The Physical Exertion of Human Flight

“Thirty years ago, his brother flew off a cliff.”

My story “The Physical Exertion of Human Flight” is published today over at The Phare.

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The Best British & Irish Flash Fiction for 2019-2020

My story ‘We Feed Them to the Lions’ is on the list of The Best British & Irish Flash Fiction for 2019-2020.

You can find the list here – BEST BRITISH & IRISH FLASH FICTION 2019-2020

The original story is over at Okay DonkeyWe Feed Them to the Lions

Memory is now a thing of the past

Memory is now a thing of the past. I will teach this during home schooling. How you find facts at your fingertips. How your past is on social media, places on timelines. How software corrects your spelling as you type. I will explain there is no need for mental storage. Instead of this curriculum, I will teach you analysis, validation, interpretation. We will begin immediately, as soon as I remember where I put my phone.

***

A version of this story recently appeared on Paragraph Planet.

Inspired by recent events and home schooling.

Open Heart Surgery

“In our home town, in the nursery where we played and fought like adults. I find it deep in a box of toy cars, remnants of your blood on the plastic, a motorway pile-up in miniature.”

My story “Open Heart Surgery” is published today over at Ellipsis Zine.

http://www.ellipsiszine.com/open-heart-surgery-by-paul-thompson/

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Ninety-five percent of my anxieties are unfounded

Ninety-five percent of my anxieties are unfounded. She tells me at our weekly breakfast. To focus on the genuine five percent. The following week I do so, spending ninety-five percent of my time on it. When we meet again, I know ninety-five percent of my anxieties are founded. Focus on the new five percent, she says. And so it goes on, worrying about worrying, and how to tell her I no longer enjoy our breakfasts.

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This 75-word story first appeared on Paragraph Planet

Anxiety Returns in the Form of Birdsong

It returns at dawn, hours after you wake. Sunlight through the attic window, signalling an end to your hibernation.
An owl is first, from the woods behind your house. A pulsating reminder of the owls you have outlived and the many more to follow. You align your breathing with its pattern, slow and predictable. Hold your breath for longer than comfortable, letting nature guide your meditation.

Continue reading “Anxiety Returns in the Form of Birdsong”

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Younger than records will show

It will be our secret, deep at the bottom of the reservoir. We will meet the others, the boys from town. Buy alcohol with fake identification, from a shopkeeper who has already seen the end of days. Cider sweet and nostalgic, as we go to the water park, where dusk will paint us with mosquitoes and laughter. And many years from now they will find us, when the reservoir is dry. They will find us and our fake identities, and finally treat our bodies as adults.

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A version of this story recently appeared on Paragraph Planet

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How to Pack a Suitcase with Zero Baggage

“Packing a suitcase is easy. Keeping to the essentials, less so.

I have something new on Spelk today. It’s called ‘How to Pack a Suitcase with Zero Baggage’

https://spelkfiction.com/2019/09/13/how-to-pack-a-suitcase-with-zero-baggage/

Good for the Garden

“Good for the garden, my father says.

His skin prickles, raindrops on the window reflecting his anxiety.

Good for your father, my mother says. Behind his back, whispering it to me as we watch him fidget.”

My story, “Good for the Garden” can be found over at Ellipsis Zine.

http://www.ellipsiszine.com/good-for-the-garden-by-paul-thompson/