Category Archives: Flash Fiction

“Sweetheart” – Emma Gardner ’23

She toddles down the sidewalk, little pig tails bobbing with their pink bows. Sticky hand in a firm, weathered one. Her grandmother, walking strong and steady despite her browning, wrinkled skin. 

She skips down the sidewalk, thin ponytail bouncing up and down. Grandma tries to keep up, a little unsteady, knees wobbling. Childish excitement “Come on Grandma!” “I’m coming, sweetheart!”

She runs down the sidewalk, hair long and curly, tucked behind her ears. Grandma with her walker, she toddles now. Girl rushes ahead, excited to see her friends. She smiles back at grandma.

She walks down the sidewalk, pin straight hair. Face in her phone, ignoring grandma. In a wheelchair, rolling slowly. “Wait up, sweetheart!” “Ok”

Hospital bed, firm hand in a frail hand. Sad, tears, beeps decay, then stop. “I wish I could talk to you, Grandma.” Me too, me too, sweetheart.

“Pretty Young Thing” – Bridget Onest ’21

The house had been empty for years. Kids used to get high in the fancy master bedroom and leave crumpled beer cans on the dusty loveseat in the foyer. They found her there during one of their Friday night rages. Their minds so clouded by the buzz of cheap beer and stolen weed that they didn’t quite realize she was dead. Her sunken eyes were still brilliant blue and she had one of those long thin noses most girls paid for. They tugged at the neckline of her nightgown and made drunken guesses as to her exact size. Her long, dull hair took lumps of gray flesh along with it as they pulled at it playfully. Maggots wiggled out of the cavities of her ears, got tangled in her chain earrings, and squirmed lazily.

“Obsessive” – Bridget Onest ’21

The string lights are on that awful flashing mode. It is a nonstop blink blink blink god my eyes. The blankets are wrapped in a hypnotizing spiral and falling off the left corner of the mattress. There are shoes scattered across the floor. Mom always said move the shoes move them there could be a fire you could trip and then you’re dead and it won’t be quick. The curtains are black but thin and everyone can see inside stay away from the windows someone is watching you. There are those little rugs Mom calls scruffy that feel like sandpaper against your heels. The rugs shouldn’t slide when you walk across them because Mom put those weird sticky patches on the bottoms so you wouldn’t slip but they never worked and walking across them makes your legs shake because if you go any faster you’ll fall back against your head and your blood will seep into the dark wooden floorboards and Mom will have to clean it and it will be your fault. The desk is a mess. It’s always a mess and you have to be careful if you move anything it’s all just one big landslide of pens and papers and garbage and you can’t let this room get any more disorganized but it will anyway and it will be your fault. The green on the walls is like cartoon vomit and the paint is uneven and bumpy like boiling flesh and you can’t touch it you’re going to be sick. The bookshelf is too big and crowded with thick hardcover novels and it’s not screwed into the wall like the Ikea ad said it should be and it looks like it might fall at any given moment, leaning forward awkwardly with its long lanky frame like a six-foot tall high school boy with a wicked metabolism. You have to leave but the door is jammed. It’s always jammed and covered in scratches from the cat trying to get in but you gotta get out or you’re going to lose it again.

“Counting Cars” – Caroline Green ’21

They met in grad school. He, a scientific researcher, and she, a lab tech. Same age, same face (their friends liked to joke), same life. They moved in together after a year – on the anniversary of meeting each other. Soon they adopted a puppy, and then they were destined to get married, so he proposed on a cruise (the puppy was staying with friends) and they got married a year later. The ceremony was nice enough. There were cocktails and dances, pretty dresses and pretty friends. 

“What’s that?” he asked one day, four of five years after they were married. She was holding a small, cardboard box – turning it over and over in her hands. 



The puppy was no longer a puppy anymore. He had taken to dragging his paws as his nails clicked along the floor. Almost narcoleptic, a snooty friend had mentioned. He rested his golden face on his paws, collapsed in the corner.

They walked out of their townhouse together. Marched their feet down the front steps, through the walkway, out to the sidewalk of the little street. The road was quiet. No sounds but their own feet walking. The dog had come to the window, watching.

The street was short; they soon made it to the intersection. Cars meandered along in a countable quantity, and he followed the blue ones with his eyes until they disappeared around the corner. She stared at the ground, counting the cracks in the pavement.

“It was always going to happen,” she said.

He just stared at her, his mind both blank and racing. Maybe in your mind, he thought. But in his, no, it was not always going to happen. It was her version of destiny: finding and tracking the humanity-ending meteor, erasing it from the international projections, making it her weapon. It was her version of destiny to hide in that lab tech position, even fall in love without changing her mind. She had pulled him into her sinister mind. In return he got to name the giant rock. And they got the puppy.

They had walked quite a few blocks, politely greeting others on the road. She would wave. He’d nod. At home, their dog had settled back down in his corner, although they couldn’t tell from so many blocks away. He closed his eyes. Went to sleep.

It was best to die outside, they’d compromised the day after the wedding. Better to go through it in the midst of others. They passed another road, waving and nodding to the elderly couple gardening on the corner.

“How can you possibly be okay with this-” he whispered.

She interjected succinctly. “Shut up.” 

They ducked into a pine tree grove, the last one left in the neighborhood, cradled themselves in the low-hanging branches. She pulled the box out of her bag and looked at him, her eyes glossy. She held up three fingers, then two, then one. 


“Midnight Snack” – Caroline Green ’21

The glossy plastic bag was sealed with a twist-tie. Easy. It would only take a few drops, Michael had said. Just drip, drip, and done. I undid the cap in my pocket, twisting my right-hand fingers carefully around the precious little bottle, its chips and dents only noticeable to my sweaty grip. The bread looked at me; it knew that it wouldn’t be at fault. The plump thing opened perfectly! Hardly a crinkle. Clear liquid, that glorious poison, fell peacefully onto the top slice, then I sealed my bread friend, put him back on the shelf where he wanted to be. Twist-ties! Michael would be thrilled. The “twenty-four hour” signs in the store windows flashed as I sauntered into the parking lot. The bar down the road was bustling. I unlocked the pickup truck, climbed into its front seat. And waited.