Miramichi Flash showcases four outstanding flash fiction: “I Have to Ask” by Jan Stinchcomb, “Bear” by Ulrica Hume, “Secret” by Suzi Lovell, and “Stepping on the Throat of Their Song” by Barbara Ponomareff in its November 2021 Issue, today. — Enjoy!
“I HAVE TO ASK” BY JAN STINCHCOMB
I want to ask the man standing in line in front of me where he’s from, but people don’t do that anymore. This was always a big city with no small talk. The fact that we’re waiting in line at the airless post office makes it worse. We have all agreed to stand in this angry silence until it is our turn. Nobody wants to be here, the tired postal workers least of all. They wear an invisible armor that signals to the rest of us to stay on task and be disciplined.
“BEAR” BY ULRICA HUME
I. Once upon a time, no one believed her. Even when Bear stands toe-to-toe with the sheriff, they do not believe her. Even when Bear huffs, or rudely shimmies against the living room wall, marking it with her scent, or crams blueberries into her snout—still, they do not believe her.
“SECRET” BY SUSI LOVELL
When Margie is pressed to share a secret at the annual office retreat, she hesitates, hoping lunch will be announced. It’s been a long morning and they’re all hungry.
“STEPPING ON THE THROAT OF THEIR SONG” BY BARBARA PONOMAREFF
As I enter the kitchen through the waning morning dark, I enter a deep silence. When my eyes adjust, I am startled by the variety of beings and feathers heaped on the surface of the narrow table. Here, the intact head of a waterfowl has been dropped like an anchor while its limp neck still droops like a spent rope. Over there, the heavy bulk of a pheasant’s body, slung over other bodies has been piled into a basket.