Sunday 16 June 2024

2024 FlashFlood: The Complete List

In case you missed any of the pieces we appeared during the 2024 FlashFlood, here's an index to everything.  Sadly, the 'Blog Archive' list maxes out at 100 titles per day, so use this as your guide to the complete 2024 Flood....

Happy Reading!

 

 2024 FlashFlood


  

     



Saturday 15 June 2024

'Waterbabble' by Francine Witte

Swim of people in the supermarket. Faces fishing towards me, all eyes and gaping talkmouths. Their shimmery bodies squiggling through the aisles. Cereal, soap powder, fruit. Florescent lights above us, a bloop of broken sunlight, wavy and far off like a dream. And there’s me, my life spilled into liquid since you left me. I dig snatches of food off the shelves, the way lost guppies might dart towards a sea crag. Funny though, I don’t need food, or even want it since you left me with no hunger and a hook dangling out of my lip. Together, you and I were landbeautiful, You said words like forever and trust me. I heard you. I heard you. And then one day you saw the horizon. Let’s touch it together, you said. I went sudden mermaid. Lost my walklegs, my arms were like fins. My hair streamed out like fireflames. And then in a water breath, you were gone. Saw someone other and floated away. And now I circle the supermarket, with its cans, and bottles, and paper goods. It’s all the water of once love now and I float and I float and I float.

 


Francine Witte’s flash fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous journals. Most recently, her stories have been in Best Small Fictions and Flash Fiction America. Her latest flash fiction book is Just Outside the Tunnel of Love (Blue Light Press.) Her upcoming collection of poetry, Some Distant Pin of Light is forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press. She lives in NYC. Visit her website francinewitte.com.

'Small Mythologies from a Late Summer Garden' by Jenny Wong

The forecasters predicted horizons to be sunny and clear.  But overhead, a seafaring god worries about his capsizing yacht. Thus begins a day of minor curses.  
Pails of rain bail out the sky.  Silver drops find all the holes in a leaky tin shed. Poppy buds refuse to bloom, hold bursts of red in their hard green fists.  The air smells of wet leaf and drowned matches (burning forests lurk in the east and not even a downpour like this can wash away their threatening scent).  The bushes do what they can.  They droop in their soggy green garments, performing small exorcisms over gasping worms who twitch in their thin gelatin bodies.  

Meanwhile, the chili peppers ignore the troubles brought on by heaven. Instead, they bury their roots into dense clay dirt, reach towards warm southward places. They have already locked the memory of the sun’s heat in their flesh, set their spice levels to 10,000 on the Scoville scale.  

And now, all that is left for them to do is let their skins ripen like fire
and dream of a sky
that holds
no more gods.

 


Jenny Wong is a writer, traveler, and occasional business analyst. Her favorite places to wander are Tokyo alleys, Singapore hawker centers, and Parisian cemeteries. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, the Best of the Net Anthology, Best Small Fiction Awards, and The Forward Prizes for Best Single Poem (Written). She resides in Canada near the Rocky Mountains. Find her on Twitter(X) @jenwithwords.


'What to Do if Gravity Lessens' by Bethany Jarmul

 

 


Bethany Jarmul is an Appalachian writer and poet. She’s the author of two chapbooks and one poetry collection. Her work has been published in many magazines including Rattle, Brevity, Salamander, and One Art. Her writing was selected for Best Spiritual Literature 2023 and Best Small Fictions 2024, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, The Best of the Net, Best Microfiction, and Wigleaf Top 50. Connect with her at bethanyjarmul.com or on social media: @BethanyJarmul.

Editor's note: due to formatting, this piece is presented as an image. If it doesn't look nice in your browser, you can view it as an image here and as a pdf here.

