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Fiction | Word Riot
Short Stories | July 30, 2017

Monsters in Times Square by Sarah Beaudette

     When New Mickey showed up in front of the Visitors Center on 7th, he wouldn’t give our little welcoming committee the time of day. Just stood there under the Jumbotron, his glossy mask a highway of pink and orange light.      The first thing I noticed was his getup. Most Times Square characters are Party City amateurs, Halloween trick-or-treat motherfuckers like your Spidermans and your Batmans with bagged out knees and nicotine stains. Then there’s the professionals, like your boy Pluto. I saved all the money from my Batman days and sent away for a good Pluto from Peru: carved foam,

Flash Fiction | July 29, 2017

The Double Doors by Chanacee Ruth-Killgore

     “Pardon?” I asked, tapping my ear, though I’d heard her the first time.

     “You don’t have enough points, sir,” she repeated.

     “I see.” I had known it was coming and now as the middle-aged nurse rolled me toward the dreaded Double Doors, I felt the apprehension I’d seen on so many other faces as the end was pulled into plain sight before them.

     “When I checked last night…”

     “That was before you needed help getting to the bathroom this morning, sir.” Her tone was matter-of-fact.

     “It didn’t used to be like this.”

     “No, sir,” she replied, as we continued toward

Flash Fiction | July 29, 2017

Monoculus By Susan McCreery

He held his new glass eye up to the light. I like it, he said. It has boldness. Depth. He fitted the eye and set its gaze on her, penetrating, unwavering. She said, Don’t look at me like that. I can’t help it, he said. It’s the eye. It has boldness, depth. I can’t change its expression. Then buy another one, she said. I can’t stand being looked at like that all day. It was the last one in the shipment, he said. I’d have to wait three months for another selection. They’re not easy to obtain. I can wait

Flash Fiction | July 29, 2017

Nothing But Sawdust by Deng Xiang

The boy was carved out of wood. He had wooden arms, legs, and joints that kept him together.      He could walk just fine, just like the other students, but a little more stiffly. He could also motion with his hands and even talk using his wooden voice box and tongue.      However, there was one thing that he had not been carved with: personality.      He would walk around the school compound, slow and emotionless, like a walking dead. He would watch as all the people he passed acted in different ways from each other; their behaviour, their speech — they were

Short Stories | July 29, 2017

How Your New Neighbors Arrive by Jeffrey Gibbs

The old neighbors had been hiding in the basement since last month after the unmarked white Tauruses started roaming the streets with their surveillance devices. Family by family, night after night, we watched people arrive at three in the morning, the hour the door was unlocked. The women led the children by the hand down the stairs into the subterranean darkness where they hoped they’d be safe and secret. The men carried weapons just in case—hand guns, kitchen knives, broken broom handles. We’d wondered if we should go, too. Each night at three, we had asked ourselves this from under

Flash Fiction | July 29, 2017

As Wide, as Deep: a heart and a hole by Duncan Barlow

With the yellow crescent moon slung in a strange way, they began digging a hole for the missing cat. Wider, she said, the cat is bigger. Though it absurd to dig a hole so large, he agreed. A gentleman’s word is bond and a bond is a homely man’s only hand to play. I’m sorry I was gone when she left, he said. She was my girl, she said. And you are mine, he said. Dig deep as my heart is wide, she said. He agreed. The further they went, the harder it was to displace the earth, until she

Flash Fiction | July 29, 2017

Volunteer by Eileen Rush

After three weeks she’d worked her way up to gutting quail. The birds came in packs of twelve, frozen. The girl (not young) would leave the bag in the sink to thaw while she cleaned the owl mews. When she was finished, covered in the white mute she’d scrubbed from the walls, bits of bone stuck to her jeans, she’d take a stiff quail from the bag and decisively cleave it in half.      Once she made a cut and five glistening orbs fell out, translucent circles within circles, like a marble, a cat’s eye.      “Eggs,” said the man who owned

Flash Fiction | July 29, 2017

Gluckschmerz by Michael Loveday

Gabriel clasped my hand, smiled all over me, and confessed the news of his success. A flicker must have passed over the screen of my face; he looked doubtful, as if concerned he’d misspoken.      I considered my mode of response. For a moment through the bay window behind him I glimpsed the spires and historic structures of the city. They spread out along the skyline, their limestone gilded by the late sun and speaking of a magnificence that I cherished. This was truly a starburst moment, a marvellous accomplishment. This was the final realization of a long application of prodigious

