KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 1: Fall 2014
Micro-Fictions: 131 words
99 words
113 words
Photographs: B&W

Three Amulet Stories

by Roberta Allen
To Attract Men
Uta, a visitor on the island of Fenitere, was tired of men calling out to her in a cacophony of languages. As they followed her through narrow streets, Uta lost her temper. In a fury, she threw down her amulet to attract men. Turning to the man stepping on her heels, she screamed, “Get away from me!” Uta knew she had gone too far when she saw the hatred in his eyes and the flashing blade in his hand, reflecting the sun’s fierce rays. She saw nothing but white light until a stranger interceded on her behalf. Her would-be attacker, pinned against a parked car, writhed and hurled his hatred in sounds, sharp enough to slice the air. Heart racing, she ran until she heard nothing but silence.
Amulet to Attract Men
Copyright © 2011, by Roberta Allen
All rights reserved


To Gain Control
Rebels on the island of Muug staged a coup and replaced their oppressor with a simple man they trusted. But when their new leader found the amulet, he forbade the very freedoms they had expected him to reinstate. Worse, he armed his followers with axes to enforce his will. When the bravest rebel stole the amulet, his compatriots, sure of victory, killed the new leader who had betrayed them. In their excitement, the rebels unanimously chose the brave one to lead them, blind to the risks a man hungry for power might take.
Amulet to Gain Control
Copyright © 2011, by Roberta Allen
All rights reserved


To Stop Self-Deception
Samantha had nightmares for weeks about vampires. She had seen a so-called vampire on the island of Isan’s favorite reality show. Vampires aren’t real, she kept telling herself. No one I know has ever seen a vampire. As she walked along the dark streets, she could not admit that her incisors were as long and pointed as those of canines. Even with the taste of her lover’s blood still in her mouth, she could not admit she had appeared on TV. She was so set on deceiving herself that she didn’t notice the stranger sneaking up beside her, slipping the amulet into her pocket, before slinking off into the night.
Amulet to Ward Off Delusions
Copyright © 2011, by Roberta Allen
All rights reserved
Roberta Allen
Issue 1, Fall 2014

is the author of eight books, including two short-short collections; a novella-in-shorts; a novel, The Dreaming Girl (republished in 2011 by Ellipsis Press); and Fast Fiction, the first guide to writing short shorts.

A visual artist as well, Ms. Allen has exhibited worldwide, with work in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum.

Her solo world travels have inspired much of her writing, and she also runs private writing workshops. Details may be found at her website,

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Roberta Allen Slideshow: Amulets in The Center for Fiction’s magazine, The Literarian (Issue 9): Love, Melancholy, Accident, Prosperity, and Courage

Five Amulet Stories in Moonshot (Issue 5, 25 September 2013): To Ward Off Poverty, To Ward Off Regret, To Ward Off Confusion, To Ward Off Worry, and To Ward Off Aggression

2012: Secret Worlds I–IV, natural objects “cast out by the sea”
(This link redirects to artist’s home page; once there, simply click on “Photography” link at far right, beneath “amulet” image.)

Thinking About Thought, conceptual art
(This link redirects to artist’s home page; once there, simply click on “Photography” link at far right, beneath “amulet” image. Then, click on “2014” at top right corner of page.)

Roberta Allen Interviewed by Derek Alger in Pif Magazine (1 January 2012)

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