Flash

NOVELS_IM_GOING_TO_WRITE.DOCX by Aatif Rashid

Space Battles (1999) Like Star Wars, but from the perspective of a ten-year-old kid. He has a sword and a laser gun, and he and his friend save the galaxy from a group of evil aliens. Space Battles II (2000) Sequel to Space Battles I. The kid is now eleven, and he saves the galaxy again from an even bigger group of aliens. Space Battles III (2001) Sequel to Space Battles I and Space Battles II. The kid is now twelve, and he and his friend have a falling out. The first group of aliens comes back, though, so they

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SHAGGING FLIES IN BALLARD by Alexandrine Ogundimu

I resolve to confess my feelings on Saturday. You take me to the batting cage up in Mountlake Terrace but the machines are so awful they eat our tokens and give us nothing back, no high-arching softballs or baseball bullets. I would never say anything because I am meek and unmasculine but you get a refund because you are handsome and friendly and always get what you want and I am jealous—of your confidence and looks and talents and physicality and how much sex you have. There’s a bucket of baseballs in your trunk so we drive to a park

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EVERY DAY IMAGINE DROWNING by Melanie Carlstad

I was at work holding onto a trowel and my father wasn’t dead. I argued this point to my colleague, Mary Anne, who was afraid of worms.  Here’s the gist, Mary Anne, I said. We are at work. We are gardening. You are afraid of the worms writhing between your fingers, and on top of that, my dad isn’t dead.  Mary Anne screamed. There was nothing else to do but scream about the ringed pink flesh of the worms.  Everything was drippy from yesterday’s rain. The juniper bush and the ivy leaves strangling it dripped on us. Our feet sank

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THE OPENER by Marissa Higgins

Bobby tossed the stuffed chihuahua between his bare hands, Suboxone in his right coat pocket and a picture of Alyssa at two months in his left. Should have worn gloves, he knew. Cape Cod winters tug the cold out of bones. The bus depot, of course, wasn’t heated. What if I can’t find you in the parking lot, he said over the phone when they arranged the meeting. Just stay in one place, Alyssa’s grandmother said, and then she named it. Sharon added: You’ll recognize your blood.  The call went clipped like that: Yeah, he was still at the halfway

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PATTY by Hugh Behm-Steinberg

The problem with dolls who can do things is that they get bored, you have to keep them busy. If you don’t they get clingy, and it’s so easy to forget to keep the little gold chain on around their neck. They say if you forget about the little gold chain the dolls will chase you everywhere, and then it’s stab, stab, stab.  But mostly they’re just you, only smaller, which is gross in its own way. As you get older, they become more childish, until finally you have to put them in a shoebox and bury them in the

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THE FUNHOUSE by Matt Lee

My first and only job during a disastrous year in New York was at the DVD Funhouse. Little storefront on 6th avenue between 21st and 22nd street. Flatiron District.  The place sold bootleg DVDs, Canadian imports mostly, with the ISBN barcodes scratched off. The first floor was for walk-in customers, people coming off the street to peruse the racks. I worked in the basement. The place stretched on forever. Pallets and pallets of junk. Crates of old Blockbuster rentals. Books on tape. Useless novelties galore. I was in charge of online sales. I turned the place around. When Victor hired

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AIR QUALITY INDEX by Mike Nagel

Sunday morning my phone warns me that the air quality in Carrollton is low. I step outside and take a few deep breaths. I can see what my phone means. Not great. Most things leave something to be desired. Let me put it this way. There seems to be some room for improvement. Recently J showed me a graph and the line was going straight down. “Well,” I say. “I can’t say I’m surprised.” “Actually,” she says. “In this case, down is a good thing.”   Lately I’ve been drinking this low ABV cider from the Stella Artois beer company.

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THE WASP by Tyler Engström

I look out the kitchen window and wonder why the flowers won’t grow. I can’t even remember what I planted, what sort of beauty I’m disappointed in not receiving. I’ve given them plenty of water. Was it too much water? I don’t know. I’ve never known. What life does water make, anyway? Anyway, a wasp comes up to the window and lands on what would be my nose, if not for the window. I lovingly watch his little hands scrape against each other. Adorable! “You look like a fly,” I tell him, “like all the little flies that crowd every

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BIG DINKY ENERGY by Josh Sherman

You really need to figure out how to stop drinking so much. You could ask your doctor to refer a therapist or join some 12-step program. But you’ve got a better idea. It’ll just have to wait until the weekend, when you aren’t busy writing marketing copy for real-estate developers. *** ‘The Mulberry Estates are a charming collection of spacious single-family homes in leafy Elgin County.’ ‘Set to rise in Toronto’s vibrant Entertainment District, the Foxtrot is a luxurious 45-storey condo tower by the award-winning Mango Development Corporation.’ These are the sentences you’re paid to write eight hours a day,

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SERPENT WITH FIREWORK by Harris Lahti

The sunburnt man climbs the steep bank of the lake, dragging a large plastic cooler packed with the last beers of his life. And then? Redemption. Stone-cold sobriety. Through his speed shades, the remains of the abandoned luxury resort rise in nuclear yellow—the shattered windows and graffitied cabins, the crooked doors and cracked tennis courts, the moist volleyball sand where he first slid against his wife and jizzed his teenaged blue jeans. Boy, it sure is nice to discover everything where he left it. Or not exactly. From the shallow end of the pool, three skateboarders stare up at him—at

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