August 2014 Flashes
Karen Bovenmyer trains future professors for Iowa State University and occasionally teaches novel writing and speculative fiction honors seminars. Her dark fantasy and scifi horror stories have appeared in Erin Underwood's Pop Fic Review, Paul Genesse's The Crimson Pact series (volumes 3 & 5), Bonnie Stufflebeam's Art & Words Show (2012 & 2013), and are forthcoming in Red Rose Review, Devilfish Review, and Crossed Genres magazines. She feels honored to have graduated from the Stonecoast MFA Popular Fiction program in July 2013. She invites you to view some rather scary attempts to frost Star Wars cookies on her website karenbovenmyer.com/.
Something So Normal and Unwritten
An empty house lived at the end of his street. Trees like claws stopped other kids, as if they grabbed ankles and wrists and hoods of sweatshirts. He found a way there by looking somewhere else, sidewalk-crack-sidewalk, then dead grass. Up. White oval shapes lingered behind black windows. In. A slamming back door echoed the sound of staple-guns putting up his HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CHILD posters. Three years later, after his classmates had grown into pimples and too-short jeans, he came out, hollow-eyed and grinning. He struck the trees with an axe, inside a grown man’s body, sweating hard. They took him to a hospital, depressingly white and clean and smelling like medicine, but he still saw the house by not looking. When the cranes came, they were like hands scooping off the shingles of the roof, the strange Victorian spires crumbling, the screaming of crumpled plaster and creaking timbers echoing, unexplained white shapes tumbling down in a cloud of dust. After, he went home with a face blank as a sheet of paper, something so normal and unwritten, and, in the night, his dreams clutched at him, as if they grabbed ankles and wrists and hoods of sweatshirts.