Flash No. 13 – Peter F. Crowley


By Peter F. Crowley


You’re a piss reminder of an everlasting hotel.

She spoke in a fiery tone. The man waddled side-to-side and began patting a penguin.

He glanced to a chalkboard behind the penguin, where were written the words:

We’ve broken glass, crushed marigold eyes, dethroned
coughing cathedrals, driven Zambonis over
subterranean rinks, planted flowers that scratch out
esophagi – and now this?

But he just patted the penguin, holding his tongue.

The day was one of God’s many lambs that would ‘accidentally’ be allowed to wander from the flock and get ripped apart by wolves.

Their house was a homeless person’s castle, where they’d sleep on ceilings, break bread with hammers and cook up Bengali fritters for guests. The passerby would never imagine: behind quiet townhouse walls, Cerberus wandered amidst two Fomorians.

She lambasted the cells far beneath his skin. He held his tongue, patted the penguin, and read the chalkboard behind the bird. Often, the board’s words were illegible, causing him to grit his teeth so hard that the veins on his forehead swelled up like glowing purple rivers.

Eventually, she began to tire. Then he shot her a stabbing glare. Unlike her impassioned rage, his brief words were an ice-cold, tightly-sealed box of highly enriched uranium that destroyed villages and maimed metropolises.

When he finished, they traded a few last barbs before flying off to separate rooms.

The house was in shellshock. Befuddled cats twitched, pupils dilated, looking up to the Fomorians in panic. Books and magazines lay scattered across the floor. Blood-red tomato juice stained the wall, leading to the half-splattered fruit on the floor.

On the radio, Orson Welles warned of the high potential for the aftershock, should the devolved Hansel and Gretel meet near a hungry witch’s oven.


Peter F. Crowley is a Boston-area author who works as a Semantic Enrichment Specialist for an information science company. His book of poetry, Those Who Hold Up the Earth, was published by Kelsay Books in June 2020.

© Peter F. Crowley