Flash as a rat with a gold tooth

by Julie Frayn on August 23, 2014 in  Flash Fiction

Yeah, that title has nothing to do with this post – except it’s more Flash Fiction, baby! Yesterday, like most every Friday (because it has become a habit, no a fun thing to do, nay – an obsession) to head on over to JD Mader’s blog and flex my two minute fiction muscles. And like any muscle you exercise, the more you use it, the stronger it gets! I am behind in my sharing, and I did miss last Friday. So here are a couple or three pieces from my past forays into the flash world. If you like flash, check out JD’s blog, and marvel at the likes of Laurie Boris, Mark Morris, Ed Drury, the sometimes absent but always amazing David Antrobus, many others, and of course, the man himself, JD Mader. That dude rocks.

Ode to the Crow Highway

The flesh rips from his cheek, mangled pink muscle sticking to bone like hot bubble gum on asphalt. They circle overhead, damn them, the bastards. Leave me be, let me eat in peace.

I poke at the eyeball, slurp the ooze that spews forth, nibble away at the orb, once blue, now grey, soon gone down my gullet. Delicate, delicious, it gives itself to me and I swallow it with glee.

A flurry of black feathers and cawing beaks surround me, wings slap at my head and talons claw at my back. I retaliate, cover my treasure, scream as loud as my aging voice will let me. They do not waver. They come harder.

I do as I always do. I back away, spread my wings and lift off, but get only half as high as in my youth. More sore than soar. And below, the young ones devour my dinner.

The Nun’s Habit

The needle pierced her skin. She yanked the scarf free of her arm with her teeth. Pressure filled her vein. Her head lolled back and a whimper slipped from her lips.

That’s the shit. Yeah. That’s it.

“Sister?” A tap on the door.

Her heart leapt and she ripped the syringe from her arm. “I’ll be right there.”

“You’re late. Again. I’m going to have to report this to Mother Superior.”

“No, please. I’m almost ready.” She shoved the needle, spoon, and lighter into the drawer of her meager bedside table and hung the scarf on a hook. She rubbed her hands to steady them. Adrenaline from the interruption? Anticipation of the amazing high she’d been missing for so many months? No matter. She couldn’t help herself. No amount of prayer, of chastity, of hiding from her reality would ever quell the need, ever suppress the appetite.

She wiped at her naked eyes and tucked a stray hair under her cap. Next time she got a day pass, she’d palm a damn mirror.


My hands shake. I rub them up and down my arms, bring my knees to my chest and rock on my cot, the mattress so insufficient it’s like sleeping on an anorexic’s back – lumpy, scrawny, dying for someone to stuff it.

I run one finger along the red bumps that line the crook of my left elbow. I used to be able to count them, but now, they’ve all run together, just one big ugly scar. One big ugly reminder of who I am. Who I am not. Who I will never be.

Rehab. What a joke. Rehab for addicts is like chemo for cancer patients. It’ll stave off the disease. You’ll be sick the whole way through it. But it’s for the better, right? In the long run?

Wrong… The cravings come back, they eat at you like cancer tumours spread and grow and metastasize. Addiction is cancer.

 (I don’t want anyone to get the impression I do, or have ever done, IV drugs. I’ve not. Ever. But it makes compelling prose, don’t you think?)



Quote by Blake

No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.

William Blake

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