flash fiction

ISSUE 27: SEPTEMBER 2020

1D978D0B-B853-46E3-86A3-3BEB2D4ADDCBIAN IN GLASGOW
By Madalyn Aslan

We’re all in the little guy’s car on Belswain’s Lane when Ian tells me his dad is in Broadmoor, prison for the criminally insane. I tell him I was born a bastard and we are poor. Ian counters, “But you’re rich in looks.” And I am like, man!

So we fall in love. He’s thirteen like me and looks like an angel and is going to be a playwright when he grows up. I love his hands. In the pub he talks about books with my mother. We discuss, seriously, names to give our future children. His mother Mae is a joyful drunk, fat and sexy in a tight flower dress, always coughing and laughing. She and my mother light up cigarettes with great animal sighs. My mother says she is from Scotland. So Ian is, too. After the little guy breaks it off with Mae, that’s where she and Ian disappear back to. (more…)

ISSUE 26: JUNE 2020

C5941FB4-8F9A-4B46-9387-C0F6162DAA89Portrait of a Young Woman During Quarantine
By Darcy Casey

Ten at night and the woman’s stomach rumbles; sleep is impossible when her insides have so much to say. She turns under her blankets, a crocodile rolling in a kill’s final moments, but nothing dies except her resolve. She peels the ruined blankets from her body, careful not to wake her husband. From her guts rises a more insistent growl. The stomach, itself a cavernous brain, knows where she is going and is glad. She walks and, reflecting on the day, is pleased to realize she has not eaten a full meal. But wait: can this be true? She considers. It is true. (more…)

Issue 25: March 2020

766EC72D-18EE-4A7D-9AC9-6236F2C13A0AMICHEL
By Cody Pease

Michel waters the plants in rotations. He starts with the tillandsias hanging in the copper-wire cages, then the oreganos and vanilla orchids near the south-facing window, then the begonia on the dining room table. The succulents need to be split, and the philodendrons need more sunlight. His hands are too weak to lift the watering pot; instead, he uses a wine glass like I showed him. It’s a small task to strengthen his muscles. “How are you doing?” His movements are slight and slow, but he smiles. “Well,” he says. I’m afraid to press him further. I leave him to water, then I peel the sweet potatoes for dinner. (more…)

Librarians’ Choice Writing Contest

lost in the libraryPrompt: Lost in the Library
No Entry Fee
Word limit: 300-750 words, excluding title
Deadline: MAY 30, 2020
Submissions: email to bffnonprofit@gmail.com

Awards:
$100.00 first prize
$30.00 second prize
$25.00 third prize
Judges: Librarians Anne Macdonald and Molly Thompson (more…)

Issue 24: January 2020

5972065B-DFD2-4915-805A-5A488BA375AFConfrontations
By David Galef

Maggie and I lived in a prim white house at the intersection of Maple Road and Main Street, and when she left to teach every morning, I’d stay home and stare out the front window because I lost my job at the bank. It’s a busy crossing, particularly when children are walking to and from Fielding Elementary School, where Maggie once taught fifth grade. The crosswalk is marked by a plastic stop sign in the middle of the road, with a capitalized warning for cars to stop for pedestrians. Yet drivers zoom by, narrowly missing people. I’d bang on the windowpane occasionally, to no effect. I don’t like that kind of response, as Maggie well knew. After enough mornings, I left the house and crossed the street, taking my time. I crossed back again. I waved my arms, getting in the motorists’ faces, forcing them to stop. (more…)

Brilliant Flash Fiction Now Pays for Stories

fireworksHappy New Year!

Beginning January 1, 2020, Brilliant Flash Fiction (BFF) will pay 20 U.S. dollars for each story published in its quarterly online journal. Payment will be made upon publication, through PayPal only.

Authors submitting their work should first study the submission guidelines on our website: brilliantflashfiction.com.

For a $10 donation, you can order a print copy of the Hunger anthology featuring the editors’ “best of” choices from the BFF first five-year archives. Contact us at brilliantflashfiction@gmail.com to order your copy.

BFF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The online journal is entering its sixth year of publication and donations made on our website enable us to provide publication opportunities for writers without fees.

Thank you to everyone who donated in 2019. We are deeply grateful for your support.

FEED US Writing Contest Results

The FEED US Writing Contest was held June 1-September 1, 2019, in conjunction with the 2019 FoCo Book Fest in Fort Collins, Colorado, the new home of nonprofit organization Brilliant Flash Fiction. We received 376 international entries and shortlisted seven stories that were published in our first print anthology, Hunger: The Best of Brilliant Flash Fiction, 2014-2019. (Make a donation of $10 or more via the donation link on our homepage, and we’ll send you a copy of our new book as a thank you!)

Kathy Fish photo

Kathy Fish

Contest judge Kathy Fish selected the three prize winners and announced her decision at the anthology launch, October 19, in Fort Collins.

We would like to thank Kathy for taking time from her hectic schedule to spend two days in Fort Collins, not only judging our contest and speaking at the anthology launch, but also giving an inspirational free writing workshop that was filled to capacity with a waiting list. (more…)

2019 Gold Seal for Transparency

Brilliant Flash Fiction has earned a 2019 Gold Seal for Transparency from GuideStar, the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. Check out our profile at guidestar.org where you can find in-depth information about our goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress. If you want to support our cause, the donate button is on the sidebar of our website!

ISSUE 23: SEPTEMBER 2019

5627196B-20E4-4A95-A8A4-22BCB0209CB4Register 8
By Charles Rafferty

There’s a funny smell around Register 8 and none of the cashiers want to use it, but it’s Saturday, a couple of weeks before Christmas, and Maggie is stuck there.

Maggie is the cutest girl in Marshalls, and she worries people will think that she is the source of the smell. This is preposterous. The sight of her in the break room makes me think, unaccountably, of vanilla extract, of cakes leavening behind the little window of my grandmother’s oven.

A men’s wear price check comes over the PA, and because I’m in the pants section, I’m able to make it to the register more quickly than Adam, who is over in the dress shirts, straightening the rows. Adam has been hitting on Maggie ever since he got hired for the Christmas rush. Maggie and I are year-rounders, and the first thing I check on the schedule each week is when our times will overlap. To take a belt or a fleece jacket from her hand means the possibility of contact, of rapture. (more…)

ISSUE 22: JUNE 2019

31FBAC04-A176-41F4-8D0B-DD91BD484236Here We Are on Planet Earth
By Meg Pokrass

Today we are tanning near each other on bright red beach towels on the sand at Hendri’s beach. This time I don’t let my mind worry too much about Blythe’s exhibitionist traits. I’ve overcome my shyness, and we both have our bikini tops off. They’re lying next to us like useless rags.

Sometimes, there’s a language in her eyes that makes me freeze in my tracks, but my goal in this world is to become less uptight. We are thirteen, and happily, only one of us has an attractive face. The other one of us has an attractive body. My body has some potential but there is no way to know if things will turn out.

Driving around in Blythe’s brother’s SUV, we make weekend plans. We whisper in the back seat. Blythe calls him Jeeves and we hate his jokes. Sometimes he flips us off in the rearview mirror. (more…)