expectation.

Jake sat frozen, wondering what to do. His life could change this instant, if he had the stones. He scratched his head and studied the fog. The kelp smelled like a whale’s ass. Or so he imagined. The decision came slow but certain.

He zipped the duffel, slid it on like a backpack, and paddled inside, catching a wave to shore. He unpeeled his wetsuit, dressed, and drove to an alley. After removing the money and drybag, he tossed the duffel into a dumpster.

Impending tasks cluttered his head as he drove off. He would stuff fifty grand through his sister’s mail slot. Another fifty to a local do-gooder group. Perhaps send anonymous roses to that top-heavy girl in the downstairs apartment who always smiled at him.

Then he would buy supplies. Food, water, surfboards, camping gear. The best he could find. All that would fit in his truck. He was headed south of the border, to find Phil, to surf and live in peace. And he was never coming back.

= = = = =

bio: Tom Mahony is a biological consultant in central California with an M.S. degree from Humboldt State University . His fiction has appeared in flashquake, VerbSap, Void Magazine, Laughter Loaf, Long Story Short, and Surfer Magazine. He is currently circulating a novel for publication.

Friday, October 20, 2006

submit: Fringe Magazine

Fringe Magazine -- "The noun that verbs your world" -- seeks
submissions in all genres, particularly flash fiction. Political,
experimental, and cross-genre work welcome. Fringe turns one in 2007!
Now accepting submissions for our first anniversary theme issue,
Feminism, due out in February. See www.FringeMagazine.org for details.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

story: Just in Time

Just in Time

by Rod Drake - mrdrake (at) cox.net

= = = = =

“Time is not linear. It’s circular. Actually, it’s more like a loop, endlessly spinning.”

“So everything runs over and over again?”

“Right. That’s makes time travel possible, although you’re not really traveling through time. Imagine time like a carousel; you merely need to wait until the animal you want to ride comes around and then step aboard. The animal is a moment in time; the carousel is the time loop. If you miss it the first time, it doesn’t matter; it will be around again soon.”

“So, how did you get here from the future? If you’re from the future?”

“Now that would be telling. But you don’t need a time machine or any such elaborate science fiction device. Just an understanding of how time flows. And knowing where the holes in the flow are.”


“Anomalies. Singularities. Essentially gauze-like areas that let time curve and retain its loop shape. Also to allow for branching time.”

“And branching time is?”

“Time that proceeds from an event, a decision. Each event has limitless outcomes; if you go to work, one timeline develops; if you don’t, a different timeline is created.”

“How do all of these multitudes of timelines fit together?”

“They don’t. The correct timeline becomes dominant, and the others spin off into pocket time universes. However, pocket time universes sometimes create real problems, aligning themselves with the dominant timeline and influencing it, sometimes changing it. But to answer your original question, I just slip through one of the holes in the “gauze” at the moment in time that I want to visit.”

“Why did you choose here? Or rather, now?”

“Good question. Normally I would say it’s better that you don’t know. By knowing, you might influence or change things. But this time I guess it won’t hurt anything.”

“Why not? Or can’t you tell me that either?”

“Because you won’t live long enough to affect anything.” Then the time traveler pulled out a cell phone-looking device, aimed it at his companion and clicked it. His companion disappeared like a television set being turned off.

The time traveler clicked a different button on the same device and held it up to his face. “The subject who created the branching timeline earlier today has been neutralized. The end of the world has been postponed. Time is running,” he smiled wryly to himself, “back on time again.”

= = = = =

bio: Rod Drake lives and writes in Las Vegas. He is not a Desolation Angel, a Dharma Bum, a Subterranean nor is he On the Road. Read Rod’s other stories posted in Flashing in the Gutters, Flashes of Speculation, Fictional Musings, Flash Flooding and AcmeShorts.

story: Postmodern Love

Postmodern Love

by Guy Hogan - www.flashfictionnow.blogspot.com

= = = = =

Frank Conti drove, enjoying how the car handled on the long stretches of nearly empty Pennsylvania highway. It was an old, used car but from a good dealer and it gave him no problems. Another person's old car can be big problems, but he'd been lucky and had been driving nearly half an hour before realizing Vivian Thompson hadn't said a word. He looked over at her. She sat looking away, out at an endless empty field with hills behind it and then blue-gray mountains far beyond the hills. The field was completely empty. No animals. No crops. No grass. Just dry dirt. Frank patted Vivian's thigh. She turned her face to him and smiled. She didn't want to talk. She didn't want to talk all the way back into Pittsburgh. They'd been visiting Frank's best friends. The friends were young with a new baby, giddily happy in their marriage. Viv was wearing shorts and a sleeveless blouse. Frank drove through the light traffic in the city and parked in front of her apartment building. As they sat in the car the sun was setting. Viv was fifteen years older than Frank.

"Frank, do you mind if we call it a day?"

"Did I say or do something wrong?"

"I just want to do a few things around the apartment."

"Can't you do them with me there?"

"I need some time to myself"

"I was hoping to spend the night."


"All right," he said. "May I use the bathroom?"

She sat holding her shoulder bag in her lap with both hands.

Inside, after turning on the air conditioning, she sat on the couch and pulled off her sandals. He stood near the couch with his hands in the pockets of his jeans. Maybe he should have worn slacks. No, she was dressed casual, too. She put her feet up on the low table. She put her head back and closed her eyes. Frank sat beside her.

