Avital Gad-Cykman
Two Flash-Fiction Works


It is night when the witches stretch in their waterbed, the lake of Florianopolis. The lake is stirring in a circular and vertical movement, like milk in a glass held by an unsteady hand.

Blizzards are rare in the region. Florianopolis is located around the corner, out of the storms’ way.

The witches sniff the night air with their cashew-shaped noses. A hundred years have gone by. It is, indeed, time to wake up.

Gray vapor rises from the middle of the lake, widening its circle until it dresses the witches in cloudy dresses. Their minds are filled with isolated noises: wind, thunder, words of command. They are loyal like dogs, but they have to find an owner. They care for themselves like cats, and they should go out for food.

They whirl in the blizzard’s arms, creating lumps of smoke when they try to blow into the vaporous tube. Their dresses caress and tie, and their stretchy long hands finally find the tube’s mouth from which they reach out, horrid and graceful as newborns. The wind now pushes at their backs, and they are at the head of the storm, and they are looking for a home.

The houses overlooking the lake stand pale and quiet uphill. Such blizzards have never hit them. The people stay still. They hope the destruction can’t take hold of frozen bodies. And, somehow, the storm rushes around and not through their houses.

But then, one little woman approaches her computer to hit the keyboard with a story.

“There!” the witches shriek.

They freeze against her house with the wind in their backs, the clouds around their bodies. They circle the house until they surround it with their arms. They tighten their embrace so the roof gives in and it rises in the air and is snatched by the mouth of the storm.

The woman at the keyboard raises her face and sees the green faces of the lake. Long tongues set out at her with the dedication of dogs, long nails pull at her for food. She is still banging the last words as she rises in alarm and tries to blow them out—to no avail. She is their feeder and their food, their storyteller and their story. They lick words and more words inside her, a whole book, then they rise—sweet, fat witches—and signal to the storm that it is the end of the woman’s story. So, probably, this is the end.

Fire. Water.

The son flies an airplane over the handrail. The daughter yells she won’t wash her hair. The son throws a bomb at her, into the living room. The daughter looks for the electric heater. The mother washes the dishes. The father walks the dog outside.

The son rides the mezzanine’s half wall. The daughter says she will die, because the day is too cold for a shower. The son, he slips down the handrail, a small skate in his hands. The daughter, she carries the heater to the bathroom. The son piles blankets by the bathroom to build a barricade. The mother washes dishes in the kitchen. The father walks the dog outside.

The son kicks the bathroom door open. The daughter screams she is cold. The son sends the skate into the bathroom. The daughter drags one blanket inside. The son looks at the bathroom mirror. The daughter is naked. The son laughs out loud. The mother washes dishes. The father walks the dog outside.

The daughter shouts she'll show around the picture with the son's butt out. The son dives onto the floor for his skate and his jet. The daughter cries he should not see her. The son turns on the water to fly his jet through water falls. The daughter shows the finger to the son. The son throws his skate at the daughter. The daughter shouts, "Mother! Father!" The mother washes dishes. The father walks the dog outside.

The son jumps up and down like a monkey. The daughter leaps at the son. The son bumps into the electric heater, and he and the heater fall down. The daughter throws the blanket at him. The son gets up and covers her head with the blanket. The daughter says she is warm and good. The son pushes the daughter at the water. The daughter falls over the heater with the blanket over her head. The son drops the jet, the bombs, the skate and pulls her from the heater. The blanket’s hem turns black. The mother washes the dishes. The father walks the dog outside.

The daughter falls. The son pulls. The daughter rises. Falls. Rises. Throws. Pulls. The son. The daughter. The electric heater. The water in the shower. Fire. Water. The mother washes the dishes. The father walks the dog outside.

Avital Gad-Cykman lives in Brazil. Her work has been published in several literary journals. Her novel is named "Quero-Quero". "I love writing flashes", she says, " There is a sense of freedom in it, because it emphasizes lyricism more than longer stories, and it allows you to get wild with one idea or emotion."

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