flash fiction

Two Stories by Jiahui Wu

The Eternal Dead | Jiahui Wu

Frantically, the drowned man refuses to drown. Only snippets of spit from his mouth remain after the waves crash. One minute he rolls under and another he floats up as the sea recedes from the sand. Like plastic, the man gradually breaks into little bits, while his consciousness follows the unchangeable courses of the sun and moon. He does not lament and he does not moan, for he has become unable. The land close at hand is as unreachable to him as the seagulls, the stars, and the satellites. When sailors see him glistening in the foam, they exclaim, “what a pity he cannot kill himself!”

The Couple | Jiahui Wu

The table stood up and left the room. He went to the door and tilted to one side to edge his way out the door. The chair was left standing on her feet, her long legs wistful and lonely. She looked out the window and thought to herself, “we will see how you get down those stairs without breaking a leg or two.” Realizing his dilemma, the table could not advance or retreat. He was too proud to admit his fault before her, so he stood there, feeling more humiliated by the minute. Knowing what was going through his mind, the chair cat walked to the door and opened it. She went up to the table and sat down beside him. They sat like this for a long time without saying anything, the autumn breeze blowing through their empty spaces in their bellies, between their arms, their legs, their faces. In the end, they returned to their old positions inside the house and sat like that. When the day of moving came, the chair was left out by the side of the road because she was old and coming apart at the joints of the legs and they took the table with them because he was still sturdy and useful in more ways than one. As the moving truck drove away, a street urchin jumped on the chair for fun and, by accident, smashed her to pieces.