Afternoon in the Grass (flash fic, ~400K)

IMG_1221It feels like chills down my spine, like all your hairs standing on end, like everything’s operating at the speed of light, at a hundred degrees, at lightning voltage, at maximum volume.

It feels like nothing at all.

I lie in the grass. It’s Tuesday. Wendy lies beside me, eyes closed, breathing softly.

I trail my fingers along her arm, smooth and warm in the sun.

Nothing.

I press up against her, back to front. The strands of her brown hair brush against my face.

Nothing.

The grass doesn’t tickle. The sun doesn’t heat. The wind doesn’t whip against my skin.

I kiss her lips. Nothing.

A year ago, everything was different. Nerves were alive. Love was new. Accidents had yet to happen.

A stray piece of Wendy’s hair lies against her cheek. I fold it back behind her ear, tuck it alongside the others. Does she feel like silk? Does she feel like straw? I don’t know. She smells like roses and rainwater.

Wendy rolls over onto her side, facing me. She smiles, lips pink and wide. Genuine. She reaches for my hand and entwines our fingers, blue on black.

Wendy closes her eyes. I close mine. Behind my eyelids it is dark with white sparks, dots in the night sky. The sparks feel like recycled electricity channeled through me, just passing by on their way to somewhere else. They feel like fire and ice at the same time, they feel like a memory. They feel like everything and nothing at the same time.

I feel cold. I feel like frosting and expired eggs, I feel tired, I feel like I need a drink. I feel like taking off Wendy’s clothes, I feel like saying goodbye to her forever. I feel like a father and a mother, a bastard and a liar, a priest and a prisoner, a thief and a champion. I feel like a newborn and an old man, I feel like I’ve just climbed Everest. I feel like I’m all choked up, like I can’t breathe, like the cops are hunting me down as I’m speeding down the highway, seconds away from freedom. I feel like crying.

I feel nothing.

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A couple things…

Diamonds-on-My-Windshield-by-corin-reyburnA flash fic of mine called Diamonds On My Windshield (thank you Tom Waits) has been published over at mashstories.com. They did a bit of editing here that I think botched the poetry of the wording a bit, but the meat of it is still basically the same. Mash Stories is a flash fiction competition where one has to use three specific words in their story. Check out the competition guidelines.

subvercity_transmit_logoAlso worth another shout-out is the podcast I write for and co-produce, the subterranean, time-out-of-time joint known as the SubverCity Transmit. Check out our latest podcast featuring the story “Companion” by Kyle Whitacre. What happens when your only companion is an artificial intelligence?

SubverCity Transmit podcast

subvercity_transmit_logoI’m happy to announce the premiere episode of a podcast production I write for and co-produce, along with voice-over artist and co-producer Erin B. Lillis. The podcast is called SubverCity Transmit and can be found at subvercitytransmit.com. The initial episode features one of my Subterran universe stories, Ichiban Marie Clairevoyant’s Soulkiller School, previously published in Subtopian Magazine. If you have a moment please listen, comment, and spread the word.

Listen here.

Thank you,
– Corin

The Subtopian: Selected Stories

The Subtopian: Selected StoriesPortland-based literary journal Subtopian.com has put out a collection of short stories featuring Kirby Light, Trevor Richardson, and yours truly, among others. The True Unerring Secrets of Utopia by Corin Reyburn finally finds itself in print. Check it out here. “Dealing with the issues of our impending future, these stories darkly and humorously express a view of society in between two extremes. We are not Utopia or Dystopia — yet. We are Subtopian.” Always happy to be included amongst such fine folk. Subtopian is also interested in new writers at this time, so check out their site, and if it’s right up your alley like it is mine, come on into the fold.

– Corin

S.O.P.

S.O.P.I’d like to introduce you to S.O.P., now appearing in The Molotov Cocktail. Molotov is a publication I’m happy to be a part of–they’re dark, funny, and cut to the bone. S.O.P. is one of what appears to be a series of vignettes about basement dwellers, written faster than you can finish a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Please enjoy responsibly.

thanks,
– Corin

Generiatric Springs Resort in Subtopian

Generiatric Springs ResortThe Doomsday Edition of Subtopian magazine is now at subtopian.com. My Subterran story for this month is one which doesn’t take place in the club at last, rather in a sinister retirement home that isn’t what it seems.

Also thanks to Eric Lawson for contributing a poem to this month’s issue which ends with the line ‘Love cannot find me tonight because she’s stranded somewhere out on the f’ing 405.’

cheers,
– Corin

The end of times

end of timesIt was the end of times A.D. and the world was made anew. Carpetbaggers came to town then, all offering things we needed in the wake of inevitable, quiet disaster. The whole town had been in shock for about a week and a half, but then we realized we had seen it coming, had been expecting this for quite some time now. I thought we would all miss the television but no one did, there was one old man in the village who still knew how to tell stories and he was now the town’s most popular resident. There were no more “foodies”, no crème fraiche or dried goji berries for 8.99 a pound, we were happy when we pulled up a root vegetable and it didn’t break in half.

Winter came early that year though, and the frost nearly killed us. Like pilgrims we considered cannibalism, but didn’t want to go back to the way it had been before the draught. Half of us survived and the other half tried to make the journey to other countries, but on foot and without electronic map devices, we forgot where they were, and none of us could speak any foreign languages anyway.

But we built, slept, and waited, and before long, the engineers returned and the buildings popped up again. Supermarkets and Walmarts came back and we played video games long into the night once more. Three generations passed and we forgot about the draught. We bought up everything we could for 8.99 a pound and we ate cheesecake topped with organic crème fraiche. It would be a thousand long years before the end of times, when we would learn how to make fire, how to dance, and the world would be made anew.