Flash Fiction: Dark & Deep

Black and white image of a woman biting her shoulder for Flash Fiction: His Voice by Malin James

From the Sacra series by Mona Kuhn

She thinks of his voice, his soul-grinding voice as she drifts off to sleep in a bed that’s far too big. His voice, that voice, drips through her. It echoes and coats her skin, like frost on the windows of the cold, dark room at the top of the narrow house.

Humming, lilting letters tumble down her spine. They slide into her hips. In his mouth, her name is the drip of melting ice, fragile and quiet, a secret dark and deep. It’s the forest in a poem, his mouth and her name, in a snowy, winter wood.

What is it about the way some people, one person, says her name – her name, the name she gave herself – that makes it the language of home? Not her physical home in the too-wide bed, but the home where her pulse rests deep in her belly, buried between her thighs.

She thinks of the language he made of her name as her hand slips down, past cotton and flannel, down to her lonely skin. Her body strains to meet her. Her name on his tongue is the country they made, the map of her slippery soul. She arches, placing the whole of herself in the cup of her capable hand.

Sounds, not words, filled the room long ago. In her mind, they do again. His breathing, her breathing, catching breath, bitten moans. They melt ice and salt the bed. She strains and falls open, longing for home, his voice, her name, her name…. The hollow ache of absence. The weight that isn’t there. Her mind is somewhere dark and deep, slick with dripping frost.

Her mouth parts like a shell, round and full of a name, his name, the name he has given himself. It tumbles down her spine, carried by her voice. Tight, pulsing echoes. Sound cracks, like ice, in her chest. Bones shudder and she is home.

Frost limns the window, but she is warm, warm, warm. Her breathing deepens and slows. Memories, murmurs, whispers on skin, so many years ago…she rests in the language they made for themselves, long ago in cold, dark room at the top of a narrow house.


  1. This has a haunting quality to it. Beautiful words.

  2. Malin, this is beautiful, leaving a gentle ache in my body as I read.

    “In his mouth, her name is the drip of melting ice, fragile and quiet, a secret dark and deep. It’s the wood in a poem, his mouth and her name, in the snowy, winter dark.”

    I love this -why is it that when some people say your name – it’s alchemy. With others – it’s just your name. I know what you mean.

    Thankyou. Xo

  3. Your description of her feelings and surroundings are classic Malin James. Love, love, love it!

  4. How I adore this Malin. Has left a heavy place around my heart.
    All those remembrances of lost love, through touch and scent and breath
    This is gorgeous.
    Thank you x

  5. Absolutely stunning. Thank you for the evocative images of longing and remembrance.

  6. I enjoyed this. Like the descriptive… ‘narrow house’… gave me a gothic feel.

  7. Wow, this is like a dark fairytale: the black forest, glittering shards of ice, the narrow house. Beautiful.

  8. Superb rhythm in the final paragraph. In the penultimate, I like the way you echo the cadence of “tap, at three, on the teeth” from Lolita’s first paragraph.

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