New Writing on the Net: May 2019

May 17, 2019

With our Flash Fiction Contest closing at the end of the month, we’re dedicating this month’s New Writing on the Net to the flash form. Find flash and micros published in the last month that we think are especially noteworthy!

Make sure to submit your own flash to our contest, judged by the magnificent Kathy Fish! Deadline May 31.

“The Vague Sounds of Life” by Mary Thompson | Pidgeonholes, April 22

“And I just sat there guzzling wine and thinking, this is Life and Life is what happens to everyone else, right? And all I wanted to do was go home and lick my Bengal cat as I’d tried the night before, just to see what she tasted like, just to get inside her tiny, cute little head and experience the world from her minuscule perspective. Then one of them turned to me and said, ‘so, are you seeing anyone at the moment?’ And I said, actually it’s my three year anniversary—of no sex.’  They looked at me with pity and said in unison, ‘the most important thing is that you’re happy, darling.’”

“Wherever, Whenever” by Tara Isabel Zambrano | Jet Fuel Review, April 29

“Ma sits quietly in kitchen, stares at the mottled bark of oak in the backyard, her face a roiling ocean of emotions, her neck perpetually taut. She gets up and stirs the gravy for mutton, whispers to herself. Outside, the sunlight is shallow. Soon the festive mayhem will be over. It’s hard to explain our friends and their parents why we don’t celebrate Christmas, and watch their faces drop. Hindus, you said? They ask, Like Buddhists?”

“Ghost Grapes” by Sarah Freligh | Splonk, May 1

“The night Mamaw got sick, the rain fell and froze. I heard my father get out of bed and head to the vineyard to try and save the grapes. I heard the worry in his voice, frayed as old flannel. By morning the vines were trapped in ice.”

“The Truth About Florence Henderson’s Floating Notes” by Pat Foran | Milk Candy Review, May 2

“I think I get it: The rhythm is the song and the song is the thing and the thing is what’s true. But the thing is, all I hear and all I’ve been hearing for months is the sound of your voice. The voice I knew. The song you sang. The song I knew. The one I miss.

I try to focus.

“What are the water drummers playing?” I ask the floating notes. “What song are they making the river sing?”

“We don’t know,” the notes say. “We never know. We can’t hear.””

“When Mono Was Part of the Equation” by Tommy Dean | Longleaf Review, May 5

“The kids are fogging up the windows, pulling at each other’s hair, their voices chittering like monkeys, shouting the name of the restaurant with the play place and the dollar menu. And I’m thinking, maybe the joke’s on me, because I showed up sober, promised myself I’d make it all weekend: playing Barbies, watching Moana for the 47th time, braiding their hair, and biting my tongue every time they said this man’s name, voices reverent as if talking about the Jesus of their Sunday School stories.”

“Good Old Leon” by Matthew Vollmer | SmokeLong Quarterly, May 6

“The writer Denis Johnson, who now is dead, once explained to a group of people, among whom I happened to be a member, that the fear of the apocalypse was really only a fear of personal annihilation. Johnson got clean but not soon enough to grow old. There are days when the world feels emptier without him and days when I think: he’s one of the lucky ones.”

“All the Holes We Mean to Fill” by Kathryn McMahon | wigleaf, May 8

“Her cat Bernice took pills for the holes worms had drilled in her heart, which I found strange because Bernice was always ribboning through my ankles while it was my grandmother who never hugged or kissed me. But one time Gran fell asleep in her chair, and I crept over and pecked her cheek, and she smiled. She smelled like yeast and silver chains as blue as her curls. She was still asleep, so I lifted her cup off the saucer and the saucer off the table and lapped like a cat.”

“The Candy Children’s Mother” by A.A. Balaskovits | Okay Donkey, May 10

“Gretel was awake the night I decided. Our small house had only one room for sleeping, and so all of us dreamed together. I climbed above their father and massaged his neck and behind his ear, as he likes. I pressed his hands to my belly and rejoiced at what we had created.  In his ear I whispered that I would not die with its birth, for I was made of stronger things than dust.

It was difficult, after we finished, to fall asleep, for that daughter who was mine but not mine stared at me all night, the moon reflecting off her dark eyes.”

“Corner Store” by Dina L. Relles | New South, May 13

“I fear next time you see me I’ll be gray. And sometimes (I confess) I’m scared of death (and sleep), or not scared, but unwilling to leave the nightstand stack, the hiking path, the screened-in porch, his dimpled cheek, you, all I know or have never known, for this too, I already love.”

“Gone Gone Gone” by Dan Crawley | Atticus Review, May 14

“The man in the worn-out cap squatted near the Bronco’s busted out windshield and peered into the vehicle. Then he walked back toward his truck, slowly shaking his head. He climbed in behind the steering wheel and gripped it like they were moving. “That roll cage saved you from getting squashed like a tortilla.””

Curated by Cole Meyer


At The Masters Review, our mission is to support emerging writers. We only accept submissions from writers who can benefit from a larger platform: typically, writers without published novels or story collections or with low circulation. We publish fiction and nonfiction online year-round and put out an annual anthology of the ten best emerging writers in the country, judged by an expert in the field. We publish craft essays, interviews and book reviews and hold workshops that connect emerging and established writers.

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