Flash

MORE MORE MORE by Neil Clark

First thing on your first day, you were instructed to go down the basement and have a picture taken for your security pass. Down there, they told you a joke and said, “Now hold that smile and look at the camera.” ‘Click’ They printed the photo and handed it to you. You were pleased with how it turned out. Your smile was genuine. The joke they’d told you was a good one. Then they passed you a piece of sticky tape and said, “Stick the photo to your forehead, please. And smile a little more.” ‘Click’ They printed the second

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THIS IS WHAT I WANT by Tina Wayland

This is what I want. I want to change the locks on our front door. My front door. I want to pry the deadbolts from the wall, break them with a hammer. Feel the echo of every strike travel up my arms and through my skin, settle in my bones. I want to throw away the key that hangs from your belt buckle, forget the way you’d bend your hips to the lock like a dance, swaying to catch the keyhole, then tumbling into the room as the door swung open, catching your balance on the picture of us that

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A STROLL THROUGH THE ENGINE ROOM by Gregg Williard

It had been arranged that she would take a stroll through the engine room before supper. Captain Venkman had assured her that they would hold a place at the captain’s table for her if she were detained. Not for his command were the martinet’s peevish demands. He prided himself on, not only an “untight” ship, but a downright anarchic one. “I have found over the years of our voyage, Randi,” the captain had confided on their first interview, “that a rudderless, aimless, and frankly lost ship is no place for unnecessary rules.” “Some might differ,” Randi protested gently. She sensed

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A SELECTION OF ESSENTIAL K(NOT)S by Anita Goveas

How to tie a Slip Knot A simple loop in a piece of rope, this functions well by itself on the surface. It’s easy to undo, remake. The void it creates is reaching out for something, wanting purpose, to be entwined. Some may tell you it cannot be defined, but these are the people who tell tales of elusive mermaids and fiercely protective sea-serpents. How to tie the Fisherman’s Knot Tie a loose knot with the working end of a rope around another rope. Best used to tie two separate but equal pieces together quickly, but not so quickly that

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ARBORIST by Lanny Durbin

Guy was just standing there in my backyard. He was hacking at the Sweet Gumball Tree that reached up through powerlines and my touched my neighbor’s roof with its old, outstretched arms. Chopping at it with an axe. I’d been watching him for fifteen minutes from my kitchen window. He’d barely gotten through the stiff bark. The spiky little gumballs that grew from the tree’s veins were raining down on him. He just kept chopping, chopping, chopping. This was bullshit. I’d called off work again, spent the morning willing myself from the bed. I’d driven across town to the used

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TIME-EATERS by Kaiter Enless

“I don’t have no problem.” “Sure seem like you do.” He shook his head, a fractional gesture, noticeable only due the couple’s proximity. “Well, I don’t. Was you what started yappin.” She folded her arms below her breasts, turning slightly away, staring at nothing, muttering, “Fine.” “Yeah. It is. Why you being this way, Lyla? Ain’t never was like this between us before. Now, all a sudden, you’re constantly screwing up your face, hmph-ing all over the place, snapping at me for no good reason, constantly try’n ta start something…” “Ain’t try’n ta start nothing.” “Good, cuz there ain’t nothing

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SURVIVOR! by Julia Tausch

The grouchy buildings of The Six, the dirty snow’s hectic dance – it was all far beneath me now. Keely, my thirteen year-old niece, had taught me to call Toronto “The Six.” She reeked of perfume that seemed to combine garbage with vetiver and beets but was surely expensive. The smell emboldened me – rot and beauty enmeshed. It blurred my warring worries and desires. So far, I loved flying. The soothing keen of the engines; my seat a mini-empire, a customizable media-pod; the shiny dossier in my seatback pocket pregnant with a secret I was itching to share. I

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alone i am always smoking by Clare Schneider

Tobacco companies support nicotine patches because, studies have shown, that without counseling, nicotine replacement therapy hardly ever works. Tobacco companies view all “nicotine products as a way to support smoking” i quit smoking for you and then you left me. this seems unfair. Girls who start smoking before age 15 are nearly 50 percent more likely to get breast cancer a woman watches me intently as i smoke outside a restaurant a man walks past me while i’m on the phone smoking someone sees me smoking in my car and rolls up their window my drunk uncle rubs my shoulder after i

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THE FILTHY OLD MAN by Connor Goodwin

The filthy old man crunched his hand and tossed an empty can over his shoulder, eyes on the road. It landed on a pile of other cans and started a noisy avalanche of aluminum. Some of the crushed cans were tied up in yellow plastic bags from Super Saver, but most were loose and littered the floor. When he had time, he’d take them to the can guy. The can guy operated out of a parking lot. It was just him and a bunch of flies. The compactor looked like a tall semi-trailer. At the base was a conveyor belt

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COMPLACENCY DESCRIBED BY TEST SUBJECT 6 by Cavin Bryce Gonzalez

The terrarium has always been. It’s made of glass with a great mesh lid on top. A lamp provides warmth throughout the day. We were once scientists and art teachers and coffee baristas. Now we’re just people. Some still go by their name. Some go by titles. They call me Six because I was the sixth one to wake up here. When the mesh lid is drawn back and The Hand reaches down from above to deliver food and presents we rush to the center, fight for our scraps despite there being enough. The youngest of us scuttle off with

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