The Furious Gazelle

Literary as hell.

Tag: Flash fiction (page 2 of 2)

“What’s Left of the Crumbs,” flash fiction by Stephen Pisani

What’s Left of the Crumbs

by Stephen Pisani

Davey holds a fresh piece of copy paper in the middle of the den, standing halfway between his girlfriend and the muted television.

Elyse’s face contorts—it takes forty-two muscles to frown, he’s been told—and she angrily waves him away. “I’m on a call,” she mouths, ignoring his sign saying, “Come Play With Me” in dark, hastily-scribbled magic marker. Outside, snow smothers the roads, so Elyse is working from home. By Davey’s unscientific count, this is the fourth conference call she’s been on today, and it’s only five past noon.

He unplugs his phone from the charger on the kitchen counter. He turns the corner into the den, cell phone in hand, and says, “Excuse me, hun, can you get me on this call?”

She patronizes him with a labored chuckle. “Give me ten minutes, then we can play.” She winks, puts the phone back on speaker, mutes it on her end, and returns to the business of ignoring him.

“Get Mr. Howard on the line,” he says, holding his cell phone to his ear for emphasis. “Tell him I have some great ideas for the business.” She rolls her eyes without taking them off the computer screen in front of her. “I’ll be in my office downstairs, when you get a hold of him,” he continues. “I’ve got all my notes down there.”

Davey pretends to descend to the basement, but they both know he won’t. Instead he returns to the kitchen, opens the double-wide doors of the stainless steel fridge that she—mostly—paid for, grabs a package of turkey and another of ham, both of which she paid for, Boar’s Head, never the cheap stuff, and makes a sandwich on the store-brand bread he bought with a few of the dollars leftover from his pitiful severance.

Davey hears what sounds like the call ending in the other room. “We need milk,” Elyse says. She won’t drink her coffee without it, and she drinks a lot of coffee, a beverage working folk tend to enjoy. Davey won’t touch the stuff.

“Right now?” he says. He sets his sandwich down on the couch and sits between it and Elyse.

“Why don’t you go to the store? I forgot I have another call in a few minutes.”

Davey turns to look through the blinds Elyse insisted they needed a few weeks after they moved in. He can see the white flakes furiously falling between each handcrafted slat. “I’m not going out in that,” he says. “It’s too icy.”

“How about you shovel, then go out to get milk?”

He stands up, sandwich in hand—a good chunk of it in mouth—and says, “How bout I get you milk from downstairs?” He puts the sandwich down on the ottoman. Standing tall over Elyse, he gradually slinks behind the ottoman, like he’s going down a flight of stairs, the one-man show only finishing when he falls on his ass and starts cackling like a hyena in heat.

“You get that out of your system?” Elyse says. She is still planted in the spot Davey’s ass occupies most afternoons. Her phone rings. She puts it on speaker—again, muted on her end.

From his seat on the carpet Elyse wants to replace as soon as they can afford it, Davey reaches to the side. He pretends like he’s paddling a canoe out of the room. When he realizes Elyse isn’t paying him any more mind than the silenced talk show hosts on their forty-inch flat screen—a gift from her parents—he grabs his sandwich off the ottoman. The bread crumbles in his hand. Seagull-friendly specks fall to the floor. He walks away, figuring the dog will pounce on most of the mess. After Elyse leaves for work in the morning, he’ll vacuum what’s left of the crumbs.

 

Stephen Pisani is a Long Island, New York native who received his MA in Writing from Coastal Carolina University. His writing has appeared in Blue Lake Review,Soundings Review, and The Furious Gazelle.

 

Flash fiction by Michael Prihoda

Excerpts from “The Years,” a collection of interrelated flash fictions

by Michael Prihoda

 

The Year of Problems

Our parents have problems.

