Skip to content →

Reflex Fiction Posts

A Song About a Dog Named Raisin

The footfalls slice the pavement as she basks in February’s afternoon sun. Gaining speed, now, a renewed sense of urgency makes way into her mind; for what? She wonders. Mind split between two places, uncertainty takes prevalence over any preoccupation. One moment sure of the chase, the next staring up as the looming palm trees waver overhead. Time must not be wasted on such banalities, a voice seems to say. Another counters on the basis that nature deserves appreciation. Thinking this a virtue, its implied vice reveals he who takes for granted the wind that shakes the leaves, he who creates the antagonist we all run from. Humanity seeks refuge in blindness, in not knowing or wanting to know what will happen when the strides are reduced in number, when reality catches up to the unconsciously suspecting. The patter of quickened steps is drowned out as it blends to a melodic beat, mere white noise. Pushed to the reserves are all prior deliberations as focus shifts to the sensual: a damp leathery something brushes her outer ankle. The scraggly fur of he who is owned awakens the girl, dazed. Now, a return to the worldly distraction that is so commonly (and desperately) desired, for in the alternative lies needed stamina, strength, sweat; an unwelcome comparison to the happy dog pouncing about.


Flash Fiction by Elle Dietz
Leave a Comment

Combining

Me and my mate Katie have always kept a record. For her it was-

cake

cake

cake

cake

cake

sex

cake

cake

cake

cake

cake

cake

cake.

So I started to call her Cream Bun. She didn’t like that. Said she was jealous. Because for me it was-

sex

sex

sex

sex

sex

sex

cake

sex

sex

sex

cake

sex

sex

sex

sex

sex

I said to her, that’s my Darren for you, isn’t it? A man obsessed. I actually told Darren I’d like a bit more cake and a bit less sex. Let’s combine the two, he said. He bought a cream horn. A cream horn! Perhaps, Darren. We’ll see. But when I let him, he ate most of it. Right there. From me. I just got his salty lickings.

I can’t record that as cake, Darren, can I? It might have been for you but not for me. It’s going down in the records as sex. He said he didn’t care how I classified it. That he wanted to do it again.

Anyway, Darren and I drifted apart. (Actually, I told him to fuck off). So for me it became-

cake

cake

cake

cake

cake

cake

cake

cake

cake

cake

cake

Which was perfect. For a while.

Things change though, don’t they? These days Darren’s going with my mate Katie, or Cream Bum as I now call her. She’s happy. For now.

And I’ve just met Jared—who says he’s a big sausage fan. Could be worse, I reckon. But no mash for me, thanks Jared. Even if there’s a spring onion in it.


Flash Fiction by John Holland
One Comment

The Woman on the Sofa

A young girl treads softly across the floor to the bottle-green sofa where a woman hunched, legs up to her chin, lies.

“You’re not my child whatever he may tell you, your wicked, no-good father.”

The young girl runs to the sideboard, prods at the photo: the jet black hair, his nose, eyes—all mirror hers.

“Oh, you’re the spit of him, that’s right.”

“See?” says the girl, triumphant for a moment. “And you’re my mum.”

“No, that’s where you’re wrong,” says the woman on the sofa. “You belong to one of the many sluts he cheated on me with. A daughter of the street, that’s where you’re from. Didn’t you know? They left you in a bin.”

What has happened to this woman to fill her with such venom? Does she hope this vitriolic rant will reach the man who hurt her, by lying to their daughter?

The young girl does not know; such things are far beyond her. She simply tries to keep afloat in a boat that she imagines on the sea of amber carpet beneath her white-socked feet, now twitching, hoping for a breeze to catch the sail—take her far, far away from the body that is screaming from the island of the sofa.

“You’re not my child.”

It was a lie—the young girl knew it, felt it through and through.

Many years later, she wished it had been true.


Flash Fiction by Jane Campion Hoye
3 Comments

Fools

A crooked street hides from the rest of the city. Shop signs sprout from the brickwork overhead and above that people chat through open windows. The buildings on each side arch toward each other like old giants bent double. I walk along this sheltered street and the cobbles feel anew as they take my gait. I push through a wooden door and stoop into a pub. The man behind the bar is pouring a drink with his shirtsleeves rolled up. He sends me a nod as I slide into the chair opposite Jean and ask her what we’re celebrating.

–You’re late, she says.

–I’ve been working all morning.

–Oh, please. Standing before a mirror practicing lines isn’t work, dear. Anyway, that stack of blank paper on my desk is a few sheets shorter this morning, that’s what we’re celebrating.

The barman sets a beer on the table. The droplets on the glass wet my fingers as I take a sip.

–You’ve written the start of your next novel then.

–I’ve written the end.

–Well, what happens?

