BRILLIANT Flash Fiction

ISSUE 18: JUNE 2018

IMG_3368The Wild Birds
By Karen Schauber

Cormorants swoop and dive-bomb into the salty water, their trajectory stealthy and deep. The ravenous dog looks on, the birds out of reach. He paces back and forth, riveted along the water’s edge. Frothy waves tickle his paws, tracing wet impressions in the sand. He is prepared to wait. His stomach growls and bends.

The dog has been on the hunt for five days, lost far from home, disoriented since the electrical storm. He is managing quite well for a purebred: cozy cave, blankie, and binky, out of sight, out of mind. Foraging comes surprisingly easy for him, as if it were a daily hustle. He’s made friends too; first ever beyond the local fenced-in dog park. His master would be impressed, no, worried, both. He does not know that his human family has been busy plastering the neighbourhood with posters, leaving bowls of premium kibble and fresh water out on the veranda. The porch-light left on 24/7, beckoning him home. He is too far away to see the beacon. (more…)

Advertisements

ISSUE 17: MARCH 2018

IMG_7569Something About the Romans
By Evan Massey

On the porch, the radio plays old tunes. Sometimes our heads bob. I’m on the top step. Below me, Bianca sits behind my little sister, Tia, braiding her hair. She combs out Tia’s rough hair with an orange comb, applies grease. Bianca doesn’t have rough hair, no. She has good hair. Tia doesn’t care much for Bianca because of that. It’s a girl thing, I guess.

My mama used to do Tia’s hair. She was gentler with that orange comb. She’d even cut my hair when it got too long. Boys shouldn’t have long hair, she’d say. But I loved it when she’d cut it. We’d talk about life, me becoming a man, and sometimes about my father. Her gentle hands would glide the clippers through my hair, trimming it to her liking. I would feel like a new me afterwards. But now my hair’s the longest it’s ever been. It gets longer by the day, it seems.

It’s hot out, even hotter with this long hair. Inside’s no better. The Mississippi sun tans us, sweat beads dot our black skin. I hold a cup of lemonade to my forehead, then take a swallow, ice cubes kiss my lips. It’s more sugar than lemon—Bianca’s doing. I watch her jerk Tia’s head with that orange comb again, smearing more grease. The comb works through the hair. The sweet, greasy fragrance sweeps across my nose. (more…)

ISSUE 16: JANUARY 2018

IMG_6093HIT & RUN
By Shoshauna Shy

I wondered what kind of “closure” did Jean think she was going to get?

YOU ARE FEMALE & DRIVE
A RED CAR.
YOU RAN OVER MY CAT
ON WINGRA STREET
MAY 18TH.
PLEASE CALL JEAN.
NEED HELP WITH CLOSURE

I came across this notice the week that Eric, my boyfriend-since-high-school, suddenly moved out of our apartment to follow an Edgewood College grad to Schenectady, New York. Apparently, someone’s cat darted into danger, a simple case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. What was there to explain or describe—unless apathy meant the driver didn’t brake or she actually went out of her way to hit the animal. But who would fess up to that?

I pictured Jean barely out of her teens, just a few years younger than me, stapling laminated notices to phone poles outside of The Yellow Platter, a neighborhood café. I had started going there for breakfast so I wouldn’t have to start the day alone. I imagined her returning to an empty apartment where a catnip bunny lay under a chair, saw her reaching instinctively for fur among the bedcovers at 3 AM. I doubted that meeting the red car phantom would make 3 AM’s any easier. (more…)

ISSUE 15: SEPTEMBER 2017

Three Summer Flights
By Tim Love

As usual, Dad collected her after breakfast on Sunday and drove her to Dunstable downs. The hillside was already full of families.

“You first, Tracy.”

She held the bobbin of string while her father retreated with the kite. Then he threw it skyward. “It’s new!” she said, watching the dragon soar.

“Yes, I made it this week.” When she pulled harder, the kite spiralled and fell. “It needs a longer tail,” he said, “Oh well, let’s have an ice cream.” They sat on the grass, licking 99s. While he studied the other kites, which to her were heavy and drab, she watched the gliders taking off below. Winched up, they climbed steeply until they were higher than she was. She watched the cable fall away, as if in slow-motion. The ice cream finished, she stretched out on the grass and looked up at the kites against the bright blue sky. Without warning a glider filled her vision, flying very low and fast. She would always remember the wide wings, the silent surprise. (more…)

BFF WRITER WINS WRITE WELL AWARD

Congratulations to Charles Rafferty, winner of a 2017 Write Well Award for his story, The Silver Smile of the Hatchet, originally published in the March 2016 issue of Brilliant Flash Fiction. For details, check out writewellaward.com.

Anne-Marie Lindstrom won a 2015 Write Well Award for her September 2014 Brilliant Flash Fiction story, Becky’s Song.

Here is Charles Rafferty’s award-winning story:

The Silver Smile of the Hatchet
By Charles Rafferty

Magda was too tiny to kill a cow but her mother needed help with the weed-like tenacity of her daily chores. The chickens were put on Magda’s list. The worst one could do, her mother concluded, was to run headless around its pen.

Magda surprised her mother. With a succession of little kisses, she would persuade the chicken to her side. She let it peck the seed from her palm as it had done on a daily basis since the first time it left the henhouse. Then she scooped it up and took it behind the barn. (more…)

ART PROMPT WRITING CONTEST!

Art Prompt for writing contest

Click to Enlarge

Prompt: Write a story based on Adam Kluger’s art displayed here
No Entry Fee
Word limit: 300 words, excluding title
Deadline: FEBRUARY 15, 2018
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
Artist & Judge: Adam Kluger (more…)

CONCEALMENT – WRITING CONTEST RESULTS

Many thanks to Judge Charles Rammelkamp for choosing our contest theme and volunteering his time to select the three prizewinners. Thanks also to the 250 brilliant writers who entered this contest.

Charles Rammelkamp

FIRST PRIZE— Andrew M Stockton, Sunday Lunch (Again)
SECOND PRIZE—Lesley Middleton, Little Joe
THIRD PRIZE— Mark Warren, The Cleaner

Judge: Charles Rammelkamp
Theme: Concealment

 

FIRST PRIZE: Sunday Lunch (Again) by Andrew M. Stockton

Judge’s Comments: Sunday Lunch (Again) is like an oyster concealing a pearl. Just as the food smells are described as “invisible but powerful,” so is the secret of incest that’s only alluded to. Is it the daughter’s father? Her uncle? Both? All that’s certain is the shame and the “naked, remorseless memories” behind the sham of the family dinner.

Sunday Lunch (Again)
By Andrew M Stockton

Walking into cooking-smells, cabbage, the roast, food smells, invisible but powerful, making me salivate. “Hi, it’s me; your daughter’s home for Sunday lunch! Feed me!”

Dad’s laid the table, and the tablecloth is so bright and white it could warn ships about hazards. Wish I’d had such a hazard warning years ago. Mum checks the cutlery and moves the bottle of wine that uncle Danny bought to hide a small stain on the cloth. (more…)