Flash Fiction by Hope Njoku

In the Mail

​Someone tries to open the door from outside. It’s 8:00am. You wonder how many thieves rob at dawn as you unlock the door. Unexpectedly, it is your wife that walks in, staggering toward a couch. She is wearing a skirt that is many inches above her knee and a top that exposed half of her belly, the whole of her navel. She smells of alcohol and Vanilla. How could she be looking like a barmaid? Only last night, she left the house wearing a frock and a scarf all in the name of church service.

“Where did you go?” You ask.

“Night vigil,” she replies without thinking; she is half drunk.

You rush to her burgundy hand bag and unzip it. A bottle of whisky is inside. You search again and find a pack of condom. 

She gapes in surprise because she did not expect you’ll come this far.

You hold out the pack of condom. “So this is the night vigil?”

“You are screwing things up,” she says shamelessly.
Your teeth clash, your eyes becomes blood-red and your fist clenches. How could she say screwing things up when you have solid proof of her sin? You become apoplectic and want to clasp her long Brazilian hair or whatever it is called and pull it till she bit the dust. But something inside of you says: Walk away
“It’s not what you think,” she tries to explain. But you shut her up and hit her in the face.

She reaches for the bottle of whisky in her bag and strikes you with it, seriously bruising your arm.
There is a knife on the centre table. You seize it with your unwounded hand and thrust into her; first her arm, and then you start to drive the knife across her throat. She is struggling and begging for life but rage grips you until eventually she’s dead and your singlet is soaked in her deep red. Just then, rage let you be and the pulsation of your heart becomes damn loud and fast because you know that the police will rest not until you are behind bars. 

.    .    .

The alarm clangs and you rise quickly from bed, with your heart nearly in your mouth. There beside you, under the coverlet, is she, your wife, letting out her usual angelic smile as she asked about the night. You grin like a Cheshire cat, as if the night was very well. 

“We have one day vigil today in church, from dusk,” she says suddenly and you shudder. You are afraid because you think she’ll return home looking like a barmaid and you’d slit her throat like a fowl. But then you remember that she’s holy, that you have a good heart, that the nightmare was wrong about her, that you had a nightmare because you had received a mail two days before, of a man who stabbed his adulterous wife to death. 

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, in July 1994, Hope Njoku is a trainee accountant. He was long-listed for the 2015 Brilliant Flash Fiction International Prize for his first work, Running Away From Tony. He is currently working on his debut novel.


Two Prose Poems by Darren C. Demaree

​Trump As A Fire Without Light #106

It’s a frenzy, which does not mean one of us must be eaten, and does not mean that either of us needs to shut up.  It means that this is an action game now, old man, and I don’t take days off.  You are wealthy and strong, but I am poor and stronger.  I have no name to lose anyway, so when it crosses your lips in distaste, what will that mean about you?  I’m already planning a celebration for when you relent.

Trump As A Fire Without Light #108

 Just sit at the table and give in to all of your fear.  You don’t need a pistol to do the right thing, just stand up and walk away.  You don’t need our forgiveness.  You just need to step away quickly and quietly before the houses you’ve stepped on are rebuilt.  Those people will come for you if you’re still there.

Darren Demaree’s poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including the South Dakota Review, Meridian, New Letters, Diagram, and the Colorado Review. He is the author of six poetry collections, most recently “Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly” (2016, 8th House Publishing). And the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He is currently living and writing in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

A Poem By Collin James


                      Having grown up on
                      poorly dubbed foreign film,
                      the young woman screamed “Eh!”
                      instead of “Help!” while
                      being attacked by a pack
                      of feral city dogs.
                      Had we heard the latter plea,
                      my confused friends and I
                      may have been able to help.
                      Bundling her into a shopping cart
                      pushing it down a long hill through
                      a chaotic traffic intersection
                      delaying some postmodernism.

Colin James has a chapbook of poems, A Thoroughness Not Deprived Of Absurdity, from Pski’s Porch Publishing. He lives in Massachusetts.