"Viv, what's wrong?"

"I don't know. I don't know what's wrong."

"Aren't you feeling well?"

"It's so hot. I've never known it to be this hot."

He watched her. He looked at her hair. He looked at her face. He looked at her arms, legs, ankles and feet. He leaned down and kissed the place where the pulse beat in her throat.

"Oh, stop it!"

She got up, went to the door and unlocked it. She stood holding open the door.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"I want you to go."

"What's wrong?"

"Just go."

"Why won't you talk to me?"


"Talk to me."

"Frank, please."

"All right," he said. "All right then."



"I liked your friends."

"We grew up together. We were kids together."

"When will I see you again?"

"I don't know."

"Call me?"

"We'll see."

Several days later Frank took Viv out to dinner. Afterward, they walked holding hands like the young couples out that night in a nice residential neighborhood near the campus of CMU. A warm breeze blew. The full moon hung in the star speckled black sky. Families sat out on their front porches.

Frank said, "Let's get a place together."

"We've been all through this."

"It doesn't make sense renting two places."

"I like my privacy."

"What's that suppose to mean?"

"Just what it says."

They walked through a pool of light from a streetlamp. Just ahead, a young couple got out of a car parked at the curb, locked it and went into a nearby home. Frank and Viv walked past a church.

Frank said, "You lived with Ted."

"Ted was my husband and God knows I need another husband like I need a hole in the head."

The homes in this neighborhood sat behind neat lawns. The air was full of the smell of freshly mowed grass.

Viv said, "What brought this on?"

"I went down to the river today. I just sat and thought about things down by the river."

"What things?"

"Things in general."

"But what things?"

"You know," he said. "Just things."

"Well, let's leave things the way they are."

Still holding hands, they strolled on.

She said, "You want out?"

"No," he said.

"Are you positive?"

"I'm sure," he said.

"You let me know."

"I'll let you know," he said.

"Don't cheat on me," she said.

He said, "I'll let you know."

Just then the streetlamp ahead of them blinked out.

= = = = =
bio: Previous publications are Pittsburgh Quarterly, Chick Flicks, Word Riot and the book Compressionism: The Pittsburgh Stories (self-published at www.iUniverse.com).

Monday, October 02, 2006

story: White Moth

White Moth
by Christian Smith - christianmyth69 (at) yahoo.com

= = = = =
A white moth, huge, wings stained with eyes and lines, rests in the corner where the windshield meets the roof. How the hell did it get in the car? For that matter, how the hell did the car come to stand on end like this? I lie back in the comfortable seat, looking straight up at the black sky, pondering these questions. So sleepy. Christ. I oughtta pull over. Close my eyes for a few minutes. Float backwards for a while.

I snap awake. The moth. It's a big fucker. Never seen one so big. At least a foot across from one wing tip to the other. Big as a bird. How did it get in the car? It's like a dream where you don't remember the thing that just happened, but you do recall the thing which happened just before. We’d been to a party, Ginny and me. So lit up we’d actually danced. It was nice. We haven't danced in years. Her smile whispered promises of the tastes we would share at home. On the long drive home, though, she crawled into the backseat and fell asleep. So forget about that. Still, it was nice to dance.

I feel sick. I'm not used to this much drink. It’s not my fault, though. They just kept pressing them into my hand. I turn my head and vomit blood and glass into the water.
The moth moves; an agitated flutter. Its wings hum. I wonder if Ginny sees it, if she's awake. The rear-view mirror shows her face. She is pale and white in the bright glare of the dome light. Her eyes are open. Ginny smiles at me through the shimmery curtain which has been drawn between the front seat and the back. Her hair floats about her head, buoyant upon a gentle wind. Seems strange that I see her so clearly. Strange that she looks so white.

She blows me a kiss and a bubble rolls from her lips. Water tickles the back of my ears. The moth flaps its wings, stirring the air before my face. It floats in space turned topsy-turvy.

Moths seek lights and flames because they navigate by the moon. The big moth eclipses the dome light. The car is darkened. The moth disappears but the darkness remains. I can't see Ginny anymore. The water in my eyelids is too cold to be tears.

I'm angry for a moment, and seek someone to blame, but this also soon dies. An old song plays on the radio, or maybe it's Ginny singing in the back seat. It is the song we had danced to, or maybe it's not. I can't remember. I try to laugh, but something blocks my throat.

The car dives backwards into the darkness of the lake. I open my mouth and a glorious moth flies from my lips, seeking the moon.

= = = = =
Bio: Christian Smith is a stay-at-home Dad who blogs at http://christian-lunatic.blogspot.com/ Come up and see him sometime.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

story: Pink Flamingos

Pink Flamingos
by the name is dalton

= = = = = =

I wanted to see the window one more time. The lock on the front door hung loose, anybody who wanted to come in and see my collection of things could and at anytime. This never alarmed me that much. The few things I did want to see were not in my home but out on the lawn, which I could see from the window.

= = = = = =

bio: The Name Is Dalton is a punk rock bass player with too many beers in his fridge and too many Bukowski books on his shelves. His work has appeared in Culture Freak, Flash Flooding and Long Live The King.