Flash

Photography by Leeta Harding

Death’s Good Counsel, Family Outing, Death’s Magic Tricks

by Cathleen Calbert

Death says, “Don’t listen to them. Don’t invite them in. Blow out those black candles, put away your high school Ouija board, unclasp your hands, and throw open the curtains when you catch the scent of oranges or roses, feel a heaviness on the bed, see a solid silhouette, find your milk drunk or soured, jewelry and shoes moved, wine turned to vinegar, mind to the afterlife.

~~~

Bluebeard

by Tyler Dunning

The first cursed with the key, poor Penelope, strolled the long passage of the lower floor, to a fastened door: the small room a secret chamber built by the lust of her future maimer. And when she spoke of these ills, giving her whole village the chills, her claims were met with a muzzling scold: What is the worth of your word when weighed against gold?

~~~

Welcome to the After Life

by Alexandra Gipson

To be blunt, the planet you used to call home struggles to support and meet the needs of 7.5 billion—and counting—human beings. With this in mind, please try to understand that your death had to happen. Know, too, that you specifically were not targeted. Your death was the result of a completely random selection — you, along with 100,000 others, were chosen to die on September 8, 2016.

~~~

Temporal Warfare

by Chris Moylan

Before anyone knew it Mozambique was gone, Cape Verde misplaced like the car keys. Water spouts danced in the Mojave Desert, icebergs huddled in the Long Island Yacht Club. Tornadoes swept in packs through through Sydney and Beijing. Sinkholes the size of neighborhoods gaped in the streets of Miami.

~~~

Bus Fare

by Lindsay Pugh

“How is your wife?” the regulars ask. They ask because it is a safe topic. It is something they can talk about on an outdated bus in a bad part of town heading toward jobs that only pay enough to make rent sometimes and schools that don’t care if they drop out. They ask because they know Gregory’s son is dead because of the flag they still have hanging in his window thirty years later and Gregory lives in the same neighborhood they do and the savings from greater fuel efficiency don’t go into his salary.

~~~

Phosphenes

by Emily Walling

“We see you,” the spiders hum harmoniously. “Stay out of our home.”

I wish you would stay out of mine, I think.

“Stay away,” they warn. I rub my eyes hard, overloading my retinas until all I see are phosphenes. Explosions of color and awkward light.

~~~