Three Minutes Before St Mary’s Chimed The Quarter Hour

2019 FlashBack Fiction Microfiction Competition: Moon
Highly Commended

Three Minutes Before St Mary’s Chimed The Quarter Hour
by Marissa Hoffmann

Father blamed the moon’s blink—three days past apogee—for the westerly raging-bull-wind that butted their Dundee train. Bella had been following rain racing backwards in wormy tracks on the window but now she pressed her ribboned head into his arm. Moonlight returned breathless, messaging them in urgent flickers between the iron girders, but too late. The groaning trusses buckled at the knee—lifting the carriages from the tracks—tumbling them—burning coals trailing—a comet’s tail—into the swollen Tay, and four yards of blue crepe and ruffle closed around Bella’s body in a tulip-shaped tomb.

Marissa’s flash has been short listed at the Bath Flash Fiction Award and Micro Madness New Zealand at Flash Frontier. She has published at Milk Candy Review, The Drabble, Reflex, Bending Genres and NFFD Flash Flood. Marissa is a fiction reader for Atticus Review.

Find her on Twitter @Hoffmannwriter and online at