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Flash Fiction: My Identity Was Stolen

My Identity Was Stolen

By a group of poets. Drugged with cinnamon, bound in silver cloth, flown low and slow in a coughing Cessna, over treetops, under radar—to Guam. With all the noise, my Identity could just detect a discussion on the smell of camels (or possibly candles); the delights of a dancing girl named Sheila; and then a fervent argument over the optimal term for treading lightly: tympanum vs. flower. The airplane corkscrewed to the earth. And the silver bag unfurled. The poets laughed; offered a strong cappuccino, the real Italian, oily and earthy, with clouds of spun sugar. The next three days a blur of disc golf. Pogo sticks. Offshore fishing. Then a guided tour of the Territory’s mentally ill, a hilly land of crumbling asylums, sitting bedside for hours with those forgotten souls who never once had an unpaid visitor. The rooms smelled of almonds and dripping rain. My Identity sat silent, listening. Felt a surge of genuine goodness, the first in a long while. Felt like it was no longer just rowing upstream in a leaking red canoe. Something fluttered by. Thunder spoke; lightning lashed out on hinges, a rainfall of rat terriers! Excitable, head-shaking, running in loopy circles of verve. My Identity leapt up, ran after, to capture what makes rat terriers hum with joy. But you can’t catch a satisfied dog. So my Identity felt regret. The itchings of self pity. So asked directions to the nearest casino. Binged on breadfruit and saltwater taffy at the buffet. Drank nine mojitos. Stumbled outside, into a flooded river, and was swept with broken sighs and brushed-aluminum trees down, downstream, out into the riptide, to drift be cast ashore, to lay curl humped and bleeding, below the left rear tire of a Subaru. I walked outside to my Subaru. Bent to my knees and peered beneath. Saw who was back and said, “Damn.”

sean lovelace

flash fiction in Artvoice

Literary Buffalo occasionally includes flash fiction alongside the poetry, features, interviews, and book reviews. Literary Buffalo seeks submissions of flash fiction, meaning complete stories running 500 words or less. Stories longer than 500 words will not be considered. Send submissions to flash fiction editor Greg Gerke at or mail them to Flash Fiction Editor, Artvoice, 810 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14202. Please include SASE for return of manuscript.

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