Tag Archives: flashfiction

Five Sentence Fiction – Celebration

Happy Birthday – five sentence fiction


“Happy birthday, you old goat,” she said, staring into his eyes. She fumbled with the lighter as she lit the candle.

She shook her head and forced a half smile through the streaming tears. She sang to him in the dim light until the crying blurred the words. Sniffling and wiping her nose with the back of her hand, she pinched out the candle and turned the picture face-down.


Author’s notes

It’s my dad’s birthday in a couple of days (Oct 10). I try to imagine dark moments in the lives of everyone as they deal with grief in their own way, even years later. I think time doesn’t heal all wounds as much as scab and scar them over, and you have to push your attention away from them as you go about your life.

Five Sentence Fiction – Magnetic


“We were meant for each other,” said Phil, eyes red and fixated on her, teeth clenched, “only you didn’t know it.”

She sobbed, her mascara dripped in patterns mixed with snot. The stink of him burned her nose and throat. “I loved you – I was… drawn to you… I-”

The blood mixed with the pool of mascara, tears, and mucus.


Author’s Notes

I went dark today. Sometimes there’s a magnetic attraction that’s not a GOOD attraction, and it ends badly.

Five Sentence Fiction – Wild

Five Sentence Fiction – Wild


“Why would you DO that?” he asked, hands up and mouth wide open.

“Oh, shut up, you love it,” she said and narrowed her eyes at him, mouth in a taunting half smile.

“No, I most certainly do NOT,” he said, stomping his foot and crossing his arms. “I don’t get you, why do you do th… hey- hey, where are you going?”

“It’s because I’m wild, you silly boy,” she laughed as she faded into her best Cheshire Cat.



Author’s Notes

The image on Lillie McFerrin’s site was of wild horses. Um, yeah, that’s too obvious for me 🙂

I had an instant thought of a girl with a devious grin, playing with a boy in an impish style, and then my image search brought me to the Cheshire Cat, a wonderful idea, because we’re all mad here…

Five Sentence Fiction – Flowers

Five Sentence Fiction – Flowers

skull flower


He squinted in the bright light reflecting off the Lake of the Damned. He lifted his hat and tucked his hair as he worked his way down towards something that caught his eye. A skull, twisted and grotesque, afflicted with some ancient malady, lay atop a decayed cloth. He pulled the flower from between her teeth and put it between his so he could use both hands to open his bag.

He heard the click too late, damned to join her forever.


Author’s Notes

I figured most people would use the “flowers” inspiration to go for funerals or loved ones. I went with a fantasy/adventurer approach. Then I found that skull flower picture and had to go with it as inspiration.


Five Sentence Fiction – Festival of the Damned

Five Sentence Fiction – Festival of the Damned





“Mommy, we want to play,” the flat chorus sang.

“No, please, I didn’t know,” she said as she fumbled for the knife behind the counter.

“Mommy, we played with the rest of them,” they said as their silent, synchronized steps advanced.

“Oh, God, please,” she said as she fell. The children crowded around her and she slashed blindly with the knife.


Author’s notes

Five sentence fiction is like a snippet, a TV tuned to a channel for a few moments. It starts abruptly, generally builds quickly, and typically throws you for a loop at the end… or not, depending on how the author feels at the moment.


Dance with the dead in my dreams

I wrote this short story in 2009, before I even knew that flash fiction was a *thing.* It was initially based on a real dream that I had, then I listened to some Slayer the next day and the lyrics (to “Dead Skin Mask”) just clicked. I made some edits below and it’s actually pretty refreshing to see that while my style has evolved, it has stayed faithful, but that my writing has gotten tons better.

Jeff Hanneman, the guitarist from Slayer, died on May 2, and this is the best tribute I could think of.


Dance With the Dead

The boom boom boom of the trance music caught my ear. I was at the door, tentative and breathing heavy.

Taking the step up into the house, I realized I was being led into my grandparents’ house. The place had been turned into a rave, disco lighting and the stink of teenage sweat mixed with the sharp bite of uncertainty. The disco lights broadcast a tight staccato with the rhythm, blue and yellow pulsing to the beat.

The music roared with a static overtone and I winced. The bass alternated in a downbeat and a slightly higher pitched upbeat, with a rapid fire ts ts ts ts-ts ts ts ts in the background, with a trance electronica overlaid on that. The bass hurt my chest.

I struggled to make out the figures; several people had their arms up, profane undulations to the rhythmic orgasm, pounding away, pounding, pounding away and muting the voices.

The voices.

I could see them talking, but I couldn’t hear them. As I looked around, all at the outskirts, firmly seated against the walls, were elderly people. One man had horn-rimmed glasses and a plain hat, and, from the looks of it, didn’t have his dentures in. He gave a curt, grotesque, brusque smile and I pressed on through the crowd.

They were all looking at me. Some smiling knowingly. Some with vapid, blank stares that betrayed nothing. But those eyes. I saw all their eyes at once. I became at one with the world in a boundless zen moment.

Passing through the dining room, the kitchen, and into the living room, I continued to stare around at the rave, wondering what the fuck was going on. I stepped down, my bare toes squishing into the soft carpeting, pausing to enjoy the feeling.

But something was bothering me. Not the rave in my grandparents’ house – that was actually pretty cool. But something about the people… they were all… all… I think they were all dead.

Dance with the dead in my dreams.

And a younger woman with no real face approached me, leaned into me, and yelled into my ear so I could hear her over that sultry groove tempting me, begging me to let my body absorb the beat. I knew I mustn’t give in. That I must listen.

