CategoryFlash Fiction

Night Visitors

N

They came for me during the night, ringing the doorbell as if they were polite visitors. I’d been expecting them. I kept my clothes by the side of my bed so I could dress quickly. I raised the bedroom window, straddled the sill, and stepped out onto the steep gabled roof, steadying my balance. From there I could just reach a limb of the sugar maple and swing myself into the thickness of its...

Inked

I

When he emerged from the den, Robert found her stretched on a lounge chair by the pool. She wore a black bikini and was listening to music through her earphones. Her toenails were freshly manicured and painted a glossy maroon. He dragged over a chair. Erin sat up and took off the earphones. “So you like Skidmore so far?” “I’m in a band.” “Playing keyboards?” “I’m the singer. We’re trying to get a...

Rainmaker

R

Sweat patterns darkened his white shirt along the neckline. Dust stuck to his summer wool suit. A rainmaker who wears a business suit. He stood at the flinty edge of the diminished reservoir. The barren, naked rock walls were bleached and parched, the remaining water glinting in the sun like moving mirrors. “Are we actually taking this guy seriously?” someone in the crowd said. The rainmaker held...

Water Investigator Reported Missing

W

The aqueducts originate in three locations: Duluth, on Lake Superior; Milwaukee, on Lake Michigan; and Sandusky, on Lake Erie. Each system of pipelines, tunnels, and open-air channels transfers water east to west. The  Duluth pipeline feeds the Sacramento River, the Milwaukee line empties into the Colorado River, and the Sandusky sector ends at the Rio Grande. A half-dozen 1-gigawatt pumping...

A Surprise at the Cottage

A

I had begun to fear the worst: a family of raccoons had moved in. Or our cottage had become a bat house. Or mold clung like moss to the walls. There would be standing water in the basement, the foundation would be crumbling. Finally, the border to Canada opened. I made the trip up to Thunder Bay. My first impression on seeing the cottage was relief: it looked the same as ever from the outside...

Dear Dave: Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the Crown

D

Dear Dave: I really have nowhere else to turn at this point, so I’m writing to you again. Everyone is abandoning me—I mean everyone. My most trusted confidantes are like rats deserting a sinking ship, my executive secretary has quit, and even my old friends Nancy and Joe are calling on me to resign. The media is calling me a power-crazed misogynist. Me of all people! Okay, I’ll admit to a bit of...

The Swim

T

(from a work in progress) The water is flat as glass which he shatters with each stroke, his arms operating like mistimed pistons, his strokes short and choppy. His legs barely muster a kicking motion and his feet hang low like sinking weights. He breathes in awkward gasps. He gulps mouthfuls of water. His splashing and coughing upset the silent morning. It is the start of a long June day, the...

Fugue State

F

Robert survived the plane crash, walked away, and disappeared for two days before he was found, waking up and returning to himself only when the police knocked on the hotel room door he was occupying with a woman he did not recognize. The diagnosis was dissociative fugue: a rare psychological disorder characterized by a complete loss of identity and unplanned, unintentional wandering, caused by...

Memory Lane: Investors Wanted

M

Business Concept: Memory Lane Amount of Investment Requested: $3 Million to complete the algorithm and to fund initial marketing efforts. Business Problem: In the event a couple decides to part ways, conflict often arises not only in how physical and financial assets are divided, but also in how memory assets should be divvied up, leading to protracted and painful negotiations and additional...

Ask Dave is Getting Busy

A

I’ve suddenly been getting a lot of letters directed to my advice column. Clearly, people are dealing with a lot of problems these days. I can’t say I’m surprised. Recently, I advised a fellow who almost burned himself up. Then I had a letter from a VIP in New York State government, who subsequently wrote back praising my advice for him and confessing something rather personal...

Bathroom Break

B

They arrange to meet at the art festival, inside the park, near the willows. Arriving separately, for a second date stroll. When they reach the end of the exhibit she took a risk and asked if he wanted to keep walking, such a perfect day, and he did, past the fountains and the playing fields, and ending up here for drinks. As soon as they get to the restaurant she excuses herself. They’d gotten...

Ask Dave: Andy Writes Back

A

Not every day does someone follow my advice and then write back to me. So I can’t help but publish the response I got from Andy following our original correspondence. I’m sure he won’t mind my sharing this with you. Dear Dave: I don’t know you or what your credentials might be for dispensing advice. You were just a random online dude and I clicked submit before I meant to because I happened to be...

Ask Dave: Vol. 8, Number 11

A

Sometimes I post letters here that I’ve received at my other website, the advice column, Dear Dave. Recently I shared one about a fellow who almost set himself on fire. I got a huge number of emails saying I had missed the point of the letter. Maybe I’ll do better this time with a letter I received yesterday. Dear Dave: I’m an important and powerful person and have many people working for me...

Updated Vaccine Priority List

U

Illustration by Peter Hamlin You can only get the shot if you are designated 1A. You can get the shot if you are a health care worker. You can get the shot if you fly an airplane. You can get the shot if you live/work in a nursing home. You can get the shot if you work in a restaurant. If you are clever and devious enough to cut the line. You can get the shot if you are tech-savvy and can...

Ask Dave: Vol. 7, Number 34

A

Sometimes I’ll reproduce here an interesting letter that I get at my other site, an advice column I write. Here’s one that came in recently. Dear Dave: I’ve been trying to stay clean because when I don’t, things tend to happen. For example, last night when I felt the desire to use I went out for a walk. I’ve been told this is a self-care strategy that can tamp down the urge. It was a...

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, journalist, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.

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