KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 8: August 2017
Micro-Fiction: 64 words [R]


by Kate Petersen

Without warning, the price of stamps began to drop. After inching up and up her whole life. Few others noticed right away, since everyone was looking at their phones, even at the post office. Still, forever, which she’d never bought anyway, came to mean something slightly different, and each day after there was a little less of it to press against and hold.


—First published in Issue 55 of SmokeLong Quarterly (9 January 2017); appears here with author’s permission


Publisher’s Note: This is the story I selected during my week of guest reading for SmokeLong Quarterly (14-20 November 2016). Thanks so much to Tara Laskowski for inviting me to read, and to Kate Petersen for allowing us to republish this tiny gem in KYSO Flash.

Kate Petersen
Issue 8, August 2017

was born and raised in Arizona and earned an MFA from the University of Minnesota. Her fiction and essays have appeared in Brevity, Epoch, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Paris Review Daily, The Collagist, Zyzzyva, and elsewhere. She has also written for a number of biosciences, health care, and health policy organizations, and her pharmaceutical and health-care writing is archived at PostScript and Health Policy Hub (

Petersen has received a Wallace Stegner fellowship in fiction, a Pushcart Prize, and a scholarship to the Tin House Writer’s Workshop, and she currently teaches at Stanford University as a Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing.

See also for links to “Recent Stories + Essays.”

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

New England Review’s nonfiction editor J. M. Tyree talks with Kate Petersen in NER’s “Behind the Byline.”

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