Marc Nash’s fifth collection of flash fiction is his most daring yet. Arranged around a school curriculum, stories range across several genres but all push the boundaries of what fiction can do in this the most short of story forms. Tales of flea circuses, death squads, witch burnings, junky angels, thermal imaging voyeurism, blind lovers, drones, dying languages, poker tics, military bands and plastic surgery zombies…
As the barge puttered towards the bridge, those pedestrians stood upon it waved inanely at the pilot, who steadfastly refused to acknowledge their existence in any way.
The men found the capes and cloaks of their fancy dress inhibitive as they tried to unfurl their protest banner and attach it to the railings of the bridge over the motorway. They had neither rights, nor a sufficiently sound grasp of physics, since none had calculated that the velocity of any travelling vehicles would prohibit the drivers from being able to read the words of their message.
Stationed in the air within the glass observation deck, he espied the luggage cart plumb bisecting beneath him on its course towards the aircraft that was destined to carry away his daughter to the other side of the world. He fell forward and braced his arm against the glass to halt his stumble. A final perpendicularity, as his body buckled into his future unbuttressed loneliness.
The three boys had been bent double as they hauled the concrete slab up the metal stairs of the overhead footbridge. They resembled Macbeth’s three witches huddled over their cauldron as they cast for their augury. But now that the slab was balanced up on the guardrail, they straightened their backs and peered over the railway tracks. The slab would foretoken an exact future for the fate of the next train to come down the line.
The Guards watched the inmates expressionlessly from the ramparts as they filed underneath their steel gangways towards the gas chambers. The Jewish prisoners wondered how their god could just watch impassively from heaven’s cloud gantry; how instead of passing over their marked houses and sparing them as in ancient Egypt, now he seemed to be zeroing in on those barrack huts marked with the yellow star.