Miramichi Flash Showcase: November 2022

A double issue! Eight delicious #FlashFiction – “My People Came Down From the Mountains by Vicki McLeod, “The Scent of Lemons” by Sandra Arnold, “Tying The Boats” by Amanda O’Callaghan, “Nowhere Station” by Tom Hazuka, “The Matador” by Lorette C. Luzajic, “Grandma’s Three Heads” by Traci Mullins, “Beneath A Vacant Sky” by Sara Dobbie, and “Slugs In Designer Colours” by Doni Eve. Enjoy!

(And gorgeous original artwork by Melissa McKinnon-Artist, Lorette C. Luzajic, and Eva Lewarne)


“MY PEOPLE CAME DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAINS” BY VICKI MCLEOD

My people came down from the mountains, brittle ghosts armed with blades and hacksaws. They were big eared, small-footed and had red-knuckled hands. They carried no expectations. The men were tough and canny, ready with violence, religiously upright, but secret drunks. The women bore the men, bruised and joking. 


“THE SCENT OF LEMONS” BY SANDRA ARNOLD

He said he was sure the house they’d stayed in had been halfway between a rock at the end of the beach and the Māori pa site. He remembered paddocks opposite where the owners kept their horse. And a garden full of lemon bushes and a path that led down to the beach. The librarian brought out maps and summoned a couple of locals to help. Perhaps the house had been demolished? Perhaps there’d been floods? Erosion? Perhaps he was mistaken about the area? Twenty-three years was a long time.


“TYING THE BOATS” BY AMANDA O’CALLAGHAN

A week after she married him, she cut her hair. The scissors made a hungry sound working their way through the curls.

You cut your hair, he said, when he came home. Nothing more.

She thought he might have said, You cut off your beautiful hair, but his mouth could not make the shape of beautiful, even then.


“NOWHERE STATION” BY TOM HAZUKA

I was alone in a second-class car on a train out of Madrid, bound for Barcelona. Yesterday I’d spent twenty minutes standing in front of Picasso’s Guernica, which was black and white like old war photographs and far larger than I expected. I was twenty years old. No painting could make me cry back then, at least on the outside.


“THE MATADOR” BY LORETTE C. LUZAJIC

The first time I saw Freddie Mercury in our elevator, he caught my eye and flashed me a grin.

“I’ve seen you at the Wine Vine,” I said.

Everyone in the neighbourhood called him Freddie, because he was a dead ringer. Small and fierce, with big teeth and a clipped moustache. He even dressed the part, rocking skin-tight white jeans, a wife beater, and sneakers as small as slippers.


“GRANDMA’S THREE HEADS” BY TRACI MULLINS

On top of my grandma’s dresser were three heads. Even though they had no eyes, I was sure they were watching me as I played with Grandma’s jewelry and sneaked peeks into her drawers. I named them Flora, Fiona, and Frances and made up elaborate stories about their elegant, glittering lives.


“BENEATH A VACANT SKY” BY SARA DOBBIE

The morning after the moon explodes, Marla wonders if she imagined the whole thing. She rushes down the stairs, two at a time, hoping the chaotic images flooding her brain are memories leftover from some surreal nightmare. But no, her mother is pacing in front of the television, cigarette dangling from her lips. Phone cradled between ear and shoulder, shouting at Auntie Tia. The man on the news summarizes the event in a monotone voice, while a shaky recording of the blast plays on repeat.


“SLUGS IN DESIGNER COLOURS” BY DK EVE

The rain has let up and she’s walking her dog in the neighbourhood park. Broadleaf maples tower above the trail forming a canopy, leaves gleaming bright green, scrubbed of dust. Streams of golden pollen pool at the trail’s edge.

The air smells washed, new. There’s a word for it, she thinks.


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