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Flash Fiction

laundry day

Kyle began by ironing out the wrinkles in his skin. He tugged a flap, stretched it, pressing the hot iron into the folds and creases. The wrinkles and stretch marks were like dry streams running all over his body without a source, but a mouth swallowing itself. Kyle, pressing the hot iron down on his skin hard as he could, burnt his thumb, said, “SSS” backwards, sucking the S’s in, a palindrome of oxygen. He shook his hand, put his thumb in his mouth, sucked it hard. “Stupid,” he said. His skin wasn’t pressing out, and Kyle thought he could maybe fold himself into an origami bird. He got down on the floor like he was going to do a sit up, and, sitting up, he folded himself into his skin, folding his skin over himself. Where he tucked his head, it got dark in there. “This is neat,” he said. He was a bird, light from the window glowing through his skin like an eggshell’s bed sheet. He wanted to hatch, fold himself into something else. He didn’t, felt too much like an uncircumcised penis. But in there, it felt like a womb. He put his thumb in his mouth, sucked. Outside himself, he left the iron on.

eric beeny

How to get your flash fiction in Artvoice!

In the Margins occasionally features flash fiction by local writers. The flash fiction editor is Forrest Roth. Submissions running 500 words or less can be sent by e-mail to or by mail to Forrest Roth, Flash Fiction Editor, Artvoice, 810 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14202. Please include a SASE to have manuscripts returned.

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