KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 11: Spring 2019
Micro-Fiction: 306 words

An Orkney Weekend

by Karen Petersen

Next to an old shale building, the plastic kayaks lay like strange sea creatures all asleep, one upon the other. The sea floated just beyond, calm under a milk sky, and the day felt like a day meant more for the pub rather than the sea. There was an unanchored sense of restlessness and anxiety about the place, better handled over a pint.

Down by the water’s edge, the milky sky had become the water and it lay there viscous and mysterious, still as glass, with a few pale islands drifting near the horizon.

The shore sand was crusty and broken, filled in sections by the tide’s deposits of old dark driftwood and torn seaweed. The view felt forlorn and sad, except where the light broke through on the far horizon.

The electric blue ropes used for tying off the bows at the Marina were the only spot of color around and as I walked toward their hypnotic color stacked in a pile by the boat shed I saw a small glade of moss-covered trees in the back. The ferny ground was filled in spots with white clouds of Queen Ann’s Lace and tiny daisies. A small girl sitting among the plants looked up at me radiantly, delighted to be surrounded by what she clearly felt was fairy magic. She pointed to a pair of glasses half-hidden under a fern and as I picked them up I saw they were mine, lost several months ago. I’d never been to this wood so that startled me. Perhaps a sea bird had picked them up and dropped them there.

All the while the little girl looked at me with her great dark eyes, inquisitive yet bemused.

“I’m so glad you found them,” she said, as she got up and skipped away down the forest path.


Karen Petersen
Issue 11, Spring 2019

has traveled the world extensively, publishing poems, flash, and short stories both nationally and internationally in a variety of publications. Most recently, her work appears in the Peacock Review in the USA, The Bosphorus Review in Istanbul, Antiphon in the UK, and A New Ulster in Northern Ireland. New work is forthcoming in the Saranac Review (USA) and Idiom 23 (Australia). In 2015, she read “In Memory of W. B. Yeats” at the Yeats Festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the KGB Bar in New York City. Her poems have been translated into Persian and Spanish.

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