Debut Flash: 'Rise' Bryan Schluntz

I felt the dawn full of color on my neck as I woke in Ani’s bed. Wonted questions arrived while I gently gazed out at her neighbor’s caerulean wall. The aroma, like opportunity, of strong coffee drew me toward the kitchen. She looked up at me while gracefully rocking the jazva in and out of the flame. Our mornings swelled with possibility; this was new. Ani passed my cup with a half-smile and used her finger to etch a few words in grinds she’d spilled on the counter. I took a long, full sip and believed, in all of it.

 


Bryan Schluntz is a writer and lover of flash fiction. He studied English at the University of Vermont, in the US. He now resides in Mendham, New Jersey with his wife, two sons, and a dog named Ritter.

'Lights Out' by Abby Manzella

The lights have been out for two days. I’m sure that in other houses candles are burning and dusty attic-ed board games retrieved now that our electronics are dark. I’m sure that others expect that power will soon return, just like they mistakenly thought their money would reappear last month after the two largest banks’ coffers digitally went “poof.” I suspect these responses, but I don’t actually know what my neighbors are thinking because I’m on my own. No one has stopped by to check on me, but I haven’t checked on anyone else either.

I’m focused on food. The freezer food won’t last long. Anyway, I’ve been cooking hot dogs on the outdoor grill—I have been eating a lot of hot dogs—and thinking about “mouth feel.” Not taste so much as feeling. How do the burnt bits of charcoal feel on the roof of my mouth? I’d describe them as found stone in the forest where it doesn’t quite belong—course and unwelcome.

And that’s what worries me.

The other day, before the power went out, I found the remnants of an encampment less than a mile from my home. No one else would have noticed, but I recognized the stones that had been hastily moved and then replaced to hide the firepit that had kept these intruders warm. The softened earth was too cleared of last autumn’s leaves. Wildness tidied.

Someone is out there, slowly creeping toward us all—a frontline that knows we’re our own worst enemies. They know we’re weakest without our technology—our social skills long ago obliterated. They know that we’ll stay inside instead of finding new connections. They know that we’re more likely to turn on each other. They know that all they have to do is turn out the lights.

 


Abby Manzella is the author of Migrating Fictions: Gender, Race, and Citizenship in U.S. Internal Displacements, winner of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers Book Award. She has published with journals such as Threepenny Review, MoonPark Review, HAD, Flash Frog, and Massachusetts Review. Find her on Twitter @abbymanzella.


'Ganesh and Southern Maid Donuts' by Rudri Bhatt Patel

I know it is Sunday morning because the paper lands on the driveway with a louder thud, masala chai whispers underneath the door, and the sounds of Bollywood music vibrate in our small Texas home. My radio belts out Madonna, some version of the song Vogue springing in the air. The Debbie Gibson vests collide in the closet with my batik saris and I hear my parents speaking in Hindi, while I hum the words, “Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe.”

I walk into the kitchen, Lord Ganesh sitting vigil in our small temple, while my father bellows a familiar mantra. When he finishes praying, he turns to me and says, “Want to get some donuts?” I sit shotgun while we drive in his dark blue Camry to Southern Maid Donuts, the smell of curry lingering in the car.

I slide into my seat, the sound of Om Namah Shivay echoing from Dad’s favorite CD. Glazed donut in one hand, I half-smile at him, and say thank you in his language.



Rudri Bhatt Patel is a former attorney turned writer and editor. Prior to attending law school, she graduated with an MA in English with an emphasis in creative writing. She is the co-founder and co-editor of the literary journal, The Sunlight Press, and on staff at Literary Mama and Pithead Chapel. Her work has been nominated for Best Small Fictions and has appeared in Milk Candy Review, Pidgeonholes, 101 Words, Literary Mama, Mothers Always Write, The Washington Post, Civil Eats, Saveur, and elsewhere. You can find more of her work at https://rudribhattpatel.com.

'Ganesh and Southern Maid Donuts' was first published in MoonPark Review in Spring 2021, Issue #15.

2024 FlashFlood: The Complete List

In case you missed any of the pieces we appeared during the 2024 FlashFlood, here's an index to everything.  Sadly, the 'Blog Archiv...