The man bagging groceries at the local Meijer has problems.
Steven has problems.
Gary has problems.
I think one time you mentioned how the dental hygienist attending the initial cleaning of your front molars referenced her recent, razor-edged divorce, which, I have to say, makes me think she has a host of nearly illimitable problems.
Joanna has problems.
The last barista I ordered a drink from (please, not Starbucks; whatever I am I am not that) didn’t pull the ristretto correctly and I tasted the off-ness in every sip, probably would have enjoyed the drink otherwise, but just knowing the mess-up, the goof, was enough to put me off from the whole coffee drinking enterprise but then again I didn’t go up and complain, realizing somewhere subconsciously that I should have ordered a Gibraltar or even a café miel because at least the honey would take the edge from whatever mistake could have been made (excepting, of course, an over-eager dusting of cinnamon, which definitely happened once, though I let it slide because the barista that time was cute and yeah, standing, waiting for my drink, I thought about how exactly I might tip her head just so to meet my lips and how much tongue I would use and if she wore chapstick/lip gloss what kind it might be and if that would somehow be a turn-on or else perversely anti-arousing because it magically reverberated with the same natural flavors in my body wash, purchased from the health store down the road from the coffee bar where they faulted my ristretto). All of this meaning the barista who served me my ristretto has, at least, a singular problem.
Vincent has problems.
You have problems.
I have problems. Lots of them. Since the year of my birth.

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Flash Fiction by Andi Dobek

The Procedure

by Andi Dobek

4:12 a.m.

I clambered back into bed, feeling more awake than before, and the blue-white light of my clock radio cast a glow over the walls and a portion of my bed. I groaned and turned onto my side, facing the window. My shadow, discernible only as several lumps above the mattress, was projected on the sheer blinds that kept others from peering in.

I tried to bore myself to sleep with the monotony of my shadow, calmly rising and falling, my breathing nearly synced with the ocean waves from my sound machine. I heard the clock chime the half hour.

And then my shadow wasn’t mine anymore.

Like watching a plant grow with time-lapse photography, something bulbous, followed by two long appendages, extruded themselves from near my hip.

A head. Arms.

I looked over my shoulder, but there was nothing behind me to cast such a shadow. The light burnt my eyes, and I turned back towards my window, which had clearly become a canvas for my imagination.

As I squinted so my vision could adjust, the shadow became humanoid. The arms, not so gangly now, grew more refined. It stretched, tilting to face the ceiling. The creature conjured something, then pulled it up to its face. When I saw its long fingers fiddling at the back of its head, a single word floated into my mind.

Mask.

Then gloves. Pulled on quickly, efficiently.

I swallowed. Sleep was out of the question.

The humanoid being that was behind me…yet, not…whose shadow was projected upon my window shade, continued busying itself with things unseen. Then it turned, so I might see the silhouette of its back.

If I had attempted to move before, fear and revulsion now paralyzed me.

What I could not see in profile, I now made out clearly. Below the creature’s shoulders, formed by the two primary arms, protruded two more pairs of limbs. They stuck out only slightly from the torso, with a few too many joints, and hung limply at the sides, inferior with apparent disuse. Around the head, two angular extrusions jutted out from where its temples would be. Suddenly it turned back, its head bowed close over my shadow, clutching something in its hand.

Another mask. Delicate shadows of several tubes streamed from it, and the silhouette that held it leaned over, closer to the shadow of my head on the pillow.

The sound machine breathed for me now. Slow. Steady. Rhythmic. Calm.

It fastened the mask around my head.

After what felt like minutes, but may have been seconds, the giddy chirp of a bird trilled in my ears, and I reopened my eyes.

The world outside my window was beginning to glow gently with the dawn. More birds joined the first one’s song. I looked at the shade.

The outline of the humanoid shadow was barely discernible in the strengthening light, but before it disappeared completely, I saw it held something long and thin in one of its six hands.

Scalpel.

 

Andi Dobek (‘Andrea’ to her parents and strangers) rarely leaves the confines of her own head, finding the company there much more agreeable and easier to sway than those of the ‘real’ world. Long before she could walk, she began her writing career as soon as she could grip a pen, and hasn’t stopped mutilating innocent paper since. She holds a degree in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois, and another in Web Design and Development. Currently she is slaving over a novel conceived over ten years ago, and her greatest dream is that it will one day see the light.

