Short-Short 20: Six Words

Someone told me you’re still pretty.

-Adapted from “Trapeze Swinger” by Iron & Wine.


Short-Short 19: Blood Brothers

“Forget it, Charlie. Forget it, god dammit.”

Charlie didn’t move. He stayed on his knees and leaned over a twitching, female form.

“Charlie, fuck, let’s go.”

“Don’t use my name,” he said. He was crying.

“Listen.” The other man looked out the 8th floor window. “This happens sometimes. We made enough noise. We can’t do anything else. You knew what you were getting into, didn’t you? We need to go.”

“Then fucking go.”

“You’re the one who messed up. I’m not going to wait anymore.”

“I’m not asking you to.”

“Fuck.” The man opened the apartment door. Voices were swarming like bees somewhere below. “I’m sorry, Charlie.”

“Don’t use my name.” His voice was a whisper. His breath was heavy. Then it stilled. He raised a gun to his temple.

“I’m sorry I brought you here,” the other man said. “Just put that down.”

“Just go. I don’t want you to see this.”

Two bangs came almost simultaneously. First, a gunshot and then a slamming door. The voices had quieted downstairs.


Short-Short 18: The Eagle and the Fox

Here is one of the earliest examples of flash fiction, Aesop’s Fables. Aesop was a writer from Ancient Greece, and his stories–generally tales with animal protagonists and clear morals–have since formed the backbone of an entire folkloric tradition. Enjoy and check out for more.

The Eagle and the Fox

An Eagle and a Fox formed an intimate friendship and decided to live near each other. The Eagle built her nest in the branches of a tall tree, while the Fox crept into the underwood and there produced her young. Not long after they had agreed upon this plan, the Eagle, being in want of provision for her young ones, swooped down while the Fox was out, seized upon one of the little cubs, and feasted herself and her brood. The Fox on her return, discovered what had happened, but was less grieved for the death of her young than for her inability to avenge them. A just retribution, however, quickly fell upon the Eagle. While hovering near an altar, on which some villagers were sacrificing a goat, she suddenly seized a piece of the flesh, and carried it, along with a burning cinder, to her nest. A strong breeze soon fanned the spark into a flame, and the eaglets, as yet unfledged and helpless, were roasted in their nest and dropped down dead at the bottom of the tree. There, in the sight of the Eagle, the Fox gobbled them up.


Short-Short 17: The Stunt Pilot

Sorry for missing a post or two back there. Let’s get back to the stories.

The Stunt Pilot

Engine failure and the aircraft crashes to Earth. Conrad suffers multiple fractures.

“The force of compression shattered vertebrae,” the surgeon explains. “You’ve lost three inches. I’m sorry.”

Conrad examines the X-ray. “You think anyone will notice the difference?”

His wife kneels and rolls the cuffs of his faded jeans.

-Angel Zapata

Angel Zapata was born in NYC, but currently resides just outside of Augusta, Georgia. Some of his flash fiction and poetry has appeared or is forthcoming on Flash Me Magazine, Doorknobs & Bodypaint, Every Day Fiction, Every Day Poets, Membra Disjecta and Flashes in the Dark. He is husband to his blond goddess and father of four boys obsessed with all things ninja. Please visit his blog at:

Short-Short 16: The Day I Realized What It Meant to Die

Tall for my age, I was able to punch my mom in the arm as she made dinner and talked on the phone.


Short-Short 15: The Scarlatti Tilt

“It’s very hard to live in a studio apartment in San Jose with a man who’s learning to play violin.” That’s what she told the police when she handed them the empty revolver.

-Richard Brautigan

Richard Brautigan (1935-1984) was an American writer of novels, short stories, and poetry. This story comes from his collection Revenge of the Lawn. Check it out.

Also, head over to John F. Barber’s website to learn more about the author. Definitely worth a visit.

Short-Short 14: Addie and Me

The old lady had asked for my window seat on the train, said she liked the scenery. She kept talking, rambling, really, after she sat down, cupping one arthritic hand in the other. I kept an eye on my backpack, making sure it wouldn’t topple off the seat and onto her foot.

“What are you reading?” she asked.

I closed the cover carefully and put the book in my bag. “Oh, nothing.” It was late afternoon and the sun was pouring into the train. “It’s nice weather we’re having.” I figured one conversation was as good as another. I didn’t have the heart to tell her it was As I Lay Dying.


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