Oct 102014

by Eileen Herbert-Goodall

As a student of science, I’ve never really been a believer, but I hedge my bets and talk to God anyway, figuring prayer can’t hurt. I’m a desperate man, held hostage by my inability to turn back time.
I watch Kate’s breathing, transfixed. Somewhere nearby, a clock counts the seconds. Surveying my insides, I search for the habitual ache, and discover I have become numb.

A light bears down on me, closing in at tremendous speed. I wrench the wheel to one side, then the other, as panic grips my throat. There’s an explosion of sound: metal grinds and squeals, glass shatters, and my bones reverberate with the shock of an impact I can’t quite comprehend. Someone screams and the car tumbles, rolls, twirls. Kate, I think. Jesus, Kate. I try to catch sight of her, but my vision is swamped by a swirl of jolting, bewildering movement. Continue reading »

Sep 292014

We have been reading Oblong – an online literary journal much like FewerThan500 — for some time now and enjoying the writing we find there. Originally started in London, Oblong also publishes a print journal of flash fiction of less than 1,000 words.

The most recent piece is a uniquely packaged collection called “Novellas.” If you like flash fiction for the bizarre, this one will surely tickle your fancy.

If the emotion of art is more your style, check out “Finger Painter” as well.

Sep 282014

by Ritta M. Basu

It wouldn’t be hard to spend every dime she had at a corner bar, April thought as she sat sipping rum and coke, listening to the barmaid talk about how scared teachers in her district were about losing their jobs.

Jesse tended the tiny bar every other weekend to help pay for the master’s program she hoped would increase her salary as a special education teacher. She was a cute young thing with short black hair and a cute enough figure to attract the eyes of the men gathered around watching basketball and talking history and politics. Continue reading »

Sep 242014

by Susan Usher

Religious wars make enemies of brothers. We were married just one year before my husband was killed in battle by his brother. We were so in love and planning to start a family.  I was beyond grief and schemed retribution.  I had a reputation of chastity and purity and loyalty to my husband to maintain which weakened my opportunity for revenge.

But pay the price I must and to hell with the consequences.  I consider myself to be kind and patient, intelligent and articulate. I also have a very determined streak as my father discovered when I wanted to learn to read as a child.  He refused but I insisted and became aware of the politics happening around me.  As a Bedouin woman, I was confident I would be able to use my learnings to bring my brother-in-law to his day of reckoning. My tent was my castle. Continue reading »

Sep 212014

The editors of FewerThan500.com have recently started publishing a few flash fiction stories from around the Internet that we enjoyed. We didn’t necessarily choose stories that were less than 500 words. This apparently has caused some people to become confused.

So, just to be clear, FewerThan500 only accepts original submissions of fewer than 500 words. And, to be more consistent, going forward any links we share will be to stories that are also fewer than 500 words.

There are some longer flash fiction pieces out there that are fabulous, but we’ll be focusing on sharing the shorter pieces with our readers. If in your reading of other flash fiction, you find something we might like, please send us a note and link to stories@fewerthan500.com.

Sep 172014

by Kitty Jarman

With tiny fists we tapped, tapped, tapped on his door, whispering, “Gustof.” The door would crack open a little as he peeked out like a caged criminal.

“What?” he would ask in a low gruff voice, glancing around behind us.

“We’re hungry.” One of us answered. He always let us in.

We were there begging for money. It’s what we did; along with returning empty beer bottles for their deposits. We were a ragamuffin gang of kids from six to nine years old, living in poverty; running unsupervised on the streets. The streets of a little beach town in Hawaii. It was 1962. Continue reading »