Logo, MacQueen's Quinterly
Listed at Duotrope
MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 16: 1 Jan. 2023
Microfiction: 197 words
By Dave Alcock



He looked up from the page in the lamplight and peered over the balcony into the darkness downstairs. He waited and he listened. It was silent then he heard it again. Wheezing. Emphysemic. Behind the curtains of the big glass doors.

He got up and moved across the mezzanine. He stood uncertainly at the top of the stairs. Nervously, he descended the staircase. His heart pumped. Blood rushed in his ears.

“Dad?” His voice trembled. A slice of moonlight flickered in his eyes. The breathing sounded. The drapes kept twitching. It seemed impossible. Something was there.

His creativity arose inside him. Reason slept and fantasy surged. He faced the curtains, not knowing but believing, and he waited for a corpse to return from the dead.

Then he remembered: a conversation at the harbour—about the tide—it would rise in the night. He blinked and looked down at his wrist-watch. His eyes closed. His shoulders sagged. He sighed.

The tidehead washed and whispered. The curtains moved around the blowing of the wind. He went up the stairs and sat down at the table. He put down his elbows and rubbed his eyes with his hands.

Dave Alcock
Issue 16 (1 January 2023)

has been interested in flash fiction ever since 2016 when he received Flash Fiction Forward (ed. James Thomas and Robert Shapard) as a surprise gift. He read the first page and was hooked and he has been ever since. His work has been published by Every Day Fiction and Flash Frontier, as well as some other excellent lit-zines, and can also be found in two books published by Ad Hoc Fiction. He works as an editor and lives with his wife and two children in Devon, England.

Copyright © 2019-2024 by MacQueen’s Quinterly and by those whose works appear here.
Logo and website designed and built by Clare MacQueen; copyrighted © 2019-2024.
⚡   Please report broken links to: MacQuinterly [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡

At MacQ, we take your privacy seriously. We do not collect, sell, rent, or exchange your name and email address, or any other information about you, to third parties for marketing purposes. When you contact us, we will use your name and email address only in order to respond to your questions, comments, etc.