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Literary

Note From the Future

I didn’t notice the note under my windshield until I’d already gotten into the car and put the key in the ignition. Immediately, a sequence of future events came into my mind. I would open the car door. I wouldn’t take the keys out of the ignition as I got out. I would automatically push […]

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Hungry

Quiet. You sit quiet as a mouse in the corner. Push a little doll around and hum la-la-la so they forget you’re there while they have the cocktail hour. That’s how you find out they’re killing Grandma. Not a single bite to eat or a swallow of water. Your mother is killing her mother. That’s […]

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The Times That Bleed Together

Today, the world ends. Tuesday last, Reed grabs his best friend’s shoulders and says, “You’ve got to stop this.” Luke looks at him and wonders why Reed is the only person in the world who hasn’t changed. Three years ago, it starts with Luke covered in blood that is not his own and the life […]

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Six One-Sentence Stories

This story collection is an exemplar for Short-short Sighted #19, “A Story of n Words: How Low Can You Go?” Story One He left the village of his birth, crossed the mountains, crossed the seas, saw great cities, learned a few words in a dozen tongues, met the high and the low, and returned after […]

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Midnight Mambo

My future daughter-in-law Janey told me exactly how it would go down and what to say. She’s been doing this for a while now, so she had this Nancy lady down pat, from the extra-extra smile to the cautious handshake to the little sing-song apologies dangling off each phrase. Everything went just like she said […]

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We Stand Up

This story collection is an exemplar for Short-short Sighted #20, “Consolidated Flash and the Collective Narrator”. From the beginning, they’ve made us pay. For saying that the king was not a god, they cut out our tongues. For reading the holy books for ourselves, they cut out our eyes. We have been starved in dungeons. […]

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Small Rebellions: Prose Poems

Read Bruce’s previous column here, or visit his author page to see them all. These columns are about writing flash fiction, but this month I want to peer over the border to examine flash fiction’s sister genre, the prose poem. At least some flash fictions and prose poems are similar enough that it can be […]

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Sea Anemones

This story collection is an exemplar for Short-short Sighted #22, “Metamorphosis and Compassion”. In a little church by the sea, long after the old gods had begun to sleep, there was a preacher of the Christian gospel who earnestly worried for the souls of his congregants. He wanted every one of them to one day […]

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Border Crossing

This story collection is an exemplar for Short-short Sighted #23, “Let Me Repeat That: A Prose Villanelle”. Lately I don’t recognize this country, the land of my birth. The contours of the land are the same. I can buy what I always bought in the stores. The weather has changed, though. Last winter, we had […]

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Through Amber Eyes

I paint whiskers on my face with bath water. The water doesn’t stay, but the whiskers remain. I prowl around the house in my bathrobe. The cat is washing herself on the rug. I kneel down to show her my fresh whiskers. “Meow,” I say. She flicks her tail in disdain, as though I’m any […]

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