The Furious Gazelle

Literary as hell.

Tag: Flash fiction (page 1 of 3)

Flash Fiction by Ivan Jenson

“Park Avenue Paradise” by Ivan Jenson

 The suicide’s body landed only a foot away from where Jake and his old friend Eton stood. They had just stepped away from that very spot after lighting up their cigarettes.  Neither of them really smoked back then in the summer of 1998.  They were just messing around.  When they heard the thud, at first they didn’t know what it was until they saw him–a pale geeky-looking man in his thirties dressed in black slacks and a white button-down shirt, just laying there with his legs and arms splayed in a zig  zag position.  He had the bemused yet hopeless expression of a man who had truly run out of options. He lay half on the grass, half on the city sidewalk.  Jake looked up to the roof from where the man had jumped to his death.  It was approximately twelve-stories high.  Jake had a friend who lived in the building.  She was a Ford model who he had spent two years hanging out with until he broke it off because he wanted to be more than just platonic friends.  It was a building that represented heartbreak to Jake.

 A few people gathered on the sidewalk.  Somebody must have called the police because two cops arrived on the scene within minutes.

  Jake and Eton kept walking because they were headed for a party at a loft on 14th Street and Avenue A.  They were speechless about what they had just witnessed.  And the only way they expressed their shock was with nervous laughter.

 The vast loft was owned by a famous artist who was in his 70s and his raw, expressionist paintings were hanging in museums and worth tens of thousands of dollars. Yet the artist did not seem to mind that a bunch of strangers were getting trashed in his living space and art studio.

  Jake ended up in a conversation with the artist’s alluring daughter.  She lived with her father.  She was not an artist; rather, she worked on Wall Street in a sensible job and she had plans to leave the city as soon as she saved up enough money.

  “Where do you want to go?” Jake asked, already feeling abandoned.

 “I want to live in Alaska near my brother who’s a fisherman.”

  “Isn’t it really cold there?”

  “Not as cold as this city.  And I’m not talking about temperature.”

  Jake knew then she was a New York City hater.  You either loved or hated it–there was very little middle ground.  

 The artist’s daughter soon lost interest in Jake. Before she wandered off she said, “Sorry, I feel like a social butterfly tonight.”

 Eton had copped some cocaine and was busy talking with a small group who looked equally hyped-up and wide-eyed.

  “I’m going to get going,” Jake said to Eton.  Once his friend started doing blow, he was beyond reason, and Jake was not in the mood for chemical stimulants.

  “Are you sure? Think of the connections you could make here.  Shit, man. Stick around.”

  “Naw, I gotta go.”

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“The Strange Hallway, by Mark Tulin

There was nothing more distressing for Lucas than walking the halls of the hospital. He shuffled his slippers in agonizing slowness while pulling an IV cart by his side as if it were an annoying friend that couldn’t take no for an answer.

He dreamt of being with Diane, walking along the Mesa of Santa Barbara that overlooked the beautiful ocean vista. They loved to lean against the wooden fence at the edge of the cliff and watch the speed boats cut across the Pacific, the hang gliders soaring so effortlessly in the sky, and the surfers balancing on their boards while riding the cresting waves.

Lucas labored alone down the hallway of the Pulmonary Care Unit with two defective lungs, a heart that was barely beating, and an IV cart joined at the hip. Continue reading

“Room and Board,” flash fiction by T.K. Lee

“Why’s it matter? Why’s it matter?” Shelda—she calls herself Shelda now that enough years have passed — is yelling and she’s in the living room and she knows better than to yell in the living room, but she’s yelling and she’s yelling, and repeating, “Why’s it matter?” but it’s as much a yell as it is a point-of-fact that she knows (that we all know) can’t be taken as fact if it ends in a period, so she makes it look like a question—it’s that same loud spoken yell the desperate do at the last minute, or no , it’s that sudden fact that dresses for the occasion, always in season, or is the—

“Shut up, Curtis.” From Shelda.

“I’m not talking to you.” From Curtis.

“Goddamn, he shit on the floor. He shit on the rug. Our father shit on the rug in the goddamn living room.” This is Denise talking.

And he had. Continue reading

Flash fiction by Michael Prihoda

The Year of Looking Up Friends on Our iPhones Only to Wonder Who We Actually Met

 

Chloe read the Magna Carta backward. I’m sure of it, whether you are or not. Please tell me we are not the last people on earth. Please tell me if I open the door I will find the mail in the box, maybe a couple bills we can pay on our meager salaries. There was a guy named Peter one of us knew from somewhere, not a support group, no, I never went to that one that met down the street from the place where somebody my parents used to know lived. People started dying long before we started living.

