Here they are, finally! *Note: Flash fiction teasers will not be posted simply because there is a danger of giving too much away with such short pieces.
Gehenna by Kevin P. Keating
This is what they do to him, to the old man, after a lifetime spent in quiet contemplation among books of eschatology.
They parade him before the students on high holy days, not unlike the mummified thumb or shriveled toe of a medieval saint or mystic, an artifact to be revered as a symbol of piety, celibacy, wisdom and dread. Recently forced into retirement, the old man is given the title “Instructor Emeritus,” an honorific bestowed upon those priests too ancient and addle-minded to continue teaching without embarrassment or scandal in the classroom. Though rare and often ritualized, these appearances are meant to satisfy his need to be among the students, his proverbial “lost flock” whose intellectual curiosity seems to dwindle with each passing year.
Into the Unblinking Eye by David Copper
Whitfield manor was empty and uncomfortably quiet. The rumble of dark brown bodies – bustling, fumbling, fussing, slipping into creaky corners to evade the glare of young Master Whitfield – had receded long enough to grant Tillie a long-desired moment of repose between laundry and the preparation of supper. But something was wrong: the door to Young Master Whitfield's bedroom was ajar and a sudden thud inside snapped Tillie into wide-eyed alertness. Seconds later, Abbey, Tillie's nine-year-old niece, scampered out, a pint-sized tornado of lead-heavy breaths and incriminating tears.
Note for the Bright Star by Tom Sheehan
Fred Chandler, editor of the weekly and only newspaper in Quipilanta, The Bright Star, enjoyed looking out one side of his shop window the day the issue was printed. He’d already placed the front page in the window and watched early risers stop to look at the page, read some of the items on the page, and pass on. A few other shop owners, real early risers like he was on most days, with a lantern to guide them to their work place, read the page under the light of the lantern, swinging their lanterns to assist in their reading. The lanterns threw soft shadows into his editorial office. The lighting activity was, he had decided early in the career of the paper, a significant part of issue day.
Rooted in Lies by Eric Devine
I looked where he directed: Jamie’s ass was cresting out of her jeans without panties to obscure the view. It was a cherry of a backside, and as I took in the rest of Jamie's contours, I realized how Huff had pointed her out. It was in a proud manner, as if he were displaying a trophy, and it made me wonder. "Did you tap that?"
His entire body shook at the question, "No." He slumped in his chair. "But I would."
We sat for a while, not speaking, and I itched inside. Huff, my only friend, looked like a clam attached to his desk, and I wasn’t sure if the question was too much too fast. But ever since the move--really, before--I’d been listening to my older brother Scott’s advice: New school, new girls; get laid as fast as you can. Wasn't that why Huff was pointing her out? He sat up then, as if he’d been forming the next question the entire time, "You ever hit it?"
The truth was on my tongue, but Scott's voice filled my head, again: Just do it. Don't be some fucking angel your whole life. Shit, a solid ten lies can turn you into somebody else.
Planting Roses in Iraq by Walter F. Giersbach
She stood and waited until he nodded, wanting to make sure he had really chosen her.
“My grandfather was a lawyer,” she began softly. She read methodically in remarkably good English, her words marching evenly over her lips like orderly soldiers. “He worked for the Ministry of Justice and wore a white shirt and smelled like roses when he went to work every day. He worked for justice. Then the war came and I saw them take my grandfather away. They shot him and two other men and put their bodies in a hole outside our town and the machines covered up the bodies. I saw this happen at night. My father and mother and brothers cried but they could do nothing. I said we should dig him up and my father slapped me. In the spring I planted a rose in the ground where he lay sleeping and watered it and white roses grew. Then my father took our family to Basra and we were helped to go to Syria and then to America. I hope someone is watering my white roses. The end.”
Scattershot by Mark Willen
He was washing the vegetables, somewhat more cursorily than if Sally had been there to supervise, when he heard the noise—a kind of metallic ping. He couldn’t quite place it, neither its nature nor its location, and went back to washing. He was wiping his hands on his already soiled khakis when he heard the second ping. The living room. Definitely the living room. He went to investigate but found nothing amiss. Then, just as he was leaving the room, he heard the sound again, and his eye caught some motion, a tiny piece of glass flying into the wall and falling to the floor. He picked it up and turned it around. He saw holes in three of the foot-square panes that made up the living room windows.
We are the Dead by Dorian Dawes
The First was all that we knew in our city of dead. His thoughts were our thoughts. We were the enactors of His will. We had no purpose but His purpose. And in our ignorance, we believed that this was good.
Within our conscious there are but scattered echoes of what was before the First. They are the remnants of His memories, fleeting visions that we embrace when they come and abandon when they are gone. Up until now, they have been useless to me. Up until now, I have not needed to know.
Now, I think they are more important than anything. They are certainly more important than this existence we lead, this unlife.