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Fantasy

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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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The Strawberry Queen of Irapuato

When Irina says for the gazillionth time that she’s going to escape, we coax her away from the barred window. We smooth her hair and shush her, but we don’t touch the shiny laminate that coats her arms. We don’t know if Irina can feel anything underneath that brittle gloss like a nail-polish top coat. […]

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Songs in the Key of Chamomile

Jessica squeezed the keepsake box in her pocket for strength, then stepped through the dangling curtain of finger bone beads that served as a door. A strand caught on the harp case over her shoulder. She plucked it free and waited just inside the dim room while the clattering susurrus faded. Oil lamps burned fitfully, […]

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Reliving My Grandmother’s Youth

When we turn thirteen, we witch-children must sing at the Witches’ Sabbat. It is how newly of-age witches are introduced to our ancestors, my grandmother said. Taking puffs of her pipe, she told me about her own Sabbat, in the same woods I would have mine. Her eyes sparkling, she spoke reverently how she sang […]

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