Flash Fiction #127 (Exactly 127 Words): Offerings

For previous installments of the ALWAYS WITH LOVE saga, please click herehere, here, and here. These two sentences don’t count toward the 127-word limit.

Soon after Child Services had visited her house, my sister appeared on that podcast hosted by Blake Summers, the Eighties rock star turned right-wing pastor, to say her “groomer brother” had ratted her out to “the woke police” for having “the nerve to uphold traditional family values.”

“Shameful,” Blake said. He urged listeners to support her via Offerings, that Christian crowdfunding site, so she could “hire the best legal team if and when the courts go after her.” The next day, she’d received forty-seven grand, the same day somebody—perhaps one of those listeners—doxxed me, bringing me tons of vehemently anti-trans texts and voicemails and social-media posts, making me feel like resuming my former habit of gobbling drugs while writing self-pitying poetry. Who needs self-pitying poetry?

Copyright © 2023 by David V. Matthews

May 25-26, 2023

Flash Fiction #126 (Exactly 126 Words): Fine

For previous installments of the ALWAYS WITH LOVE saga, please click here, here, and here. The author doesn’t share the narrator’s views or the meme’s views. These three sentences don’t count toward the 126-word limit.

If my brother wants to take castration drugs and dress like a whore, wearing skirts that barely cover his equipment, then fine. But when he tries to break up my family—well, that’s really not fine.

Two days ago, Child Services dropped by my house. First they interrogated me for a million hours about how I disciplined my children, then they, Child Services, they said they’d drop by again at some point.

Afterwards, I called Mom. She told me my brother had texted her a minute earlier that he’d reported me ’cause he didn’t like how I encouraged my son to develop a normal sexual orientation. My brother must’ve known she would tell me. She tells everyone everything. She’s like the news media, only not fake.

Copyright © 2023 by David V. Matthews

May 11, 2023

Flash Fiction #125 (Exactly 125 Words): The Righteous Path

For previous installments of the ALWAYS WITH LOVE Saga, please click here and here. These two sentences don’t count toward the 125-word total.

I haven’t spoken to my sister Bethany in years. According to my parents, who still speak with her, she’s bragged more than once about, in her words, “beating the devil” more than once out of her “perverted” five-year-old son Isaac—“perverted” as in gay in Fundie-speak. As for her other kids, she’s paddled them more often than usual “to remind them to stay on the righteous path,” she’s said.

Of course I called Child Services, despite my aversion to anything government-related, such as law enforcement. Both my sister and the cops have repeatedly deadnamed and misgendered me. At least my parents have evolved, referring to me as Callie and she/her, though they have no problem with what Mom calls “a little corporal punishment, judiciously applied.”

Copyright © 2023 by David V. Matthews

April 29-30, 2023

Flash Fiction #124 (Exactly 124 Words): Masculine Side

For part one, click here. These two sentences don’t count toward the 124-word total.–DVM


I didn’t really care about transgenderism until four years ago. That’s when my brother Caleb sent everyone, including me, a text announcing, first, that he had started “transitioning” so his outside could match what he felt like inside. And second, that we should start referring to him by a female name he’d given.

If “OK groomer” had been a thing back then, I would have texted that to him, I was so angry. Instead, I didn’t text him anything. Though I did wonder if, during his childhood, the family should have encouraged him to embrace his masculine side more? Like, watch the Steelers with us? Or watch superhero movies? Watching the right stuff can prevent you from ruining your life. And everyone else’s life.


I don’t share the narrator’s bigoted beliefs. These two sentences don’t count toward the 124-word total, either.–DVM

Copyright © 2023 by David V. Matthews

March 26, 2023

Flash Fiction #123 (Exactly 123 Words): ALWAYS WITH LOVE

My sister Bethany, the rabid right-winger, has started referring to herself on her TikTok channel as “O.T.: the Original Tradwife.” She got married straight out of high school a decade ago to her troglodytic boyfriend. She has five children with a sixth on the way. She homeschools her kids, because she doesn’t want what she calls “the woke virus” to infect them. She also beats them with a thick wooden paddle that says ALWAYS WITH LOVE. She never goes out except to church. She used to go to the supermarket every week, but now she has everything home-delivered, the best way to avoid libs and criminals.

Maybe none of her kids will grow up to die from a heroin overdose—foolish optimism, right?

Copyright © 2023 by David V. Matthews

March 23, 2023

(In other words, #123 on 3/23/23. I hadn’t consciously planned it that way.)

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #19: Caesura

Ms. Greenberg called it her caesura: her daily break in her eight-hour workplace melody—more like a dirge, she sometimes joked.  Fancy vocabulary words added syllabic class to any day, she felt, although a steaming cappuccino from the break room’s coffeemaker—a sleek gray machine that looked futuristic in her blocky beige office building—also helped improve her life, in a joltin’ kinda way.

Some coffeemakers (but not that one) now have Bluetooth built in, she thought during her last caesura.  Her electric toothbrush had Bluetooth—a Bluetoothbrush, heh.  She sipped her cappuccino and thanked Jebus for wordplay, heh heh.

Copyright © 2017 by David V. Matthews