Freddy is not worth talking about.

Oh. Raquel is another story. Well, there was this one instance, and I only heard this from Cam, who happened to be with her at the party and eventually got her home completely without taking advantage of the situation whatsoever (considering Cam this is almost unbelievable and I don’t even need to include any euphemisms for you to know what sort of activity he refrained from that I find unbelievable yet enlightening because, perhaps, humanity has some baseline goodness left and since Cam was probably five to six rum and Cokes heavier than when he started the night that this story takes place on makes it all the more improbable yet uplifting/encouraging/inspiring). Anyway, Cam tells me stuff went down and Raquel happens to be lucky in that there is nothing worth remembering (in a good or bad sense) from the night because she definitely remembered zero of what transpired in perhaps the best possible way of not remembering zilch. Continue reading

2016 Halloween Contest Finalist: “The Neighborhood Association” by Ani King

Nobody does Halloween like Ginnie Farrow. Just ask the neighborhood.

Sheila Canterwell, beloved kindergarten teacher, used to take the ribbon with her Haunted Haus, and before that Reverend Jim McGee smugly won decades worth of praise with his carefully planned Zombie Garden. He spent hours in his garage hand painting fake rubber limbs to look terrifyingly real when strewn in haphazard rows. We all enjoyed the results of their friendly feud, ohhing and ahhhing at each new height they managed to reach.

The prizes have varied over time, from gift certificates, to lawn service, to cash on occasion, but really, it’s the awe and appreciation of the neighborhood that most seek to win.  And growing ghosts? Well, that’ll do it.

Thing is, no one in the neighborhood ever managed to grow a decent ghost. Some tried, including Jim and Sheila, but the soil didn’t cooperate, or the corpse seed didn’t take even if it was planted at the height of spring, under a full moon. We once saw them collaborate a bit, trying to get a few to come up in the community garden in town. Nothing doing, it just didn’t happen.
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“Politics,” flash fiction by Kelly Evans

Politics

by Kelly Evans

“I’ve decided to enter the cutthroat and unforgiving arena of political life,” Frederick announced.

Mother looked up from her book. “Whatever for, Freddie?”

“I’m a natural born leader and others should benefit from my vast life experience.”

“And how do you plan to enter this world?” Frederick’s younger sister Constance smiled wryly.

Frederick sat on the settee and swung a leg casually over the arm. “I’ve discovered our local school requires a new governor, a perfect place for me to cut my teeth, politically speaking.”

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“The Worst Hangover,” flash fiction by Adam Kluger

The Worst Hangover

by Adam Kluger

 

Lady-in-a-Blue-DressHe was pretty hung over.

So bad that he was burping into a glass of water. He hadn’t noticed the waitress right away. She must have been new. It was wintertime. The morning after the Smart-TV Christmas Party.

Booger had secured the location for the station and he put together a very bad Christmas reel. The bureau chief cornered Booger at one point and asked what happened with the reel… why was it so lame? Booger was mortified and the only thing to do at that point was drink heavily. He ordered a shot of whiskey with a beer chaser and kept hitting the same number until the embarrassment gave way to stupor. He got home, smoked a bone, whacked off and went to sleep. When he woke up in the morning his mouth was full of cotton and his stomach was doing somersaults. He threw on a coat and went across the street to “My Most Terrific Dessert Company.” It was expensive but he could sit there order a soda and a croissant and feel a little better. The waitress moved across the floor like a ballerina. She was friendly too.

Very friendly, Booger thought. Continue reading

“Nest,” by Meghan Ferrari

Scabbed knees scurry down a path saturated with yellow leaves.“Hurry up!” Sam shouts at her younger sister, exasperated by her slowness.She navigates the strewn branches swiftly, jumping over their jagged edges like a well-worn hopscotch. At the foot of the path she pauses, leaning her body, newly lanky, against the large rock shaped like a jelly bean. The grey bean, swathed in green moss, once served as the perfect table-top for tea parties, and Barbie’s BBQs, but now seats Sam and her friends as they practice their fishtail braids, crossing and re-crossing freshly highlighted hair, and discuss the day’s drama, most recently Becca’s foray with Ben H. behind portable #5.Sam waits until she can see the fraying bows on her sister’s pale pink sneakers, then continues deeper into the woods. As she runs, she stretches her flannelled arms out, and with pointed index fingers, grazes the passing pines, as though leaving a line to retrace.

 

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“Someone From Beirut,” a flash fiction piece by Carra Leah Hood

“Someone from Beirut searched for you on Google.”I receive this alert from Academia.edu in my inbox at least once a month. I usually click on the green button at the bottom of the email to view analytics; I’m always curious: what did he look at or download this time?

