BRILLIANT Flash Fiction

ISSUE 14: JUNE 2017

IMG_1554This Heady Thing Called Love
By Linda Ferguson

He calls and I say I’ll come.

I haven’t seen him in three days. Unless you count Tuesday, in the dining hall. Ah, there he was, in line with the tall ballerina with the beret tipped over her Lauren Bacall bob.

Good thing the roommate is in class right now. I wouldn’t want her watching as I stand in front of the mirror and finger the magenta streak in my hair I added the day he first kissed me. She was here last week when I was a sodden, shuddering ball on my crumpled bed, having just heard his sudden confession. She crossed her arms then and said I could do better, her voice rising to vehemence when she called him a “lousy boyfriend.” Which makes me think she might not endorse my getting all gussied up now, smoothing on China-red lipstick, pulling on black fishnets, dabbing my throat with the perfume Aunt Jeanine sent me last Christmas. No, I don’t need anyone frowning at me as I clasp a slender silver chain around my ankle or as I turn in front of the mirror again to check out the short tangerine-colored dress with the coral stitching around its hem. (more…)

Lost in Translation – Writing Contest Results

Brilliant Flash Fiction would like to thank Judge KJ Hannah Goldberg for suggesting our contest theme (the dubash), and for volunteering her time to choose the prizewinners. Thanks also to the 110 writers who entered this contest and shared their creativity with us.

Judge KJ Hannah Greenberg photo

KJ Hannah Goldberg

FIRST PRIZE—Stephen Lodge, AXE THE QUESTION
SECOND PRIZE (tie)—Claire Lawrence, Amitay Dubash
SECOND PRIZE (tie)—Faiza Bokhari, Chicken Tikka Sandwich

Judge: KJ Hannah Goldberg
Theme: the dubash

 

 

First Prize: AXE THE QUESTION by Stephen Lodge

Judge’s comments: I’m a sucker for a playful tale. Our literary venues are brimming with doom and gloom, with proscribing darkness as the new “sexy” in short fiction. Thankfully, this writer’s piece was perky. The bit of groaning that results from this work’s bad puns and other low brow humor, too, helps readers get through their days.

AXE THE QUESTION
By Stephen Lodge

This is a thankless job, thought Aaron Schultz, as he made his way to the Presidential Palace atop the Boulevard Of Heroes in Ringstad, the capital of the Republic Of Belzon. If only I could get out of this country. But Belzonians are not allowed passports unless granted by the President and he never travels outside Belzon for fear of a coup attempt if he left the country. So, for the foreseeable future, I am tap-dancing for idiots, translating stuff from one side of the desk to the other that no one wants to hear, which I mostly make up anyway to appease their easily bruised egos and maybe prevent a war or two. (more…)

Issue 13: March 2017

IMG_7934Flying Man
By Matthew Duffus

Pants and shirt pressed, tie tucked between the third and fourth buttons, he pedaled into the March wind. Once around the town Square, he dodged traffic and cut down a side street that would dump him onto the main quad in plenty of time to turn in the work he’d spent the weekend compiling before his 2 PM Calculus I lecture. His advisor had warned him not to go down the rabbit hole of Rajnipal’s Third Theorem, but after two years of proofs and equations, he was about to come out the other end. He’d be famous—reasonably so. Not cover of Time famous, but well-known enough to snag one of the ever-dwindling number of tenure track jobs on offer at flagship institutions.

Just as he squeezed the handbrake in preparation for the turn onto University Avenue, a car door swung open before him, followed by the chatter of a cell-phone-holding coed. “Can you believe she wants me to pay for the dress myself? I mean—oh my God, something hit me!” (more…)

Lost in Translation Writing Contest!

IMG_7933Prompt: the dubash
No Entry Fee
Word limit: 500 words, excluding title
Deadline: JUNE 15, 2017
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
Judge: KJ Hannah Greenberg (more…)

Issue 12: January 2017

img_5696THE COLD AFTER THE SNOW
By T.M. Spooner

The gritty scrape of metal against pavement woke Ted from a way-too-short night of sleep. Due to heavy snow he and his wife, Priscilla, had arrived late last night and it was barely eight a.m. He went to the bedroom window of his wife’s childhood home to find Priss, as he affectionately called her, shoveling the front sidewalk. She wore a red cap and scarf, recently knitted by her mother, and her green eyes squinted against the winter glare and her entire face looked hurt. It’s the kind of look that made Ted’s heart cast out to her.

Ted slipped into a pair of jeans and pulled on a wool sweater and hurried downstairs. The morning air was as cold as Priss had promised it would be on the heels of such a big snowfall.

“Need some help?” he asked. Priss didn’t hear and kept on. (more…)

THIRD ANNIVERSARY WRITING CONTEST!

img_5254

Prompt: Overseas Travel

No Entry Fee
Word limit: 300 words, excluding title
Deadline: MARCH 15, 2017
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

Judge: Kirby Wright

(more…)

AFTERMATH – Writing Contest Results

Many thanks to the 450 international writers who entered this contest—and we extend our deepest gratitude to Judge Abigail Favale for offering her time and expertise to choose the top three prizewinners.

Dr. Abigail Favale

Dr. Abigail Favale

First Prize: Erin O’Loughlin, Brother Fox
Second Prize: Susan James, Home for the Holidays
Third Prize: Anne Anthony, Bathroom Break

Judge: Dr. Abigail Favale
Theme: Aftermath

 

 

FIRST PRIZE: Brother Fox by Erin O’Loughlin

Judge’s Comments: This piece does everything a flash fiction piece should do. A benign yet beguiling beginning, zooming out to reveal a potential tragedy unfolding in real time. I read it with a slow-dawning dread that climaxes at just the right moment, the moment of the “flash.”

Brother Fox
By Erin O’Loughlin

Imagine the fox, the only spark of color in this bright landscape. All that endless powder white, broken only by a flash of red—there—then gone again. There is more life than you know, under all these layers and layers of snow.

Imagine how he cocks his head listening (the skill is not unique to the male of the species—vixens do it also). You can see he is straining his senses, listening for the soft scrabble under the snow. Then, ears high in the air, he dives headfirst into the snow, body flailing awkwardly as the front paws find purchase under all that cold white. And he will come back up with a limp little mouse in his jaws. So far this might be an acute sense of hearing, an expert dancer’s timing. But the strange thing is that nine times out of ten, a fox that dives to the north will catch his prey. A fox that leaps and dives to the south will lose it. Somehow a fox’s body is aligned to the magnetic north. In tune with it. If his quarry lies that way, the hunt will be good. An innate geo-location, gift of the wintry gods that govern small creatures. (more…)