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Do You Enjoy Flash Fiction? #FridayFlashFiction

Do you enjoy flash fiction?

I’m revisiting old work, flash fiction in particular, and as we’re headed into the weekend, I thought of sharing one of them published a while ago. It is dark, quite befitting my current mood.

Infanticide

And the lights, they dancing, skittering on the black and white tiles, whispering through her in her mother’s voice from years ago, from when she was a child.

She glances up at the lighted balustrade, the stairs still in darkness, and greets the morning after a sleepless night. Four, he got four of them to her bed last night, her ‘husband.’ Four of them with paws for hands, dirt under the nails they shoved into her, their breath soured with cocaine, with ecstasy. He paid her mother a good price he said, and put her in this mansion. Now she must earn it out.

In her heart, the lightness of being empty. Her heart a frothy island of sludge after they drained it over the last few years, the months of pummeling despite her swollen stomach, and in the last few weeks she spent staying awake, being mashed to pulp when she should have been nursing. Her heart a dry thing now, hardening each night, with the sharpness, hardness, lightness of flint.

She takes the first step up the curved stairs, to where her girl lay asleep, tired after a night of hungry wails. He had shushed the baby last night: they don’t come to listen to keening puppies, he said. She tried to go up each time she got a break, but each time another came in through the door. No time to reach the attic.

She has all the time now, to look down at the dizzy-making tiles, their pattern of black and white diamonds whorling now, in her light-headed walk up the stairs. The pain in her thighs and her butt is a living thing, pushing, inwards, inwards. She croons to it, soon, soon, she sings, soon to sleep, soon.

The light warms her face. She would carry her girl, her daughter, her firstborn, her lastborn, to the top of the stairs. She would climb over the balustrade, the babe in her arms, give the floor a splash of colour, a bit of red to break the diamond patterns of black and white.

A hum rises in her throat, echoes against the stone of her heart. A lullaby. She walks up each step, drawing ever closer, and the lights they dance about her, skittering on her face, her hair. She says, I’m coming for you my darling, and the lights, look, the lights, now they dancing.

I wrote this in response to prompts, and thanks to cool feedback I received from my friends at the Forge Literary magazine, it placed in a lovely Kiwi journal, The Blue Fifth review.

Do you read or write flash fiction? What are your favorite pieces of flash fiction? Any flash fiction authors you’d like to recommend?


Do you enjoy flash fiction ?My debut literary crime novel,”You Beneath Your Skin,” published by the fab team at Simon and Schuster IN is making its way into the world.

It is available in India here.

Worldwide, here.

Reviews are appreciated–please get in touch if you’d like a review copy.

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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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27 Comments

  • Arisha Jana says:

    I recently started blogging. This is some really good stuff I am coming across.

  • aj vosse says:

    Makes my skin crawl… so real! Don’t be dark Damyani – you’re too special to be dark!

  • Vinitha says:

    This is a heartbreaking story, Damyanti. Your narration is captivating, I was in goosebumps as I read through the piece.

  • I do enjoy flash fiction, especially on blogs where time is limited. A great piece of flash fiction will capture my attention and keep me reading to the end. Beautifully written story, Damyanti, and you’re right about it being a dark one.

  • Your writing is very inspiring – thanks for sharing

  • Shalzmojo says:

    Gave me the goosebumps as I read this one Damyanti- so stark and disturbing. Impressed with how you have conveyed it all in so few words.

  • Shilpa Garg says:

    Oh! That’s truly dark and devastating!!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      I did feel devastated after writing it. But it wouldn’t grow any lighter, and became darker still after i managed to name it.

  • Jacqui Murray says:

    Oh that is dark, Damyanti. I am sorry you feel it reflects your mood. I’m very much a cozy sort of reader–I know bad exists but I’d prefer to dwell on good. Not terribly enlightened at times am I but there you are.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      You have the right idea, Jacqui. I’m one of those dark souls sometimes. I emailed you but haven’t heard back–all good?

  • marianallen says:

    You leave me speechless. What a fine story. It amazes me, how quickly you can pull me into another reality and how completely you can immerse me in it. It’s like magic. <3

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Marian, you’re always super-kind in your comments. Thanks for being one of my earliest supporters–you have encouraged me so many times over the years. A writer full of self-doubt needs so much of that.

  • Pam says:

    Gut-wrenching, Damyanti. When will woman be free from such abuse??

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Women will be free once they’re recognized as equals, but I doubt even then–many men suffer tortures as well.

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti – I’m definitely not tuned in to flash fiction … but your story here was ‘desperate’ … and so well written – I just seem to stay in reality. So usually count me out … cheers Hilary

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Hilary. The situation is desperate for many women. You’re always very kind and constant in support of my writing, and I’m very grateful.

  • writershilpa says:

    I love flash fiction, and I always always love what you write, Damyanti! This was heartbreaking 🙁

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      You’re kind, as always, Shilpa. And yes, it is heartbreaking that this happens, that the story is based on reality.

  • Damyanti, thank you for your emails. I have now just got your book on kindle. Looking forward to reading it and will review it soon.
    Best wishes Mary Howell

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      That’s so kind of you, Mary. Thanks so much. I’ll look forward to it!

  • I do enjoy reading flash fiction. This is an excellent story! So heartbreaking to know this happens.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      It is. Humanity has its best and happiest, and it has its worst and unhappiest.

  • Oh my goodness. I’m reeling–really wonderful work, Damyanti. I love flash fiction that is something like a prose poem, which I would say this is. Just wow.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks Rebecca, it means a huge deal, coming from you. I didn’t mean it as a prose-poem, just that sometimes the words seem to have a rhythm of their own when they emerge and I keep it.

  • LesleighHart says:

    Wow. That was incredibly powerful. I write short stories of mostly about 500 words. What is the length of flash fiction?

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks so much.

      Any story below 1000 words is considered flash fiction.

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