This Week’s Flash Fiction Star: Matt J. Pike

Matt J. Pike is the readers’ choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge.

The winning entry is recognized with a special feature here today and a place in our collection of winners which will be published as an e-book at year end.

Without further ado, here’s the winning story:


Photo by K.S. Brooks

Empty Nest
by Matt J. Pike

“I’m sick of it, Terry – this place, the humidity, everything.” Tessa flicked her feathers in frustration, fanning an arc of water droplets out and down to the jungle floor. “Nothing’s the same since the kids left.”

“Don’t be like that, Tes. You’ve still got me.”

“I’m sick of you too. Your chirpy optimism, your constant preening, your inane humor–

“Inane? What about my toucan jokes? Two can play at that game… gold!” Terry laughed to accentuate the point – it was greeted with disdained silence. “You used to love that.”

“Only because it made the kids laugh.”

Terry studied his partner. “It’s a phase, Tes. You need to find yourself again.”

“I wouldn’t know where to start. Everything reminds me of them. Do you hear that noise?”


“Exactly, it’s the noise of no children, it mocks me everyday. So does this tree – dark and twisted – like me. And the nest – it’s tattered, I can barely smell their scent anymore.” Tes let out a curdled cry.

Terry scanned his world, through Tes’ eyes. He thought, long and hard. “Let’s leave.”

“What? Where?”

“Wherever life takes us.”

Tes sniffed in the thick air through her tears. She looked at Terry – confused but understanding – she thought about her kids and her new forever. “An adventure?”

She flapped her wings, lifted skywards then swooped down to dislodge the nest from the tree. She laughed as it fell. “Two can play at that game.”

She flew into the future with Terry following in her wake.

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