By Deyonne Bryant.

“When Greta got home from the supermarket her husband was on fire.” 

Icarus by Ana Costov.

When Greta got home from the supermarket her husband was on fire. The tall, lean American GI who flew into Baumholder on a chopper years ago and rescued her from the dark, icy waters of her life was blacked out on the sofa, a cigarette between his fingers. Several tiny flames danced on his sweater, and the room smelled of bourbon and burnt wool. She’d told him to drop dead more than once, but not like this. For a split-second she was transfixed, half-expecting some fascinating creature with bright gold plumage to rise up from the ashes. Then her gaze fell on the porcelain vase her husband had given her when they were newlyweds in Japan. Against the black matte background, a firebird and an elegant dragon face each other. “In mortal combat or maybe marital bliss,” the old shopkeeper had said. Greta shivered. Forget the drinking, the fighting, the debts. Forget the insults, disappointments, betrayals. Forget he never called her sweetheart anymore. Fuck that trick Daisy. Her husband wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. He could forget that. Who else would save her from herself? Shouting his name, she let go of the shopping bags, scattering apples and potatoes everywhere.

The Blood Pudding – June 26, 2024

Deyonne Bryant lives and writes flash fiction in Massachusetts. “Firebirds” is one of her favorite flash fictions, and she’s very pleased it has found a home at Blood Pudding.


Artwork: Ana Costov is an abstract artist. Her work is distinguished for her technique of applying paint in spiralling movements. The pictorial field encounters dynamic brushstrokes and lines with clean blocks of color and vibrant accents that create emphases. You can find her work here.