Andi lives in the Midwest and works at a credit union to fund her next endeavor: an MFA in Screenwriting through Lindenwood University. If you’re socially inclined, you can follow her on Twitter (@andreadobek) and Instagram (@The_Cicatrix).

Flash Fiction by Joan McNerney

Another Small Death

Assured his references would be fine, two week’s notice was given, severance check guaranteed.  That would give him one month total to get a life.

Freakyfour years gone just like that.   Exiting in long strides through swinging doors, Gary walked to the elevator.   This whole building, all twenty six floors, would be there when he was gone.  His work was unimportant, in a few weeks nobody would remember him.

His hands hung in a gesture of hopelessness.  His tongue covered with thick crust leaving a bad taste in his mouth.  He sat down more numb than anything else.  Shuffling his options like broken glass through his mind…if only one thought could come out straight, one sliver of truth.  But truth could be hard to handle, like shards of glass, slashing your face.  The bleary sky was streaked by blood red rays from a setting sun.  Night approached deep and dark.

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“How to Get a Jewish Divorce,” by Nina Bennett

How to Get a Jewish Divorce

 

Don’t live in the same house with your wife

after you’ve decided to divorce her. See your rabbi,

find a scribe. Observe the sun, divorce

proceedings must take place during daylight.

Do not let the scribe use a form, or any paper

that can be erased, it should be parchment.

Choose two righteous men as witnesses.

 

Your wife removes all rings, holds cupped hands

beside each other, palms up, fingers

somewhat raised. You hold the Get, tell her

This is your divorce. Accept this document

and you are divorced from me from here on.

Allow the paper to fall into her hands.

She closes her fingers around the document,

lifts it up, places it under her arm, walks away.

Have no further contact.

 

Delaware native Nina Bennett is the author of Sound Effects (2013, Broadkill Press Key Poetry Series chapbook #4). Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies such as Kansas City Voices, Big River Poetry Review, Houseboat, Bryant Literary Review, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Philadelphia Stories, and The Broadkill Review. Nina was a 2012 Best of the Net nominee.

 

James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur by Jacob Shelton

We’re pleased to announce our first finalist for our President’s/Valentine’s Day contest, in which Jacob Shelton envisions what would happen if James Garfield and Chester A. Arthur hit it off.

Our contest’s winner will be announced next Friday.

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Thanksgiving Flash Fiction by Jacob Shelton

Noon, November 24th by Jacob Shelton

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A Halloween Poem by Jacob Shelton

Madeline and Calvin sat quietly on their sofa watching The Omen,
supposedly a horror classic but
Calvin didn’t think very much of it. The pacing was all over the place and he
found the concept of the antichrist to be dull.
“Why can’t you just have a good time on our night off? I told you I would
watch whatever you wanted, we could have watched Honey I Shrunk the
Kids for all I care, I just wanted to spend the evening with you and now
you’ve ruined it.”
Madeline went to bed. Calvin did the dishes and finished watching The
Omen, it wasn’t as slow as he originally thought, and that kid was kind of
creepy. He went in to the bedroom to apologize to Madeline but she was
pretending to be asleep so he pretended to sleep next to her.
I suppose it’s worth mentioning that Madeline and Calvin are werewolves.

Send Us Your Scary Reads for Halloween

autumn-leaves1

Listen up, Gazelles! Halloween is right around the corner and we want you — that’s right, YOU — to send us your October-themed fiction, essays, poetry, and art.

What scares you? What makes you tick?

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The Furious Gazelle is now open to submissions.

Hey coffee shop dwellers, listen up!

We know you are all very excited to be a part of this new literary venture. The Internet is our sea, and WordPress is the rocky ship which will guide us safely to shore.

Please submit your short stories, micro fiction, flash fiction, poetry, short plays, monologues, novel excerpts, and art to The Furious Gazelle.

We accept writing that is good, well-written, and punchy. We accept art that is artistic.

E-mail your story as a .doc or .pdf attachment or pasted into the body of an e-mail to TheFuriousGazelle@gmail.com.

Side note: we reserve the right to change any of these rules at any time or make exceptions when we choose, because this is our damn magazine.

Stay furious.

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