Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
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Flash Fiction
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A Form of Ashes

by J. B. Hogan

Like a fiery carcinoma it spread,
burning anything in its way,
drying up sources and reservoirs.

Down from above it came,
from the top, the very gray top;
its stench barely confined,
its flames scarcely contained.

Then further down it slid,
down the ragged bony lengths,
separating, dissolving,
rending cartilage, nerve, and fat.

Until at last,
it reached out, pulling, claw-like, scorching
to the extremities themselves –
leaving in its aftermath a form of ashes,
an outline of what once had been,
a skeleton of lost potential
its life cavities great empty holes,
all fluids dissipated, their origins evaporated,
long eons now forgotten.

© 2009 J. B. Hogan

J. B. Hogan’s flash fiction piece “Kerosene Heat” was nominated for a 2010 Pushcart Prize by Word Catalyst ( www.wordcatalyst.com). His dystopian novel New Columbia was selected in the “Best of Long Fiction 2009” category by Aphelion. His poem “Gray Man” was selected as one of “The Best Pieces of 2009” by Cynic Online Magazine (www.cynicmag.com). His prize-winning fiction e-book Near Love Stories is online at Cervena Barva Press (www.cervenabarvapress.com).

In addition, he has over 100 stories and poems in such journals as: Frontier Tales, Word Catalyst, Aphelion, Istanbul Literary Review, Cynic Online Magazine, Admit 2, Every Day Poets, Ranfurly Review, Dead Mule, The Scruffy Dog Review, Smokebox, Gloom Cupboard, Rumble, Poesia, Bewildering Stories, Avatar Review, Copperfield Review, Ascent Aspirations, Megaera, and The Square Table. He lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Find more by J. B. Hogan in the Author Index.

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