Flash Fiction Online #116, May 2023
“Unexplained” by H. V. Patterson
“Skin the Teeth” by Sarah Cline
“The Invisible” by Kurt Newton
Reviewed by Chuck Rothman
Flash Fiction Online celebrates May with a special all-horror issue, with three original stories.
“Unexplaned” has Amanda suddenly losing a finger. It isn’t cut off, it’s just gone as though it never existed. Though they search, there is no explanation. H. V. Patterson makes it seem like the situation has run its course until he throws a horrifying twist in the last few paragraphs. It’s a nice little punch to the gut.
Sarah Cline‘s “Skin the Teeth” is a revelation story—one that leads up to a revelation as to what is going on. The narrator describes people breaking into a house of what seems to be a hoarder, leading to a disgusting discovery. The main idea is an interesting one, but the story is just set up to gross one out.
“The Invisible” by Kurt Newton has a protagonist who is desperate to get rid of the bad parts of him, so he creates the Invisible, a simulacrum of himself where he can put them. Of course, it doesn’t work out that neatly. A decent concept with the payoff being somewhat different from what one might expect.
Flash fiction is difficult to write, and flash horror even more so. Flash Fiction Online gets some strong results with the genre.
Chuck Rothman’s novels Staroamer’s Fate and Syron’s Fate are available from Fantastic Books.