Month: June 2015

ISSUE 6: June 2015

IMG_6658Old Jimmy
By Young Lee

Old Jimmy approaches the street corner, paper grocery bags weighing in each hand, and pushes the yellow walk button with his elbow. He has on cotton yoga pants, cut off at mid-calf, partially revealing a pair of great bass swimming upshore. The old black ink faded to a watery grey against his own scaly skin. At his sleeves, his lanky, fleshy arms have long been inked with mystical birds and masks like weathered totem poles. Inspired by past winters, hunting moose, in the South East Alaskan terrain. Ancient hieroglyphics decorate his forearms to commemorate his late wife. And the markings of Buddha, the All-Seeing Eye, the Hindu Ganesha, along with Christ seated on Jimmy’s torso, front and back. Tombstones of his past.

Old Jimmy pushes up his prescription glasses with the tip of his thumb, wiggles the blood back into his fingers. He feels faint from Bikram Yoga and hunger as the amber sun presses down on him. Through the asphalt mirage across the street, Old Jimmy discerns a young man in a vintage Jim Morrison tee shirt approaching the opposite corner. He had that shirt once, a long time ago. Remembers going to their concert. As Jimmy observes him, there is something else familiar about this young man. The manner of his walk. The way he jerks his head to throw back his long wavy bangs. Sweat runs down Jimmy’s back and he rests the bags down beside him as he rubs his tired eyes and scratches an old scar on his right cheek. Despite the heat, his fingers are cold and moist. He readjusts his glasses and studies the young man’s face as he’s retrieving something from his pocket. He regards the boy’s compulsive blinking. The exact habit he had before he got cataracts in both eyes. That arched nose reminds him of his father. And the same thin lips that purse when he sniffles. Then suddenly he notices the payphone that he entered nearly forty years ago. (more…)

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Freestyle Writing Competition!

IMG_5497September Freestyle Writing Contest
No Entry Fee!
Word limit: 600
Deadline: SEPTEMBER 15, 2015
Submissions: email to
brilliantflashfiction@gmail.com

Prizes:
50 euro first prize (or equivalent amount in your currency)
25 euro second prize
15 euro third prize (more…)

Equality – Contest Results

Liz Nugent

Liz Nugent

First prize: Helen McMahon
Second prize: Toni Minoza
Third prize: Tim Roberts

Contest Judge:
Liz Nugent, author of Unravelling Oliver

 

FIRST PRIZE: Only Water by Helen McMahon
Judge’s comments: This beautifully written piece illustrates how every day, we have the opportunity to make a more equal society, but we allow our prejudices to get in the way. The narrator gives the homeless character a nobility and grace which make his/her avoidance of him all the more poignant.

Only Water
By Helen McMahon

You, crying, your mouth wide open, a silent howl. Like a child, in shock, the moment after a fall, before the hurt comes.

You sit in a shuttered doorway on the busy side street, the lower half of your body swaddled in a sleeping bag, filthy and ripped. Then the sound comes, the wail—a high, thin sound, unmanly. It catches me off-guard. I look at you. I hesitate. Then, though fearful, I cross the street to you. I kneel down in front of you. You do not see me. I say: are you okay? You do not answer. I reach across and put my palm on your cheek. I say: you poor man.

Slowly, you come from that place of grief, focus on my face. I take your hand. I say: come with me. I lead you down the street, taking you by the arm. You shuffle like an old man though you are young. In defiance of the manager’s hard looks, I sit you at a table in a coffee shop. I buy a pot of tea. You are surprisingly fussy about it. You insist, though your hands shake, on pouring your own milk. (more…)