SEPTEMBER 2021

7A697F6D-1D71-486C-B7E7-6CD891EDC9E9

Echoes

By Filip Wiltgren

When Raphael was born his mother took him to church. His father, not being inclined to such things, held the boy in his lap and read him the newspaper.

When Raphael was five, his mother took him to choir, and his father took him to play-school.

“Such voice,” said the priest.

“Such brilliance,” said the teacher.

“It is clear he has a calling,” said the priest.

“It is clear he has a gift,” said the teacher.

And Raphael’s mother and father smiled, and congratulated themselves, and basked in the radiance of their offspring.

When Raphael was ten he was a soloist in the diocese choir, where the old, soberly dressed matrons cried at the sound of his voice and kissed his mother on both cheeks.

“He is blessed by the Lord,” they told her, and Raphael’s mother nodded and smiled.

Continue reading “SEPTEMBER 2021”

THE WAIT IS OVER…

It’s Here!

Our second print anthology, Branching Out: International Tales of Brilliant Flash Fiction is ready to ship. The brilliant stories in this collection—all 300 words or less—are an eclectic selection of gems that will inspire flash fiction writers everywhere.

Branching Out features the work of 67 authors from Australia, Canada, England, India, Ireland, Malta, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, Scotland, and the United States.

Selected from 350 international submissions, these unique tales will entertain you and inspire your own writing.

To order your copy, please donate $12 on our website Home Page by clicking the Donate button on the right hand side. If you have questions, or would like to confirm your order, please contact Dawn at bffnonprofit@gmail.com. (Please note that all book orders outside the USA will be subject to extra shipping charges.)

If you’d like a double dose of quality flash fiction, for a donation of $20 we’ll send you Branching Out and also a copy of our first print anthology, Hunger: The Best of Brilliant Flash Fiction, 2014-2019.

Your donations finance our nonprofit operations, and we deeply appreciate your financial support.

SNEAK PREVIEW!

Our second print anthology

is coming soon…

We are excited to reveal the title and cover art for our second print anthology, Branching Out: International Tales of Brilliant Flash Fiction.

Cover photo by Laurie Scavo * Cover design by Karen Morgan

A big thank you to our authors whose work has been chosen for Brilliant Flash Fiction’s second print anthology Branching Out:

Kathryn Aldridge-Morris  * AllOneWord  *Ugochukwu Anadị * Madeline Barrett * Joe Baumann * Roberta Beary * Paul Beckman * Liz Betz * John Brantingham * John Burns * Helen Chambers * Robert Clinton * Caleb Collier * A.K. Cotham * Charlotte Crowder * Dr. Meghashri Dalvi * Salvatore Difalco * Corina DiOrio * Matthew Duffus * Catherine Edmunds * Mel Fawcett * Gary Fincke * David Galef * Joe Giordano * H.T. Grossen * Elad Haber * Corrie Haldane * Andrew Hughes * Meagan Johanson * Stephen Johnson * Ben Johnston * Sara Jordan-Heintz * Maddie King * Jennifer Lai * Claire Lawrence * Minh-Tam Le * Amanda Lieser * Phil Lindeman * Marc Littman * Martin Lochman * Craig Loomis * Alison McBain * Linda McMullen * Erika Loughran MacNeil * Amy Marques * Kate Maxwell * Mari Maxwell * Elaine Mead * Terri Mullholland * Donna J.W. Munro * Cheryl Pappas * Adrian S. Potter * Scott Ragland * Charles Rammelkamp * Nancy Pica Renken * Karen Rigby * Terry Sanville * Connor Sassmannshausen * Robert Scott * Robert Scotellaro * Shoshauna Shy * Jaspal Kaur Singh * Lucy Smith * Dhara Son * David J. Walker * Stuart Watson * M.J. Weisen 

Stay tuned for details on pre-ordering!

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. Continue reading “ISSUE 15: SEPTEMBER 2017”

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. Continue reading “BFF WRITER WINS WRITE WELL AWARD”

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 Continue reading “ART PROMPT WRITING CONTEST!”

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. Continue reading “ISSUE 14: JUNE 2017”

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. Continue reading “ISSUE 12: JANUARY 2017”

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. Continue reading “AFTERMATH – WRITING CONTEST RESULTS”

ISSUE 11: SEPTEMBER 2016

img_0991Ernesto
By Melissa Hunter Gurney

Ernesto left his wife and she forgot what flowers looked like. He used to buy her flowers on Sundays and she became so used to them she hardly saw them anymore. That’s why he left—she didn’t see him. She saw the workings of their life together. The way he woke up before her and the coffee was already made—a cup placed on the space between burners. Now, there was no cup, no coffee, no freedom from rolling over into the middle of the bed. The middle wasn’t a luxury anymore, a place to spread out. Now the middle was merely empty and she stayed on her side unless she was having one of those crying fits where she throttled herself onto what used to be his side hoping to catch his scent engraved in the fibers. When he left she didn’t change the sheets for 2 months. They were white and her body stained one whole side beige—his side was crisp and un-festered.  Continue reading “ISSUE 11: SEPTEMBER 2016”