Flash Fiction | July 29, 2017

Ashes on Cape Cod by Miranda Forman

     I asked Jenny to be my girlfriend at lunch on the third day of seventh grade, after math class when Sam Butler told me I was a frog face with a syphilitic dick who would never be loved by anyone except my frog-faced dog. I didn’t look Jenny in the eye—I looked down at my untied sneakers—and I said, “Jenny, will you be my girlfriend?” She clapped her hands and let out a little squeal and said, “Yes, Max,” in her perfect breathy voice. If we ever kissed, I imagined that it would be epic enough to crack open the

Flash Fiction | July 29, 2017

Prescient by Melissa Ostrom

     The creature could not surprise her.      Before it appeared, she had worked, digging out sticky weed and scattering viola and columbine seeds, her breath held for long spells, suspending her lungs like tethered, too-full balloons. Her terror of the unrealized enemy, a fear inherited from her Portuguese grandmother, prepared her for the invasion. And the reptile, close to the front door on the dappled ground between the red and white Meidiland roses, coiled like a two-foot length of chorizo, vindicated her suspicion. Of course there would be a snake. There had always been a snake. Her genes had secured this

Flash Fiction | July 29, 2017

The Ladies Walking Club by Caitlin Corrigan

Imagine a cube.

Imagine a woman inside, and bed sheets. Picture the photographs framed in silver and black on the walls. The sun rises, sets. The woman’s motions are like the hands of a clock: regular, but subtle, grounded to a still center point.

Imagine one morning the woman removes a part of the cube, let’s call it a window shade. Now see the greening there, the small buds wet and heavy with rain. It is early morning, but light outside. The grass below the woman’s feet is plush and ripe. She trails in pieces of dead leaf

Short Stories | July 29, 2017

The Island, Language, and # Taboo by Saul Lemerond

About the author:

Originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin, Saul Lemerond is a third year PhD student at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette where he is the assistant to the Director of Creative Writing. His book Kayfabe and Other Stories was published by One Wet Shoe Press in 2013. His poetry, non-fiction, and short stories have also been published in Gigantic Sequins, Dunesteef, Drabblecast, Notes Magazine, and elsewhere. He was a finalist for the Conium Review Innovative Short Fiction Contest and the Gigantic Sequins Flash Fiction Contest.

Flash Fiction | July 29, 2017

Night Terrors by Abby Burns

When she’s asleep, Lauren is afraid of everything. Escalators. Spiders. Witches who cast spells on your body to make you run slowly, scream at a whisper, and throw a punch like a high-five. Apples. Worms inside of apples. The dark. Baby bunnies and adult bunnies and bunnies the size of buildings. Fire. Tornadoes. Earthquakes. Tsunamis. Disaster, in general. Putting on shoes after one of your feet has been amputated. Delivering someone’s mail to the fifth floor of a building after you’ve put on shoes after one of your feet has been amputated. Pillows. People. Men. Mostly men. Lauren wakes up

Flash Fiction | July 29, 2017

A Snapping Turtle Having a Bad Experience Ordering Business Cards by Jordan Moffatt

The snapping turtle wasn’t looking forward to ordering new business cards. He had a bad experience last time he ordered business cards. Last time he specifically ordered waterproof business cards.      “And do these look waterproof to you?” the snapping turtle said to his girlfriend as he easily tore a business card in half with his snapper. “Cause they don’t look waterproof to me!”      The printing shop replaced the non-waterproof batch with a waterproof batch and said that the next batch he ordered would be on the house. They delivered the replacement batch in person, as a gesture.      “Here are your

Flash Fiction | July 29, 2017

Family Dinner by Justin Follin Smith

It starts with a marriage. Not your parents, of course. You weren’t born when that happened. This is the second marriage. The one your parents have after they divorce. This is your father’s marriage. You don’t know if he loves her because he doesn’t do love. One time after your parents got divorced you asked him if he still loved your mom. He said it was complicated. This is your almost-stepmother. You refrain from calling her your actual stepmother as long as you possibly can because you don’t want it to be true. She’s tall, medium build, with gray hair