Timeline: FlashBack’s Tenth Season
It has been a difficult year so far, but we feel grateful to have been able to publish yet another group of brilliant pieces. We be back in mid-April with the start of our next season of historical flash and prose poetry, as well as the announcement of our next submission window. Thank you to all our authors and readers; you keep us going!
Huge congratulations to our writers Ranjabali Chaudhuri (‘Windows‘), Marie Gethins (‘Beating the Herring‘), and Matthew Richardson (‘Foundering‘) whose pieces were chosen by Amber Sparks to appear in Best Microfictions 2021; we’re delighted that FlashBack Fiction — and historical shortform work in general — will be so well represented!
As always, you can find our full archives in chronological order on our Timeline, but in case you’ve missed any of our 2021 offerings, here is a round-up of this season’s shorts….
1750: Gibbet by Mark Cassidy
Once I was a young boy, clambered limber, surefooted, into an empty gibbet and swung the blackwood, gristle-crusted cage bang tight.
1810: Regarding Gray, Carmine, Pyrope by Mandira Pattnaik
Gray is a morass of doubt and indifference and coot is a water bird with black feathers and a white bill. Black and white. Not Gray. Not in the sunlight.
1850: Tussaud by Noa Covo
She grows up in a house of abandoned arms and legs. She is taught to count on wax hands severed at the wrist, she caresses faces that end at the neck as her mother dusts.
1879 – 1890: The Last of El Dorado by T. L. Ransome
“La Reina! La Reeina!” they cried, stamping mud-worn heels on the dented boards.
But she was in pieces in the desert, miles of lace-melt, skin flinted red between saguaros. The tall green ancients covered her with crowns of flower-shred; her trail was marked in nectar.
1916: 1916 by Jac Harmon
You lie on your back, staring up at the sky, an arcing, heart-aching infinity of blue, stretching beyond the limits of your sight, beyond the limits of the mud that sucks and clings…
1957/8: She arrived at the mountain hideout on horseback by Bryan Harvey
She arrived at the mountain hideout on horseback—rain evaporating from the leaves in a gray shroud. He couldn’t see her. Having tossed his spectacles to the ground, he had stomped the fogged lenses into fragments of dark earth. Before she descended her horse, she revealed a brand-new pair of spectacles glistening in the dusk’s archipelago.
“For the comandante,” she said.
1950s: Tapeworm by Kristen Loesch
Mei knows she has tapeworms because she’s felt them squirming, slithering, shimmying in her belly since she swam here from Shenzhen, or maybe it’s just one long tapeworm longer than a fresh-water eel longer than the straw mat she sleeps on longer than the last smile her mother will ever give her…
1960: We, the School Dental Nurses, 1960 by Frankie McMillan
We are the dental nurses, our cardigans tulip red, our feet rubber soled, we are the foot soldiers, we wave to the bomber jets as they unleash their arsenal of bright apples, oranges, bananas and bottles of milk…
illustration by Louis Rhead for an 1897 posted calendar (January, February, March), published in Boston by L. Prang, c1896, via the US Library of Congress, reproduction number LC-DIG-ppmsca-43207.