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Fantasy

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Three is a Sacred Number

K’loth bends his face to the basin and washes. The first washing of the day is for the Gods. One is the Goddess. Two is the God. Three is the Shadow. The water drips from pale blue tentacles above his mouth that move in the motions of prayers he has said every day since attaining […]

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I Will You Back to Time and Space

You are ten years unborn on the evening of the day that will soon become known as G-day. I am washing dishes in the kitchen of our newly bought terrace, cleaning the residue of dinner from our finest boot-sale porcelain. I bring two glasses of wine over to the sofa, where your mother is yawning […]

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Slaked Lime, Iron Knife

A beautiful woman robed all in white, lips red as rubies, followed the young, pale-skinned priest as he walked though the forest. The priest knew she was a yakshi, a demon that tore men’s throats out and drank their blood to quench her thirst. She was said to live atop a palm tree. When darkness […]

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A Good Egg

He climbs the spiraling stairs. Bowtie dangling from his fist, he climbs and sits atop the castle wall, where the torch-dotted city folds to dark shapes. Below, vastness, empty, as he feels sitting here. His feet are heavy, pulling downward. He doesn’t need to fall to crack into a million pieces. At tonight’s wedding, he […]

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Ghost of the Pepper

In the cool of the morning, I walk between my rows of peppers, brushing my fingers against the glossy leaves of Anaheims, Brazilian Starfishes, and Carolina Reapers. I grow peppers the way my mother and grandmother before me did—I grow them for the dead. Grandma taught me about peppers, how they gather up the anguish […]

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Just Before Recess

From the editors: Of the many forms of fiction, pure flash fiction is one of the most difficult to write well. What is “pure” flash fiction, you ask? It is a story in a small package. A complete story, with character development, setting, plot, conflict, and a satisfying resolution. It requires careful management of each […]

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Portrait of My Wife as a Boat

From the editors: My favourite story since beginning my time at Flash Fiction Online, the one that I recall most often, is “Portrait of my Wife as a Boat,” by Samantha Murray. Time and again I return to the image of the coracle sitting on the tides edge with the sun sinking into the horizon. […]

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If We Live to Be Giants

Grandpa measures our heights every day against the hallway markings. Rhiannon and I stand flat as we can, afraid even breathing will subtly lengthen our spines. We can take care of everything else—bite our nails to nubs every morning, snip the ends off any hair growing past our ruler’s edge—but we can’t alter height, and […]

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Untimely Frost, Unlikely Bloom

The first is a boy of only twelve summers. He smells like rotting fruit, his shirt bruised with blood and bile, and I know from the look in his eyes he intends to kill me. I put an end to his suffering as quickly as I can. A mercy, I tell myself. Afterward, I smooth […]

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Gathering

Paige was itching to paint something when she noticed and remarked on the birds—grackles and ravens mostly—that were flitting around carrying bits of copper wire and circuitry. Now that she mentioned it, the others at the garden party became so enrapt with the birds that they didn’t notice her sketching on a napkin. The parties […]

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