You see, I know it’s my ex-husband. He moved to Beirut a number of years ago to teach and to direct theater at a university there.

We’ve been divorced since the early 90s and have only made efforts to talk twice. In 1998, we ran into each other on line at Starbucks in LaGuardia airport; both of us were waiting for the same plane to Toronto, heading for the same academic conference, and as it ended up, staying in the same hotel. We drank coffee (he also ate a plain bagel with butter), sitting across from each other outside the gate. We chatted for an hour about Dino, our Siamese cat. The second time, we communicated by email. I wrote to let him know my father passed away. That was in April, 2006; “Give your mom and sisters my condolences,” he wrote back.

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The Miracle Maker, by David Scheier

The Miracle Maker

by David Scheier

I knew better than to go home with him, but he juggled planets, made arm-length dragon blood trees sprout from barstools and drank sun-fire instead of vodka, which shouldn’t impress me but did.

So how could I refuse? His head contained a wild ocean in place of his hair – a charming whirlpool at the chin that spun violently with thunder and lightning. Naturally, his eyes too, a hint of turquoise electric bolts cracking briefly in his pupils as he downed shot after shot of nuclear energy, pulled me in. He was a god all right, or part god, half Olympian bar-hopper and half culinary art school dropout.

“Sweet thang,” he said rolling bracelets of asteroids from wrist to elbow. “How ‘bout old Uncle buys you a drink?” I rolled my eyes. “All the drinks,” he added and my eyes rolled again. “Baby, I’ll turn the bartender into a mango martini, or how about a dirty Manhattan?” My eyes focused on him. He pointed his finger, the bartender swirled, body widened, and became transparent and hollowed out to a glass filled with liquid. The dirty Manhattan-tender sloshed and spun before breaking on the hardwood floor. “His name was Michael.” The god looked pensively at his finger. “And it was his time.” He raised his hands, towers of mixed drinks, canned beers, low-ball dancers and highball serenades lined the bar, teleported from the netherworld and into the hands of barflies. “Drinks on me, everybody.”

“Datz where it’s at!” shouted a blond fluffy-haired man with his shirt unbuttoned down to his navel. The god turned to me, fingers in the shape of a gun.

Oh god, he’s going to turn me into a vodka-tonic, I thought. He ran his fingers along my head, through my hair, and above my ears. I wanted to tell him how inappropriate this was: his pistol fingers, flipping my hair, and turning people into drinks.

“Susan, it’s okay Susan, I want to make you feel good.” His smile sincere, teeth chimed under the blue and purple tavern lights. “Now you’re thinking, how did I know your name?” He pulled me close using atoms, gently touched my shoulders. The tavern walls melted and transformed to an evening sky, light fixtures evaporated into the moon and street lights and finally my bedroom, yes, I was smashed. He kissed me, and kissed me some more, he kisses me aggressively, and kissing me still – when did this happen, the change from past to present tense in my story?

“Don’t worry about it Susan, we can jump time and all other narrative techniques.”

“My name isn’t Susan,” I told him. He smiled and undressed me with the touch of a finger and bite of his lip. He, too, bare now, skin, the olive smoothness of a Mediterranean dolphin. My hands possessed, caress his muscle, chiseled, and oh, god-sexy chest and arms. Just tonight, I tell myself. He winks at me. I won’t go alone to bars again. We make love for eons, looped in some out worldly time. He sets the mood with strategically placed pinhole stars, comets riding along the walls of my room and galaxies colliding and forming in the wake of our sex. The matter of space changed color, purple, blue, then a lighter shade of purple, and a then darker shade of blue. We started with headstand sex, our bodies melted to the stuff lava lamps are made of, I turned to clay and cracked when penetrated by his sex, and finally, invisible sex moving fast into the future while floating in this contained space of orbiting orange, and bustling blue stars around marble suns.

And it was over. I wake alone. My body aching from the stillness of time and my floor covered with tiny holes and ash from the scattered collections of stars and suns. A black hole still spins by my dresser, getting larger as it eats dust, dirty cloths and the paint off the walls.

*************

David Scheier is writer and illustrator who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso and a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing from the School of Art Institute of Chicago. Currently, he teaches at Harold Washington City College. Both his illustrated and written work have appeared in various publications including the following: The State, Spork Press, BlazeVOX, OVS, Front Porch Journal, Rio Grande Review, Petrichor Machine, Gather Kindling, Meekling Press,and Ginger Piglet. Visit him online at society6.com/davidscheier.com.

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