Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category

Flash Fiction: Just Looking

By Brent King On September 11, 2014 2 Comments

Just Looking“Mmmmm…” The sound escaped me.

I lingered in front of the glass and gazed at the pastries. They looked so good and, after all, I did enjoyed them so rarely. I felt like I was standing before the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and longing for forbidden fruit. Why shouldn’t I have one? They tasted so incredible, and I was healthy enough to handle something like this on occasion. They couldn’t hurt me much, and maybe not at all. I deserved a treat.

I was about to ask the baker to bag me up a few when I heard another voice behind me. “Don’t do it.”

I turned, and a middle age man with a clerical collar smiled at me. The corner of my mouth twitched in response.

“Why shouldn’t I?”

“Because you haven’t




Arise, My Darling

By Brent King On July 19, 2014 No Comments

BrideAmid rainbow and fire, the Prince arrives. The sky splits east to west. He seeks his Bride. “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.”

Yet no fair maiden meets him there, clothed in white. Instead, he finds a corpse. No beauty charms her face, but only lips—cold and blue—and vultures circling in her vacant eyes.

He speaks to her like thunder in the heat. “Come forth! Awake and sing, you that dwell in dust!” His hair is white, his eyes a flame. He searches through the earth for her, so lately maimed and finds her sleeping in a grave.

At his approach the earth blooms as a desert and songs fill every void. “Arise and come my darling, my beautiful one. Come




Animals All in a Row

By Brent King On June 14, 2014 2 Comments

animals all in a row 1

On the way to work this morning,
I guess I wasn’t looking ’cause
I tripped on a giraffe
Near a chubby hand and

Animals all in a row
On the kitchen floor.

“Come on Dad! The hippopotamus needs a
Drink.”
It would only take a minute.
“We have to eat.” I kiss him and set up the
Fallen giraffe.
“But dad…”
I comb his hair.
“We have to hurry or we’ll be late for church.”

Somewhere between the elephant
And the panda, the boy’s arm goes into his Good shirt
And his foot into a shoe with

Animals all in a row
On the kitchen floor.

On a sleepy journey to the bathroom,
I see them in the night light the

Animals all in a row



Flash Fiction: A Dream of Love

By Brent King On June 2, 2014 No Comments

till-death-do-us-partShe sat on the sofa, my only love in the whole world. She invited me sit beside her. As I moved toward her, my heart warmed at the thought of working out our problems and coming closer. We really could make this work. I sat down next to her.

“I want a divorce,” she said.

Her words knocked the wind out of me. It was like I stepped through a door into a dream world, where haze choked me, obstructed my vision, and clouded my thoughts. I scarcely heard the rest of what she said.

“We’ve tried hard.” She laid a hand on my knee. “I know I shouldn’t give up, but I just can’t do it any longer. I just can’t. And I’ve found someone else who can make me happy and take care of




Flash Fiction: The Flower

By Brent King On April 29, 2014 1 Comment

flowerI nearly stepped on her as I hurried across the parking lot. Her bright color caught my eye just in time. I stopped midstride, squatted down, and squinted. Her lanky stems twisted up through cracks in the asphalt, bursting into yellow blooms at their height.

“Is something wrong?” The flower spoke softly.

“Wr, wrong?” I stammered. “No, it’s just—”

“Just that I’m growing in an odd place, right?”

I reached down and brushed her peddles. “Well, now that you mention it, it’s true. You poor thing! You could be gracing an award-winning flower bed on the wealthy side of town…” I paused, shaking my head. “But a sweltering parking lot? It must be hard to take.”

“I didn’t have a choice,” she said, “The wind blew me here and it was either grow or die…” She waved her little heads




Flash Fiction: Daddy’s Hands

By Brent King On April 6, 2014 1 Comment

streetlamps_opt

I reached out and touched his hands. They lay lonely on his chest, cold and hard. A tear traced my cheek as I remembered:

I tagged along beside him through the darkening streets of our neighborhood, my little hand in his big one. I dwelt safely in that grip. The moon slipped by beside us, set among the stars and flickering in the trees. One by one, the houses on our street lit up, illuminating each small world. The streetlamps glowed in rows ahead of us, filling the night—and my heart—with pictures of home. Returning from our journey, my dad sat by my bed and sang me songs on his guitar.

By bed or campfire, his voice came to me many times throughout the years, gentle and alluring. I loved his songs and stories. They were of adventure and love. All too soon they’d




Flash Fiction: The Seed

By Brent King On March 2, 2014 No Comments

The_Seed_by_paweljonca_opt

Shafts of light penetrated the packet, bathing the Seed’s world in light. He lay on the bench, gazing up toward the sun. The warmth and brightness of this new world captivated him.

“What are you staring at?” The Other Seed wiggled closer to the Seed.

“I thought we’d never escape that dark packet,” the Seed said. “I never want to leave the sun again.”

“It warms the cotyledons, doesn’t it?” The Other Seed twisted to expose his derrière to its warmth.

The Old Seed drew near. “There’s no doubt about it. It’s heaven to my rheumatism.”

The Seed turned and surveyed the Old Seed beside him. “You look like you’ve been around a while. Why do they keep us in such dark places, cramped together and away from the sun?”

The corners of the Old Seed’s mouth




Flash Fiction: Though He Were Dead…

By Brent King On February 14, 2014 No Comments

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I remember the fear of that Halloween. There was no light, only darkness. I fought my way from the grave, through the moist earth and a night choked with gnarled roots and trees. The fog smothered the church courtyard as I stumbled toward the town. I was hungry, and a chorus of children appeared as if in answer to my craving.

“Trick or treat!”

Their voices animated the chant as they walked toward me, comparing stashes of candy.

“Hey look!  A zombie,” said one, pointing my direction.

“Great costume, man,” said another.

Yet as I came closer, their eyes grew wide, and they stopped their noses. I lunged for the closest one.

“Run,” cried several. They screamed and scattered like a school of herring before a barracuda.

I clutched at one, but a tall figure thwarted me as the kid struggled in




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