“Multnomah,” “Consolation Prize,” and “Projection” – Flash Fiction by J. Bradley

By Woo from irvine, ca, USA [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Multnomah Falls, Oregon – by Woo from irvine, ca, USA [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

From our Spring 2016 issue, “Multnomah,” “Consolation Prize,” and “Projection” are three parts of J. Bradley‘s novella-in-flash about multi-generational kidnappings.

{ X }

“Multnomah”

NEIL CLUTCHES MY WRIST AS WE WATCH THE WATERFALL from the bridge suspended above the park. I shift us away from the tourists as they take pictures of or selfies with the falls.

“I wanna go back down,” Neil says.

Neil fights as I perch him on my shoulders. He smacks the top of my head once or twice. I fight my father’s advice and keep Neil and I away from the railing. I fight my father’s advice and don’t back into the railing behind us, loosen my grip on Neil’s shins. I fight my father’s advice, for once.

{ X }

“Consolation  Prize”

I PRACTICE FACIAL EXPRESSIONS, which arm and at what angle to wrap that arm around Helen, what to say or how to say it if or when she miscarried. I decided to convince her that we shouldn’t give it a name if it happens; you forget the things you lose when you don’t know what to call them. I remind myself not to say how we can try again when she’s ready. I remind myself to save the necessary receipts.

{ X }

“Projection”

MY RIGHT HAND ACHED FOR HOURS after shaking Helen’s father’s hand that first time. Helen’s mother came in the bar a minute later, wrapped her arm around his waist before extending her arm towards me. Helen then wrapped her arm around my waist. She rubbed the small of my back to keep me calm. Throughout the night, Helen adjusted slightly left or right to keep us aligned as the mirror image of her parents.

 { X }

J. BRADLEY

J. BRADLEY is the author of the forthcoming story collection, The Adventures of Jesus Christ, Boy Detective (Pelekinesis, 2016). He lives at jbradleywrites.com.

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