by Kira Homsher
Because fall is my favorite season and flash is my favorite genre, it only felt fitting to feature a selection of spooky flash stories from some of my favorite venues. These short, spine-chilling tales span the full gamut of eeriness, with sapphic undead swimmers, rabbit fur coats, gory beauty pageants, Craigslist mediums, and an amber brooch.
These stories are best enjoyed at night. Make some tea, grab a blanket, and dig in!
1. “The Deep End” by Wilson Koewing in Maudlin House (@WKoewing on Twitter)
“The first time Aly said she couldn’t be killed, I thought nothing of it.
She was filing her nails on the edge of the bed. I was sleeping over. Her hair smelled like chlorine and cherries. We had just started high school…”
2. “Hide” by Sarah Fawn Montgomery in SmokeLong Quarterly (@SF_Montgomery on Twitter)
“Sam used to pray—that her mother would come back from the next state over where she lived with her new family, that her teen body would grow so her vertebrae weren’t naked and exposed, that the taxidermized animals lining the walls of her house would stop staring at her from behind glass eyes and scarred hides as if they understood how it felt to be hunted…”
“That summer God spoke to my little sister: He told her to win the Teen Miss Florida pageant. Are you sure that’s what He said? I asked. I was drinking a lot back then and often misinterpreted the Lord’s instructions. She was more or less certain.
Kids from our neighborhood were not in the business of winning beauty pageants. That’s why she needed to break her legs. Or just one leg. One leg would do…”
4. “A Guide to Small Town Ghosts” by Regan Puckett in Fractured Lit (@raygunnoelle on Twitter)
“In this town, there are five thousand ghosts, and they all wear your face. For years, you’ve shed them like outgrown sweaters, some frayed, moth-eaten, others that never quite fit. Most ghosts fall away cleanly, fully composed, and roam the town. One lingers in the birthday card aisle of the pharmacy, pilfering through yellow envelopes…”
“Her cardboard jewelry box held her aunt’s amber brooch, and a bug was paralyzed in the transparent yellow. Janey got the brooch and rubbed it as if it were a magic lamp. She still heard her parents shouting downstairs.”
Kira K. Homsher is a writer from Philadelphia, currently pursuing an MFA at Virginia Tech. The winner of Phoebe Journal‘s 2020 nonfiction contest and a Pushcart nominee, her writing also appears or is forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly, DIAGRAM, Passages North, New Delta Review, Hobart, and others. You can find her at kirahomsher.com and tweeting @bogcritter.