We swam into the Caribbean, escaping the noise. Azraq’s panicked nails drew blood on my chest. Lest some creature’s bloodlust be ignited, I pivoted, following the flashing lighthouse. Inside celestial windmusic moaned. Azraq panted, her paws clicking counter-time on the rusty spiral stairwell. I banged through the heavy door opening to the tower’s light deck. The great beacon turned, a machine designed to penetrate darkness and signal hope. My Aussie’s amber eyes searched mine. I let her lick my face. Her tongue, goading me, sanded away encrustations of frustration. I wept and saw the high lights again.
Flash Fiction by Gregory Stephens
Artwork By Safiya Stephens
Gregory Stephens is Associate Professor of English, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. His book “Three Birds Sing a New Song: A Puerto Rican trilogy about Dystopia, Precarity, and Resistance” was published by Intermezzo (2019) Short fiction: “Making Do with the Residue” (2020); “Close to the Bone”; “Caiseas Blues” (2019). Literary nonfiction: “A Team of Mules”; “Tied to the Mast: Connecting the Dots of Sea Crossing Tales,” saltfront (Spring 2020); “Spanking the Baby: Second Thoughts on Discipline”; “Voice, Conscience, Community”; “Integrative Ancestors redux–a Child’s story from the past to the future,” Dreamers Creative Writing (2018).