Flash Fiction Online #70, July 2019

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Flash Fiction Online #70, July 2019

“Crocodile Love Machine” by Mackenzie Suess

“Phoenix, Fallen” by Rebecca Birch (reprint, not reviewed)
“Roommates” by Shannon Peavey
“The Order Taker” by B. Pladek

Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf

Three new works of imaginative fiction appear in the latest issue of this magazine of very short stories.

Although labeled as science fiction, “Crocodile Love Machine” by Mackenzie Suess is clearly a work of fantasy. Three deities from Egyptian mythology meet in a modern laundromat. The crocodile god was the lover of the cat goddess, and the snake god is a rival for her affection. Their awkward encounter, with the potential for violence between the two gods, ends with an ironic gesture on the part of the crocodile god. The story is clever and witty, but the plot does not depend on its fantastic content.

In “Roommates” by Shannon Peavey, a young woman survives an automobile accident with brain damage and an injured arm. The ghost of a bird inhabits her body while she is in a coma, then lives inside her dead arm when she recovers. The idea is an original one, conveyed in an elegant style, but there is little to the story beyond its basic concept.

“The Order Taker” by B. Pladek takes place in the far future, in a universe inhabited by many different species of aliens. A repressive government punishes those who violate its laws by executing them in a brutal fashion. The narrator is a chef who prepares the last meals of the condemned. The author creates an imaginative character study with an interesting background, but fails to provide a full resolution.

Victoria Silverwolf has eaten Greek salad and fettuccine Alfredo at the City Café in Chattanooga, Tennessee, recently graced by the presence of the Noble Editor.