–It closes with an actor sinking into a delirium. He becomes another. Forgets almost everything, he even walks differently. Then there’s his poor wife. He certainly closes the curtain on her. ‘Who is this beautiful fool hounding after me,’ he wonders. But she refuses to be defeated.

Jean’s face softens as it searches mine for a reaction. She slides her glass to one side and leans closer, trying to take my hand.

–Not this again, Jean.

–His wife shows him old photographs and letters too, but he tears them apart and cries forgery. She’s sure he’ll remember soon enough. Even summer doesn’t come all at once, rather day by day.

I leave her at the table, rush along the cobbles of the crooked street and step out from the arching giants into the midday heat. Mad fool of a woman . . .


Flash Fiction by J L Quinney
One Comment

Alien Skin

My hair is a plume over your chest, you twirl it around your fingers. “I am freedom,” I say, feeling a little high and totally poetic.

Your fingers still and I’m officially bored. I stretch into the child’s pose I’d seen on TV, my naked back, hard and long beside you. And you, you have to touch everything as if you own it. “You don’t have to do that you know,” you say, like you know anything. Your fingers trace the spine of this body I wear, stopping on the pink scar about half way down. “You don’t have to pretend you don’t need me.” You linger on the line of raised skin that itches when I swim in your pool.

I thought about drowning you the other day, watch you struggle and slap at me with your silly hands and then, in the last, showing my real self just like you want. But that would be a waste of skin. And there was more tequila in the bottle—I don’t like to drink alone.

Today, I shimmy from the sheets and put on the boots you bought me and nothing else. The soft leather fitting me better than this skin I wear. I’ve stopped looking at you and think, maybe today, after lunch. After you make a pitcher of margaritas to go with our sushi. Maybe then. While I drink, you’ll sink to the bottom of the pool, animated with waves made by the breeze. Or, I’ll wait for the sunset to put itself to bed over the city, watch the lights ignite one by one. That’s when I’ll tell my kind to come—offer up your body to one of them.

In the morning, I’ll trace the fresh scar on your back. “We match,” I’ll say, feeling your skin knitting together under my touch. You’ll make blueberry pancakes while we wait for your wife to come home. Yes, we will wait for her, then feed her some pancakes before offering her so much more.


Flash Fiction by Carmen Kern
Picture: her backbone by del mich under CC BY 2.0
Leave a Comment

Clean Cursed

My parents were entertaining guests when I stumbled into the room covered head-to-diaper in white powder. The guests laughed at such a thing—a child getting into the baby powder! Then they saw the Ajax.

I had found the cylinder of bleaching agent in the bathroom. I held it up to shake any Pringles out. I was blind by the time I reached the hall. My face was filled with a drumroll made of fire.

After dropping me onto my arm in the bathtub and holding my head under a faucet, my stepfather stood me in front of the guests to apologize. I had to guess as to the direction of my sorry. I saw only quivering kaleidoscopes of wet color. “Stay away from that stuff,” a guest said. “It’ll clean your insides out.” That kind of clean sounded pretty good to me.

Stepfather was gone by Easter. Our grave could not hold him and he went looking for a new heaven to beat the shit out of. I stood in the drugstore cleaning aisle—where everything smells like snowdrifts and warm oranges—looking for something strong enough to cut through grease in the burial chambers of a human heart.


Flash Fiction by David Drury
Leave a Comment

Drinks With Sheila and John (Deceased)

The radio boasted of gridlock so we took the lesser known route. We were making good progress until Mary slammed her hand on the dash and said, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

“What bad thing ever happened to you?” I said.

“Not me. Sheila. She was so happy, before.”

Sheila met us at the door with kisses and questions and we told her how well she looked. Inside, she steered us into the living room then went to the kitchen to make drinks. We sat on the sofa, knees facing out, the embers of our argument glowing in the car to be gently blown back to life on the journey home. There was John’s chair: salmon pages of the Financial Times folded to the stock pages; television remote wedged between the cushions; coffee cup on the arm.

“It’s not right,” I said.

“It’s a process,” Mary said. She stood and swept all of John’s things onto the floor and sat down in his chair, nestling her small bottom into the larger grooves left by John.

“Are you mad?” I said. “Get up before she comes back.”

Sheila came in from the kitchen with a try of scratchy nibbles and two tinkling glasses.

“You’ve forget my drink,” I said.

Sheila smiled and shook her head and set the tray on the table.

“That chair brought John so much pleasure,” she said.

She draped one arm over Mary’s shoulders and curled up in her lap like a cat.

I looked at them for a moment, at my wife and John’s wife, and said, “You really shouldn’t be sitting in John’s chair.”


Flash Fiction by R Coupland
Leave a Comment