Guernica/PEN Flash Series

The series is a collaborative effort in which both journals publish the best flash out there. Join the mailing list and receive flash by email—no spam or news, just stories.

August 26, 16

"She curls up in bed. Pulls the dirty sheets over her and starts to doze...Starts to doze until the room pulls her awake, overpowers her with its clutter, its scrawled notebooks and poems and letters to himself." Read More  »

August 12, 16

There were no voices to be heard, no words or fragments of sentences coming from the couple sitting there. Until I realized, with a quick glimpse, that they were communicating in sign language. And I began, discreetly, to watch them. Read More  »

July 1, 16

I dropped from the skies or from heaven—whatever was closer at the moment—at the doors of the Kremlin library to research, and the clerk, an army major with a chest full of clinking medals, a carbon copy of Brezhnev, only with the bushier eyebrows...Read More  »

June 10, 16

This week in the Guernica/PEN Flash series, we feature an original piece by Moroccan poet and autobiographical writer Abdellah Taïa, juxtaposed by two different translations by Chris Clarke and Emma Ramadan. Read More  »

May 27, 16

It was my job to kill rats. To tie rats inside a metal and leather machine that held them tight, still. To stick a cigarette in their knife-point rat mouths. Read More  »

May 13, 16

For a long time, Nathalie’s outline has remained calcified in the bed with her ghost. The weak sun illuminates its contours and every morning I leave the sheets loose so they won’t conceal the form. Read More  »

April 8, 16

We had no idea that a livid war was advancing on us like a sandstorm. We were committed to life, not death. We believed in the near, not the far, and not in leaving, but in staying. Read More  »

February 4, 16

Instead of looking at his face, she looked outside. It was raining, what looked like yellow rain on a darker yellow sidewalk. I'm getting married again, he said. We're going to move to Florida. Read More  »

January 28, 16

There's a story told of my voice that says it was bought from a witch, the result of an occult surgery. I am said to treat it nightly with arcane oils and ointments, my real voice in a box on the witch's mantel. Read More  »

January 15, 16

My mother held him back by his coattails. "Stay where you are," she whispered into his ear, "the last thing we need is to feel like we're not even free in the house of the Lord!" Read More  »


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