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Nimue's Grotto

Welcome to the Grotto!

Spring 2017

I fell in love with stories even before I could read them myself. I can still remember when I had to beg my mother to read to me.

Once I learned to read, it didn't take me long to begin writing stories of my own. I love telling stories just as much as I love reading them.

I am a flash-fiction fanatic. A flash-length story takes a few minutes or less to read, but the best of them stay with you long after you've shut down your computer or locked your cell phone or tablet.

At Nimue's Grotto, we publish flash fiction in the genres of Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror. I am really excited to present this collection of bite-sized stories. We have all kinds of stories and I think we managed to hit all of our genres from Fantasy to Horror.

I hope you will agree.

And, by the way, if you like to write flash fiction yourself, take a look at our submission requirements and send us your best.

—Irene P. Smith, Editor

Minor Pain

by Ryan Hale

Bodak the Dritter looked down at his slimy green hands and gave an exhausted smile as he slumped back in his chair. It was nice to finally be clean. Minor Dritters had to do a lot of hard, manual work that often times scuffed off all the body ooze and left them dirty, contaminated by the putrid oxygen in the air. It was his lot in life though and he was proud of the work he did. It was honest work, but he wished he made more than twenty Kapog's a day for his labor. He couldn't support himself and his son on this wage. Especially not with paying the Dritter Sitter for all the hours he worked at the factory.
[Read more...]


by Elizabeth Sullivan

Every page she turned felt as if it would slide to the ground. The spine so gentle and frail. But the words—the words spoke truths and wisdom she wasn't sure had existed. All of the feelings, the emotions, they were true. She didn't feel like the outcast anymore. It was real.
[Read more...]

To be, or not to be, a Monster

by Ryan Hale

The Supreme Council of Monsters sat at the dimly lit Grand Table with expressionless faces. The situation was grave and every member knew it. For over a thousand years the Supreme Council had safe guarded the 4th Realm. Through generations of turmoil, civil war and political change they had maintained the peace and now that stonewalled fortress of a realm had become a house of cards.
[Read more...]


by Jeff Duntemann

Larry Kettelkamp felt the electrodes glued to his bald head. All the lights on the server rack beside his bed were green. He tapped the Execute button on the tablet beside his right arm. The third time had not been the charm. Nor the seventeenth. Tonight? The pulsors began their polyphonic warble into the electrodes, and Larry slipped into grayness.
[Read more...]

Mother Love

by Ryan Hale

A sliver of light cut through the expanse of darkness creating a transparent but colorful wall filled with floating particles of dancing dust, and danger. Sarah had to cross it and cross it fast. It wouldn't be long until that sliver exploded into a fiery ball and shattered all the darkness. Darkness her and her babies depended on right now.
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An Unexpected Meeting

by Denise Warren

"I met him," said Doris as the nurse helped her into her daughter's car.
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The SMART Machine

by Ryan Hale

The electric whirring of the conveyor belt motor came to an abrupt halt as it deposited the vending machine, laying on its back, in front of him. Larry felt a buzzing in his pocket and was immediately irritated as he studied the newly deposited machine. His wife never gave him peace. He wasn't even supposed to have his cell on the assembly line but if he didn't find a way to answer her, he'd pay for it when he got home. He looked left and right and then started to fish it out of his pocket as the vending machine's glass face was lowered down by a giant robotic hand that held it in place with pneumatic suction. Larry's job for twenty years had been placing these glass faces into the vending machines.
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by Christopher Cather

The wind cut across Jennie's cheeks and she instinctively looked down at her little brother to make sure his hood was pulled tight. She turned him from the wind and he bundled his little head into her but didn't wrap his arms around her leg like he had when they'd first climbed out the window of the house and taken off into the night. He knew that could trip her up and they had to keep moving. He didn't know why, other than they were running from the men again.
[Read more...]