Listen to the hallowed screams.

I looked up at her and nodded; her hand was cold as she led me up the stairs. The dark, narrow, creaking staircase. Into the darkness beyond, taking us to where we mustn’t go.

The dead have taken my soul.

FridayFlash – Love and Power

“Ha, yeah, that’s hi-LAR-ious,” Billy wasn’t really a guy that appreciated humor. He really just wanted to get stuff done. They’d been working on the car all day.

“Shut up, dick.” Jesse, on the other hand, had a sharp wit and liked to push and poke on Billy until he got mad. Jesse farted and waved it under the car at Billy.

“Jesus, you nasty bastard! Just hand me the goddamn 15mm deep well socket,” Billy said. “Sheesh, sometimes I wonder if it’s worth having you around.”

The mosquitos and mosquito hunters were in full force as the night crept up on them.

Billy groaned as he pushed himself out from under the car. “There, that should do ‘er. Let’s get all this stuff out of the way.” He breathed in the cool night air and paused to consider the stars.

The engine roared to life and they shot each other a knowing glance. A couple of revs and they were even happier.


“So far, so good. Let’s take her out to the airfield so we can open her up where nobody’s around,” Billy patted Jesse on the back, backed out of the garage and fumbled for the garage door clicker.

A couple of turns out of the neighborhood and Billy mashed the pedal, fishtailing the back end.

“Hooey!” Jesse yelled out the window at nobody, the creases by his eyes deep as he squinted into the wind.

“More power than I expected…” Billy faded off. The design was something he’d been working on for a while. Had the idea in high school, in fact, but could never afford the time or the space to do anything about it until now. Hadn’t needed to build it until now. Billy raised an eyebrow at the steady burble of the exhaust, then reached over to the center console and closed all the windows.

“What are doin’, man? It’s a nice night out,” Jesse knew what Billy was going to do. “She’s gone, Billy,” he said and tightened down his ball cap and settled back into the seat with a sigh.

“It’s time.”


The back road ended and they crossed the abandoned rice fields to the back fence, which they’d already cut open and used a few times before when they did the dry run. A fog settled as they felt the tires embrace the runway.

Billy two-footed the brake and the gas, spinning up the tires, smokin’ them. Jesse smiled a weak smile.

“Dang it, Billy – you sure?”

“You can get out if you don’t want to.”

“Nah. I’m here for ya, man.” The air was thin and the silence was broken by the crickets and frogs resuming their chorus.

Billy pulled a tight u-turn and made his way back to the start of the runway, sighed, looked at Jesse, who nodded slightly at him, and put the car in “sport” mode, then pulled the stick back to “Billy” mode to turn on his modification.

“We only get once. Don’t fuck it up.” Jesse cleared his throat, reached up and grabbed the handle, knuckles white.

The acceleration pushed them back hard into their seats. The roar of the engine, at first, sent giddy shivers up their spines, but the fear of the speed and the limits of the runway weighed heavy on their minds.

60… 80… 120… the boost kicked in … 240… 340… phase II boost… 500… the sonic boom shattered windows in a nearby commercial complex… phase III boost… 800… 2000… 5000… the gravity machine was at full power now and turned on.

The outside world faded into slow motion at first, then a swirl of the deep colors of the night, then a blast of light blinded them in the car. Finally, an all-encompassing darkness.


“Billy! Billy! Wake UP.”

Billy woke to Jesse shaking his arm and slapping him in the face. “What the- knock it off! I’m up, I’m up…”

“Billy, for chrissakes, Billy, look around! You crazy motherfucker, you did it!” Jesse was standing outside the car in the soft light of the morning.

Billy cautiously opened the door and pulled himself out of the car, cursing his weak back and knees. “Now how the heck do you know it worked? You wouldn’t know your ass from a – ”

“Shut up, Billy, just… Shut. Up.”

Billy narrowed his eyes and leaned on the open car door, glaring at Jesse, then following Jesse’s gaze to his right. “I can’t -” he stammered. “I won’t – ” he couldn’t get more than two words out before he fell back into the driver’s seat, staring at nothing.

“Get in. I have to go see her.”


Author’s notes

I had an idea as I was working on my car, installing the last of the (first round of) performance upgrades. It was a combination of ideas from several places. I watched an old Code Monkeys episode where the nerdy lead developer had a relationship with Kit, the car from Knight Rider, and they said that car had 800 horses under the hood. That’s impressive.

Then I had another discussion where we were saying that 350 horses wasn’t that much, which is crazy because 10 years ago it was a LOT. You can get 550-600 horses for a reasonable price today. By that I mean not Lamborghini or Ferrari prices.

And I always laughed at the surprising power of the car in Men in Black.

Have you seen the ramjet ultrasonic planes the US military has? They need to be brought up to a minimum speed from an external source before they can have their unique engine (no moving parts) kick in.

So my thought was, what if you had a car that could go faster and faster, and eventually a secondary engine kicked on after you got to a certain speed, which went even faster. I thought about SpaceBalls, where they went to Ludicrous Speed, then went to Plaid, and that was a loose inspiration for this story.

But that’s not a story. That’s a technical background. The story is two buddies working on a car in a garage. Typical. But then you learn about “her.” Who is she? What happened? Then you get teased about the invention he was finally able to install. What does it do? How does it work? They finish, there’s more power than he thought, and the tension builds until they seem to have a strange trip, but we don’t know where/when/why.

Perhaps I’ll finish this story later as a novella if there’s interest.