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PEN American Center

Guernica/PEN Flash Series

The Guernica/PEN Flash Series is a collaborative effort in which both journals publish the best flash out there. Join the Flash Series mailing list here to receive our bi-weekly manuscripts by email, and stay tuned for news on an upcoming open reading period. 

September 23, 14

he didn't have to say much anymore. he could imply. there was the equation, and the proof, and there was a little machine we could build and imagine it repeating itself on and on very fast to converge on the smooth truth of an equation. Read More  »

September 9, 14

My mother is the goddess of the seas. My fetus still floats in her womb. Perhaps I am a goddess, too. My mother guides the waves and the whirlpools. She guides the ships to shore … the fogs to the sky. Read More  »

August 12, 14

Dear Queen, maybe this is not your business but I have had a very troubled bowel since I was a child, which is exactly what Fidel Castro has suffered from all his life. Bad intestine, knotted and throbbed and bubbled.I AM CHINA by Xiaolu Guo....Read More  »

July 29, 14

I’m sorry for driving past and driving past and driving past all winter and into spring, and for watching, with interest—even, I’m ashamed to say, a kind of gross curiosity—as you became less and less of what you were, as you were ground down by...Read More  »

July 15, 14

No torsos, no chests, no bellies, just eyes that gazed at her, craved her, carved her into something unnatural, something ugly and immortal. Mailin chased this version of herself in the mirrors. The body always deformed, resembling not a peach, but...Read More  »

June 24, 14

The expression ripples out from her eyes. She squints, then opens them wide, teeth gritted and a gasp. Read More  »

June 2, 14

All day long, as you sleep in the darkened room, you sweat through your shirt and the sheets and into the feather comforter and then awaken in a person-shaped mini lake. You emerge from the bedroom, disoriented, with ovals of darkened cloth all...Read More  »

May 20, 14

“Shut the fuck up,” Mamma says to the man in her hard velvet way. “You’d know fat, slow, and stupid first hand.” He backhands Mamma and Jake makes a sound without knowing. Lai pushes him behind her, so familiar a motion they stand like that...Read More  »

May 16, 14

An abandoned ark is cast upon the summit of Mount Ararat. There are no signs of disturbance on the ship—there is stale straw in the manger, and bowls of steaming soup and a half-full pot of tea on the dining table. Read More  »

May 15, 14

We have to play while it’s still light out. I would have preferred pitch black, it’s more scenic, but this is ok, too, no problem. We’re a war machine, a hand grenade tossed into the middle of the crowd . . . Read More  »